Originally spelt Rode-Island. From Unstandardised 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"). http://www.archive.org/stream/documentaryhisto02chap/documentaryhisto02chap_djvu.txt In addition, Block gave his name to Block Island, which is today included within the confines of the modern State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
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 Giovanni da Verrazzano's comment is "Rhod-Island". http://web.archive.org/web/20101117044409/http://sos.ri.gov/library/history/name/
- 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.