From earlier iland, from Middle English iland, yland, ylond, from Old English īġland, īeġland, ēaland, from Proto-West Germanic *auwjuland, from Proto-Germanic *awjōlandą (from Proto-Germanic *awjō, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ekʷeh₂) + *landą, equivalent to ey + land.
Cognate with Scots island, iland, yland, West Frisian eilân ("island"), Saterland Frisian Ailound ("island"), Dutch eiland ("island"), Low German Eiland ("island"), German Eiland ("island"), Swedish ö ("island"), Öland, Danish ø ("island"), Norwegian øy ("island"), Icelandic eyland ("island").
The insertion of ⟨s⟩—a 16th century spelling modification—is due to a change in spelling to the unrelated term isle, which previously lacked s (cf. Middle English ile, yle). The re-addition was mistakingly carried over to include iland as well. Related also to German Aue ("water-meadow"), Latin aqua ("water"). More at ea.
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