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Some American Indian Names of Places in

Narragansett Bay & Surroundings

Selected from authors free website



Block Island
Coasters Harbor Island
Dutch Island
Fox Island
Goat Island
Gould Island
Hog Island
Jamestown (Canonicut Island)
Miantanomi (written Miantunnmu by Roger
Williams in 1643)
Patience Island
Pojack (Potock) Point
Prudence Island
Rose Island

At/on the island

Originally known as Manisses = Little island or little god
Originally known as Woonachasett = crooked little hill? or at
the place of separation (boundary)?
Formerly known in Latin as Quentenis (or Quotenis) Island;
Originally known as Aquidnesuk = at the small island
Originally known inter alia as Sowanoxet or Azoiquaneset = at
the small island? or spruce-pitch small-island place
Originally known as Nantusiunk = narrow ford or strait
Originally known as Aguspemokick = short narrow straits
Originally known as Chisawannock = principal fishing place or
muddy bottom
Originally known as Quononicut = at the especially long place
Famous Narragansett Sachem, probably War Chief, and nephew of
Canonicus, executed by Mohegans in 1643. Miantanomi means
he wages war.
Name of largest southern New England Indian Nation in historic
times ; Narragansett means at the small narrow point (RI).
Originally known as Chibacoweda = separated by a passage (i.e.,
from Prudence Island)
Name of Narragansett Indian Counselor, ca. 1675
Originally known as Wappewassick = at the narrow straits
Originally known as Conockonqut = place at the long point
Little hill at the outlet
Black goose abode or place of the outlet
People of the first light or Easterners; name of large Indian
Nation in southeastern New England (RI & MA).
Good mountains (or hills) or good lookout place?

Compiled by: Frank OBrien, NUWCDIVNPT, Code 2242 2531

Sometimes multiple variants exist in spelling and translations of the original Indian terms, which typically
are highly corrupted (high noise); a few local Bay features were not identified by original name (e.g.,
islands called Gooseberry, Despair, Hope & Dyer)
Some think Aquidneck means Isle of Peace from Narragansett word aquene, but this is incorrect

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