from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- An archipelago between southeast North America and northern South America, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean and including the Greater Antilles, the Lesser Antilles, and the Bahama Islands. The original inhabitants were Caribs and Arawaks. Several of the islands were sighted and explored by Columbus during his voyages of 1492-1504. The first permanent European settlement was made by the Spanish on Hispaniola in 1496. During the colonial period the English, French, and Dutch also laid claim to various islands, and the United States acquired Puerto Rico and part of the Virgin Islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. The islands of the Caribbean sea.
- proper n. A Federation of Caribbean states which, together with Guyana, play Test matches as if they were a single nation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the string of islands between North America and South America; a popular resort area
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The name West Indies still remains as a testimony to this error.
The origin of the Caribbean Service was Calling the West Indies, a programme that began in 1939, featuring West Indian troops on active service during World War II reading letters to their families.
Politically, the Caribbean (sometimes called the West Indies) comprises 12 independent nations and several French, British, U.S. and Dutch jurisdictions.
The West Indies are the Yorkshire of world cricket: when the West Indies is strong, world cricket is strong.
"Yes, sir," Nelson made answer, "but the West Indies is the station for honour."
At that time, it will be recalled, there was a very heavy concentration of slaves in the West Indies, and trade with the West Indies was the lucrative enterprise it was because there was available this large mass of people who worked without pay.
Everybody knows that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus, who served under the King and Queen of Spain, and who made four trips, in which he discovered most of the islands now known as the West Indies and part of the central and southern regions of the American continent.
Hence the islands were called the West Indies, which name they have kept to this day.
African born and converted in the West Indies has been a freedman only since 1840; and the American Negro was perhaps himself a slave, and his race had the shackles struck from their bodies only in 1863, while the fetters of ignorance and vice still manacle the minds and hearts of the mass.
The East like the West Indies is the brooding-place of storms, which in gyratory coils, like a lasso thrown wide and large, go twisting north by west.