THINGS BAJAN: Barbados
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Ever wondered how Barbados got its name?
Los Barbados is first mentioned in Spanish cedulas (formal official orders) of December 23, 1511, and July 3, 1512. The exact origin of its name, which means The Bearded Ones in Portuguese, is uncertain.
The traditional theory, espoused by Griffith Hughes and every writer thereafter, is that it is derived from the hanging roots of the widely growing bearded fig tree.
In early maps it is variously called Bernados, Baruodo, Baruodos, Barbudoss, S. Barbudo, Isle de Beruados, Isla de los Barbudos, Los Barbudos and later La Barbade.
Unfortunately the names Barbadoes and the Barbadoes remained in use in North America for so long, many visitors assume that Barbados is, in fact, not a single island, but a group of islands like The Bahamas. It is correctly pronounced (in Barbados) “Barbayduss” but occasionally “Bubbayduss” is heard locally. The Barbados is definitely not correct.
Source: A-Z Of Barbadian Heritage.