Etymology
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island (n.)

1590s, earlier yland (c. 1300), from Old English igland, iegland "an island," from ieg "island" (from Proto-Germanic *awjo "thing on the water," from PIE root *akwa- "water") + land (n.).

The second syllable (also in Old Frisian alond, Middle Dutch eiland) was added later to distinguish it from homonyms, especially Old English ea "water" (see ea). As an adjective from 1620s.

Spelling modified 16c. by association with similar but unrelated isle. Similar formation in Old Frisian eiland, Middle Dutch eyland, German Eiland, Danish öland, etc. In place names, Old English ieg is often used of "slightly raised dry ground offering settlement sites in areas surrounded by marsh or subject to flooding" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].

Island universe "solar system" (1846) translates German Weltinsel (von Humboldt, 1845). An Old English cognate was ealand "river-land, watered place, meadow by a river." Related: Islander.

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islander (n.)
"native or inhabitant of an island," 1540s, from island (n.) + -er (1).
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Rhode Island 

U.S. state, the region is traditionally said to have been named by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano when he passed through in 1524, based on an imagined similarity between modern Block Island and the Greek Isle of Rhodes. More likely it is from Roodt Eylandt, the name Dutch explorer Adriaen Block gave to Block Island c. 1614, literally "red island," so called for the color of its cliffs. Under this theory, the name was altered by 17c. English settlers by folk-etymology influence of the Greek island name (see Rhodes) and then extended to the mainland part of the colony. By 1685 the island had been renamed for Block. The Rhode Island red domestic fowl was so called by 1896, for its plumage.

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Easter Island 
so called because it was discovered by Dutch navigator Jakob Roggeveen on April 2, 1722, which was Easter Monday. It earlier had been visited by English pirate Edward Davis (1695), but he neglected to name it. The native Polynesian name is Mata-kite-ran "Eyes that Watch the Stars."
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eyot (n.)
"small island," from Middle English eyt, from Old English iggað "small island," diminutive of eg, ig, ieg "island" (see island). Ending influenced by French diminutive suffix -ot.
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Ellis Island 
sandy island in mouth of Hudson River, said to have been called "Gull Island" by local Indians and "Oyster Island" by the Dutch, renamed "Gull Island" after the British took over, then "Gibbet Island" because pirates were hanged there. Sold to Samuel Ellis in 1785, who made it a picnic spot and gave it his name. Sold by his heirs in 1808 to New York State and acquired that year by the U.S. War Department for coastal defenses. Vacant after the American Civil War until the government opened an immigration station there in 1892 to replace Castle Island.
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Coney Island 
community in Brooklyn, N.Y., so called for the rabbits once found there (see coney) and was known to the Dutch as Konijn Eiland, from which the English name probably derives. It emerged as a resort and amusement park center after the U.S. Civil War.
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Runnymede 

place in Surrey where the Magna Charta was signed, Middle English Ronimede, literally "meadow on the council island," from Old English runieg "council island," from run in sense of "council" (see rune) + ieg "island" (see island) + mede "meadow" (see mead (n.2)).

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jersey (n.)

1580s as a type of knitted cloth; 1842 as a breed of cattle; both from Jersey, one of the Channel Islands. Its name is said to be a corruption of Latin Caesarea, the Roman name for the island (or another near it), influenced by Old English ey "island" (see island); but it is perhaps rather a Viking name (perhaps meaning "Geirr's island").

The meaning "woolen knitted close-fitting tunic," especially one worn during sporting events, is from 1845. In American English, short for New Jersey from 1758. Related: Jerseyman.

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*akwa- 

*akwā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "water."

It forms all or part of: aqua; aqua-; aqua vitae; aqualung; aquamarine; aquanaut; aquarelle; aquarium; Aquarius; aquatic; aquatint; aqueduct; aqueous; aquifer; Aquitaine; eau; Evian; ewer; gouache; island; sewer (n.1) "conduit."

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ap "water;" Hittite akwanzi "they drink;" Latin aqua "water, the sea, rain;" Lithuanian upė "a river;" Old English ea "river," Gothic ahua "river, waters." But Boutkan (2005) writes that only the Germanic and Latin words are sure, Old Irish ab is perhaps related, and "the rest of the evidence in Pokorny (1959) is uncertain."

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