Did You Know There’s a Difference Between an Isle, Island, Islet?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really thought about the difference between an isle, island, or even islet. It’s all land surrounded by water—the end.

But why not take a moment and enjoy this quirky fun fact that may not be a sexy fun fact at parties but hey, at least you learned something.

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The word ‘island’ is the most common and popular with Long Island, New York the biggest island in the lower 48. That’s an unexpected fun fact for you. In the United States overall Hawaii Island known as The Big Island is the largest followed by Kodiak Island in Alaska, then Puerto Rico.

So what is an ‘isle’ then? 

It’s most definitely the less common word and it’s interchangeable with ‘island’ however technically speaking an ‘Isle’ is defined as a small island that’s cute and picturesque or has historical or mythological significance according to the Content Authority website.

‘Isle’ has a poetic feel to it, too.

‘Isle’ is sometimes used as the name of one of many parts of an island or island group. It’s almost always used as a proper noun, too. Pediaa adds that since it has an old-world, sophisticated side to it, there’s a literary significance with many authors and travel writers using it to create a paradise image in the reader’s mind.

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Then there’s ‘islet.’

Islets are uninhabitable islands that have little or no vegetation. So basically it’s a huge rock or even sand, according to the English Stock Exchange. I always see those on takeoffs and landings at airports near water, don’t you? It makes total sense that many aren’t named, since they’re just part of our topography.

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Educational, right? I think it’s kind of cool to know these little differences since we live among so many.

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