peninsula south of Thrace, from Greek khersonesos "peninsula," from khersos "dry land" + nēsos "island," also "(flooded) land near a river, alluvial land," which is of uncertain origin; traditionally from PIE root sna- "to swim," but this is now generally rejected. "As words for 'island' differ from language to language, [nēsos] is probably an Aegean loan (note that Lat. insula is also of unclear origin)" [Beekes]. Compare isle.
masc. proper name, from French, from Old High German Hrodland, literally "(having a) famous land," from hrod- "fame, glory" (from Proto-Germanic *hrothi-) + land (see land (n.)). The name of the legendary nephew of Charlemagne, celebrated in "Chanson de Roland" (c. 1300) and suchlike romances. His comrade was Oliver, hence a Roland for an Oliver (1610s) in expressions meaning "to give as good as one gets, tit for tat."