The meaning behind the name Newfoundland is pretty obvious. Explorer Giovanni Cabato, a.k.a. John Cabot, called the land new founde isle in 1497. Within a few years the name Newfoundland was in use.1 From a 1502 entry in the Daybooks of King’s Payments, or the Household Books:
Sept. 25-30  Item to the merchauntes of bristoll that have bene in the newe founde launde xx li2
1Alan Rayburn, Dictionary of Canadian Place Names (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 267-68; Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names: United States and Canada, edited by Kelsie B. Harder (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1976), 376.
2James A. Williamson, The Cabot Voyages and Bristol Discovery Under Henry VII, Hakluyt Society, Second Series, vol. CXX (London: Cambridge University Press, 1961), 216.
Copyright 1997-2016, by David Wilton