Words related to island


*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."

land (n.)

Old English lond, land, "ground, soil," also "definite portion of the earth's surface, home region of a person or a people, territory marked by political boundaries," from Proto-Germanic *landja- (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian Dutch, Gothic land, German Land), perhaps from PIE *lendh- (2) "land, open land, heath" (source also of Old Irish land, Middle Welsh llan "an open space," Welsh llan "enclosure, church," Breton lann "heath," source of French lande; Old Church Slavonic ledina "waste land, heath," Czech lada "fallow land"). But Boutkan finds no IE etymology and suspects a substratum word in Germanic,

Etymological evidence and Gothic use indicates the original Germanic sense was "a definite portion of the earth's surface owned by an individual or home of a nation." The meaning was early extended to "solid surface of the earth," a sense which once had belonged to the ancestor of Modern English earth (n.). Original senses of land in English now tend to go with country. To take the lay of the land is a nautical expression. In the American English exclamation land's sakes (1846) land is a euphemism for Lord.

ea (n.)

the usual Old English word for "river, running water" (still in use in Lancashire, according to OED), from Proto-Germanic *ahwo- (source also of Old Frisian a,Old Saxon aha,Old High German aha,German ahe-,Old Dutch aha,Old Norse "water"), from PIE root *ekweh- "water" (see aqua-). "The standard word in place-names for river denoting a watercourse of greater size than a broc or a burna" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names].

isle (n.)

late 13c., ile, from Old French ile, earlier isle, from Latin insula "island," a word of uncertain origin.

Perhaps (as the Ancients guessed) from in salo "(that which is) in the (salty) sea," from ablative of salum "the open sea," related to sal "salt" (see salt (n.)). De Vaan finds this "theoretically possible as far as the phonetics go, but being 'in the sea' is not a very precise description of what an island is; furthermore, the Indo-Europeans seem to have indicated with 'island' mainly 'river islands.' ... Since no other etymology is obvious, it may well be a loanword from an unknown language." He proposes the same lost word as the source of Old Irish inis, Welsh ynys "island" and Greek nēsos "island." The -s- was restored first in French, then in English in the late 1500s.

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.

islander (n.)

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

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.


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)).