One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Designating the islands of the Caribbean; of or relating to these islands. Later more generally: = "Caribbean".
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Philip Sidney (1554–1586), author and courtier. Apparently from Spanish caribe Carib, with various alterations of the spelling to reflect the trisyllabic pronunciation of the etymon; compare -y, -y, and -ee, and compare also discussion of early forms at Carib.
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