Why are islands in Florida called "Key"?
Where does this word come from? Could it possibly be derived from "quay" and now just shows an Americanized spelling?
@ Todd T
That makes sense. I hadn't thought of Spanish.
BTW, are the spellings you were unsure about these ones?
bone - el hueso
island - el cayo
- Todd TLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
I know! I know!
I just don't know how to spell it. The original name of Key West was Cayo Oueso - "bone island" (it's like a reef) . That was Americanized into Key West.
This word I can't spell - Cayo - I believe was Spanish.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Todd T is correct.
"Cayo" in Spanish became "key" and "hueso" (bone) was translated as "West" perhaps because of the similar pronunciation.
Some of the other Florida's keys have kept their Spanish name:
Key Largo (long) - Islamorada (purple island).
- oneblondepilgrimLv 61 decade ago
Key, Cayo, Quay are all the same thing.
[Origin: 1690–1700; sp. var. (after F quai) of earlier kay (also key, whence the mod. pronunciation) < OF kay, cay; akin to Sp cayo shoal. See key2]
Dictionary.com is an excellent site for this type of query.
- In God We TrustLv 71 decade ago
I would think that they are called "keys" because their shapes suggest such a thing. Peace and God Bless.