Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island (en-us-Rhode Island.ogg /roʊd ˈaɪlɨnd/ (help·info)), is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area. Rhode Island borders Connecticut to the west and Massachusetts to the north and east. Rhode Island also shares a water border with New York's Long Island to the southwest.
Despite the name, most of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations is in fact on the mainland. The name Rhode Island and Providence Plantations derives from the merging of two colonies, Providence Plantations and Rhode Island. Providence Plantations was the name of the colony founded by Roger Williams in the area now known as the City of Providence.Rhode Island and Providence Plantations was the first of the thirteen original colonies to declare independence from British rule and the last to ratify the United States Constitution.
Rhode Island's official nickname is "The Ocean State", a reference to the state's geography, as nearly one tenth of Rhode Island's inland area is covered by salt water. In addition, no resident of the state is more than a thirty-minute drive from the water's edge. Unofficially, and in other parts of the country, Rhode Island is referred to as Little Rhody.Another hypothesis on the origin of the name is that when Verrazzano sailed into Narragansett Bay, the many islands reminded him of the Aegean Sea, and he named it for Rhodes. This is what is said on the Verrazzano Monument in downtown Providence at Monument Park near the Rhode Island School of Design.