One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, off the NW coast of Africa, forming an autonomous region of Spain; capital, Las Palmas; population 2,098,593 (2009). The group includes the islands of Tenerife, Gomera, La Palma, Hierro, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, and Lanzarote.
From French Canarie, via Spanish from Latin Canaria (insula) ‘(island) of dogs’, from canis ‘dog’, one of the islands being noted in Roman times for large dogs.
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