"of or pertaining to the islands in the Mediterranean just east of Spain," 1660s, from Latin Balearicus, from Greek Baliarikos, from the ancient name of the islands and their inhabitants; traditionally "the slingers" (from ballein "to throw, sling") in reference to their weapons.
chain of coral islands in the Indian Ocean, probably from Sanskrit maladvipa "garland of islands," from mala "garland" + dvipa "island." Related: Maldivian.
group of islands in the southeastern Aegean, from Latinized form of Greek Dodekanesa, literally "the twelve islands," from dōdeka "twelve" (see dodeca-) + nēsos "island" (see Chersonese).
also Faeroese, 1816, from the Faroe islands, at the ends of the North Sea, literally "sheep-islands," from Faroese Føroyar, from før "sheep" + oy (plural oyar) "island."
island group of Indonesia, the Spice Islands, attested in French by 1520s as Moluques, from Malay Maluku "main (islands)," from molok "main, chief," perhaps so called for their central location in the archipelago.
group of islands off the north coast of Scotland, from Old Norse Orkney-jar "Seal Islands," from orkn "seal," which is probably imitative of its bark. With Old Norse ey "island" (compare Jersey). Related: Orcadian; Orkneyman.
collective name for the islands and island groups in the western Pacific north of the equator, 1840, from Italian, literally "the region of small islands," Modern Latin, formed on model of Polynesia from micro- "small" (see micro-) + Greek nēsos "island" (see Chersonese). Related: Micronesian.
1898 (fem. Filipina), Spanish, from las Islas Filipinas "the Philippine Islands" (see Philippines).
large island north of Sicily, largest of the Aeolian Islands, probably somehow related to Greek liparos "fat; rich" (see liparo-).
c. 1600, from Spanish guano "dung, fertilizing excrement," especially of sea-birds on islands off Peru, from Quechua (Inca) huanu "dung."