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Type Political Subdivision & Island
Usage English
Pronounced Pron. SI-si-lee  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

This is the name of one of the islands of Italy. It is also the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Sicily is an anglicization of Classical Latin Sicilia, which in turn is a latinization of Σικελία (Sikelia), the ancient Greek name of the island. The ancient Greeks had named it after the Sicels, one of the tribes that lived on the island. They were known to them as the Σικελοί (Sikeloi), whilst the Romans knew them under the name Siculi. The Sicels are often thought to have been an Italic tribe, though it is also possible that they were actually Illyrian. Their native language was Sicel, an Indo-European language that is poorly attested and otherwise unclassified. As such, the meaning and origin of their ethnonym is unknown.
Added 5/30/2020 by Lucille
Edited 7/31/2020 by HL