Greek island, largest of the Dodecanese, from Greek Rhodos, which is perhaps from rhodon "rose," which Beekes allows as a possibility, or rhoia "pomegranate," but "more likely" [Room] from a pre-Greek name, from Phoenician erod "snake," for the serpents which were said to have anciently infested the island. Related: Rhodian.
holder of any of the scholarships founded at Oxford in 1902 by British financier and imperialist Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902), for whom the former African colony of Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe) also was named. The surname is literally "dweller by a clearing," from Old English rodu "plot of land of one square rod." Related: Rhodesia; Rhodesian.
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.
"of Doris or Doria," c. 1600, first in reference to the mode of ancient Greek music, literally "of Doris," from Greek Doris, the small district in central Greece, traditionally named for Doros, legendary ancestor of the Dorians, whose name is probably related to dōron "gift" (from PIE root *do- "to give").
From 1620s as "native or inhabitant of Doris." Dorian was the name the ancient Greeks gave to one of their four great divisions (the others being the Aeolians, Ionians, and Achaeans). In addition to architecture and music, The Dorians had their own calendar and dialect (see Doric) and the Dorian states included Sparta, Argos, Megara, and the island of Rhodes.