Read the passage and answer the questions.

Most people know that Rhode Island is America’s smallest state. With an area of only 1,214 square miles, it is roughly half the size of Delaware, America’s second smallest state. Most people, however, probably can’t explain the name “Rhode Island.” For one thing, Rhode Island is not an island at all and is connected to the mainland United States. Furthermore, experts can’t even agree on how the “Ocean State” was named. There are two possibilities:

 

1. Italian-born, French explorer Giovanni Verrazzano explored the bays and coastlines of New England in the 1500s and compared one of the islands to “Rhodes,” which is part of Greece. Later, Pilgrims who settled the area believed the island Verrazzano had named was Aquidneck Island, where the villages of Portsmouth and Newport were built.

 

2. In the 1610s, Dutch explorer Adriaen Block passed by Aquidneck Island and described it as “rodlick,” which is Dutch for “reddish.” Eventually, the word “rodlick” may have changed into “Rhode.”

 

Experts do know that the name Rhode Island was first used by the colony’s founder, Roger Williams in 1637. The colony was also called Isle of Rodes, and Red Island in the coming years.