Originally spelled Rode-Island. From unstandardized Early Modern Dutch Roode Eylant (“Red Island”), after a description of Aquidneck Island given by navigator Adriaen Block: een rodlich Eylande (Modern Dutch een roodlijk eiland).
Modern spelling due to influence from Rhodes, as Giovanni da Verrazzano had once likened an isle somewhere about the Narragansett Bay to it, though the precise identity of the isle he was referring to remains unknown. The earliest spelling showing influence from this is Rhod-Island.
- As the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island is often used as a comparison for area or size.
- Rhode Island is not an island.