Etymology
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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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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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Chian (adj.)
"pertaining to the Greek island of Chios," 1630s. The island name is of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Greek khion "snow."
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Madagascar 

large island lying to the east of and near Africa, from Mogadishu, the name of the city in Somalia, due to an error by Marco Polo in reading Arabic, whereby he thought the name was that of the island. There is no indigenous name for the whole island. Related: Madagascan; Madagascarian; Madagascarene.

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Puerto Rico 

island in the Greater Antilles group of the West Indies, Spanish, literally "rich harbor;" see port (n.1) + rich (adj.). The name was given in 1493 by Christopher Columbus to the large bay on the north side of the island; he called the island itself San Juan. Over time the name of the bay became the name of the island and the name of the island was taken by the town that grew up at the bay. Often spelled Porto Rico in 19c.; the current spelling was made official in 1932.

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Hispaniola 
West Indian island, from Spanish la isla española "the Spanish island" (not "little Spain"); the name is said to have been given by Columbus in 1492.
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Borneo 
large island in Indonesia, from Portuguese alteration of Brunei, which is today the name of a sultanate on the island. This is Hindi and probably ultimately from Sanskrit bhumi "land, region." Related: Bornean.
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Swansea 
a Scandinavian name, probably literally "Sveinn's Island."
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