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Bahamas, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Bahama Islands(noun)
island country in the Atlantic to the east of Florida and Cuba; a popular winter resort
A country in the Caribbean. Official names, short: The Bahamas; full: Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
Origin: Disputed; baja mar ("shallow sea") or from Taíno ba ha ma ("big upper middle land") via Spanish.
The Bahamas /bəˈhɑːməz/, officially the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, is an island country of the Lucayan Archipelago consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets in the Atlantic Ocean; north of Cuba and Hispaniola; northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands; southeast of the U.S. state of Florida and east of the Florida Keys. Its capital is Nassau on the island of New Providence. The designation of "Bahamas" can refer to either the country or the larger island chain that it shares with the Turks and Caicos Islands. As stated in the mandate/manifesto of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Bahamas territory encompasses 470,000 km² of ocean space. Originally inhabited by the Lucayan, a branch of the Arawakan-speaking Taino people, the Bahamas were the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World in 1492. Although the Spanish never colonized the Bahamas, they shipped the native Lucayans to slavery in Hispaniola. The islands were mostly deserted from 1513 until 1648, when English colonists from Bermuda settled on the island of Eleuthera. The Bahamas became a British Crown colony in 1718, when the British clamped down on piracy.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A chain of islands, cays, and reefs in the West Indies, lying southeast of Florida and north of Cuba. It is an independent state, called also the Commonwealth of the Bahamas or the Bahama Islands. The name likely represents the local name Guanahani, itself of uncertain origin. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p106 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p45)
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