Vol. 47 No. 3 (1999)
Research Article

The Naming of Bermuda

Published 1999-09-01



There have been many changes to and confusions surrounding the naming of Bermuda and the name Bermuda itself. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one finds the Isle of Devils and the variants Bermuda Isles and Somers Islands. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, one sees the use of Bermuda Islands and The Bermudas to an equal degree, while recently Bermuda has predominated. Throughout history, there has been confusion over whether Bermuda was one or several islands; in addition, analogy to such names as Barbados, Barbuda, the Bahamas, and even the Virginias has added to the confusion. The name given to Bermuda in other European languages reflects the same confusion as has been present in English. At present, Bermuda is used as the official designation for the country; however, Bermuda Islands can still be found on maps and tourist literature published in Bermuda.


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