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-   -   Is Rhode Island an island? (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=45638)

snopes 08 May 2009 10:08 PM

Is Rhode Island an island?
 
Comment: Is Rhode Island really an island?

I lived in the smallest state for years, and I always told people that
yes, indeed, Rhode Island *is* an island. Specifically, the city of
Newport is on Aquidneck Island, which is also known as Rhode Island.

The rest of the state, however, is mostly the mainland, although there are
lots of island in RI: Prudence Isl., Hog Isl., Block Isl., etc. This is
why RI is officially known as THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE
PLANTATIONS. (The longest state name there is!)

Am I telling people false information?

RealityChuck 09 May 2009 03:45 AM

I don't undersand the question. Rhode Island gave its name to the state. It is an island.

Note that "Rhode Island" is not a description. It is a name. Asking if it's an island is like asking if New York is really new (it's been there for over three centuries) or if Pennsylvania is only forest (and owned by William Penn).

CannonFodder 09 May 2009 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 949684)
I don't undersand the question. Rhode Island gave its name to the state. It is an island.

Note that "Rhode Island" is not a description. It is a name. Asking if it's an island is like asking if New York is really new (it's been there for over three centuries) or if Pennsylvania is only forest (and owned by William Penn).

Well, compared to York it's pretty new. What about Dehli vs. New Dehli? I guess I can go google old Dehli.

Joostik 09 May 2009 10:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 949684)
I don't undersand the question.

If the official name of the state is not just "Rhode Island" but "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations".

ET1 (SS) 09 May 2009 03:44 PM

The state of Rhode Island is not an island. It may have a few small islands though.

Naples Italy is actually Neápolis [in Greek], or Neapolitan, which translates as the 'New City'. It was founded by the Greeks, over 2,800 years ago. It was not new to the Romans, nor to any of the succeeding dozen empires who each conquered it later. But it is still called the New City.

:)

TrekkerScout 09 May 2009 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Joostik (Post 949761)
If the official name of the state is not just "Rhode Island" but "Rhode Island and Providence Plantations".

Well, according to the Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State, the official name IS Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

But, who here would trust an official government website? :fish:

Johnny Slick 09 May 2009 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CannonFodder (Post 949686)
Well, compared to York it's pretty new. What about Dehli vs. New Dehli? I guess I can go google old Dehli.

Old Delhi is pretty old. That's what the oracles would lead you to believe anyway.

bjohn13 09 May 2009 05:33 PM

I'm able to locate Block Island, Aquidneck Island, Conanicut Island, Prudence Island, Hog Island, Patience Island, Hope Island, Gould Island, Dutch Island, Goat Island, Rose Island, Coasters Harbor Island, and Great Island.

I'm curious to know which island is Rhode Island.

lord_feldon 09 May 2009 05:47 PM

Aquidneck Island is the original Rhode Island.

Recklessmess 09 May 2009 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CannonFodder (Post 949686)
Well, compared to York it's pretty new. What about Dehli vs. New Dehli? I guess I can go google old Dehli.

Since a York and an Isle of Jersey already existed, the naming of New York (which was once New Amsterdam - why they changed it I can't say, maybe they liked it better that way?) in honor of the originals would make sense. Since new, in this instance, means newer, it doesn't really compare to calling a peninsula an island...or so.

As for New Delhi, as with most cities in India, its name is the bastardization of its original Hindi...My Indian brother-in-law explained that the city's name is something like "nee-dee-LEE" and the Brits just called it New Delhi because they couldn't speak the native tongue. Bombay - Mumbai...Hell, us english speakers are so lazy we couldn't even say Porto Rico correctly.

BamaRainbow 09 May 2009 07:33 PM

Going to the usgs.gov site, I found that the USGS does have an island called "Rhode Island" on a topo map of the area. Most folks (especially in the state) know it as "Aquidneck Island".

http://store.usgs.gov/b2c_usgs/usgs/...a=%24ROOT)/.do

(Bear in mind this link MIGHT not take you to the specific site. When I copied-and-pasted the address, I was looking at a topographical map because the original map I was looking at wouldn't allow me to zoom in far enough to see the Rhode Island area as anything larger than a smudge. When I entered the c&p'ed link back into my browser, I got a basic map, rather than the topo map I was originally looking at. Also, the USGS offers these maps for sale, so the link might not work for others but as I had been recently "browsing" on the site, my ISP address was recognized and so the image was "saved" in much the same way other online stores allow for quick links to particular items of interest. Also, only the topographic map calls it "Rhode Island"; the main map and the "hybrid" map both use "Aquidneck Island.)

bjohn13 09 May 2009 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lord_feldon (Post 949850)
Aquidneck Island is the original Rhode Island.

Thank you. You've cleared up one of those things that I've always wondered about but couldn't concentrate on long enough to actually go look it up.

BamaRainbow 09 May 2009 08:07 PM

While browsing a bit, I found the following

Verrazzano made his famous trip, searching for an all-water route through North America to China, in the employ of the French king Francis and several Italian promoters. After landfall at Cape Fear, North Carolina, about March 1, 1524, he proceeded up the coast to the present site of New York City to anchor in the Narrows, now spanned by the giant bridge, which bears his name. From there, according to his own account, he sailed in an easterly direction until he "discovered an island in the form of a triangle, distant from the mainland ten leagues, about the bigness of the Island of Rhodes," which he named Luisa after the Queen Mother of France. This was Block Island, but Roger Williams and other early settlers mistakenly thought that Verrazzano had been referring to Aquidneck Island. Thus they changed that Indian name to Rhode Island, and Verrazzano inadvertently and indirectly gave the state its name.

That comes from a Student-Teacher Guide (http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/studteaguide/teaguide.html) offered at the State's General Assembly website. The actual paragraph comes from the Rhode Island History, Chapter 1 page (http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/RhodeIs...ry/chapt1.html) and is backed up by the RI Sec'y of State's history page (http://www.sec.state.ri.us/library/r...-rhode-island/).

The alternate origin comes from a Dutch phrase presumably offered by Adriaen Block who described some island* as a Roodt Eylandt ("red island", from the color of the clay soil) and the similarity between the Dutch Roodt and and the already Anglicized "Rhodes" led to a minor confusion (not like THAT's never happened before).



*Presumably, Aquidneck but possibly Block Island.

ETA: I'd read both etymologies as being equally valid when I was in school.

Mycroft 09 May 2009 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Recklessmess (Post 949860)
Since a York and an Isle of Jersey already existed, the naming of New York (which was once New Amsterdam - why they changed it I can't say, maybe they liked it better that way?) in honor of the originals would make sense.

The case of New York is more complicated than it was seem because it was named after the Duke of York (later James II) who was given the territory of New Netherlands by his brother, King Charles II, after the British had captured it in the Second Anglo-Dutch war (the capture of the dutch colony of New Netherlands with its capital of New Amsterdam started the war in 1664), and the British retained it after the peace treaty of 1667.
New Netherlands was recaptured in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch war (the city being renamed New Orange) but was returned to Britain in thhe peace treaty of 1674, in exchange for territory in the East Indies (specifically Suriname).

[Delhi/New Delhi (actually the translation is farly accurate but the Hindu pronunciation is closer to dilly than delly) is a different matter as they are essentially the same place;
Delhi being the capital of the Moghal Empire from 1649 until the British East India company moved the capital to Calcutta in 1857. Delhi was reinstated as capital of British India (the Raj) after King George V visited India in 1911, the new government buildings being built outside the walled city in an area that became known as New Delhi, and continued to be the capital of India after independance in 1947]

New Jersey was named after the Island of Jersey which was part of Normandy when King William conquered England. It has never been part of the United Kingdom but is directly ruled by the Queen (under the title of Duke of Normandy) along with the other Channel Islands (although closer to France than England they have never been captured by France; but they were captured and occupied by Germany 1940-45)

diddy 10 May 2009 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Recklessmess (Post 949860)
New York (which was once New Amsterdam - why they changed it I can't say, maybe they liked it better that way?)

Yea right! I bet your also going to claim that Instanbul was once Constantinople... :fish:

Eddylizard 10 May 2009 05:24 PM

"New Amsterdam, New Amsterdam so good they named it twice" doesn't scan so well, and Gerard Kenny would have been buggered. That's why they changed it. :D

RealityChuck 11 May 2009 03:21 PM

"Even old New York was once New Amsterdam."

However, my point is that a name is not a description. Even if Rhode Island was entirely on the mainland, it could still be called Rhode Island.

More examples of what I mean:

Quaker Street, NY (not a street, but a hamlet -- and there is no Quaker Street in Quaker Street).
Coney Island, NY (a peninsula)
Greenland
East River (NYC)
Schoharie Creek (a creek originally mean a tidal estuary, not a freshwater stream). Or, if you want the modern definition, Jockey Creek, Town Creek, and Goose Creek in Southold NY (tidal estuaries, but not a creek because, after all, a creek is a freshwater stream).

martin8 12 May 2009 05:01 PM

The Isle of Ely, in England, is not only not an island, but is totally inland.
(Its name comes from surrounding marshland, long since drained).

Billy Beccles 13 May 2009 08:54 PM

Further to the notes of m'learned colleague Mycroft, I would point out that Bombay was founded and named by the Portuguese so English bastardization don't enter into it. But in compensation there was (still is) a place a hundred miles north called Deolali, and as you well know, mes enfants, your British chums still talk about somebody being a bit doolally when their picnic basket is not quite chocker with sarnies.

Eddylizard 13 May 2009 10:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Billy Beccles (Post 952314)
Further to the notes of m'learned colleague Mycroft, I would point out that Bombay was founded and named by the Portuguese so English bastardization don't enter into it. But in compensation there was (still is) a place a hundred miles north called Deolali, and as you well know, mes enfants, your British chums still talk about somebody being a bit doolally when their picnic basket is not quite chocker with sarnies.

Deolali is over a hundred miles from the nearest ocean or sea - no wonder people went mad waiting for ships, they were never going to get there. ;)


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