World English Dictionary
Guadalcanal (ˌɡwɑːdəlkəˈnæl, Spanish ɡwaðalkaˈnal)
a mountainous island in the SW Pacific, the largest of the Solomon Islands: under British protection until 1978; occupied by the Japanese (1942--43). Pop: 109 382 (1999). Area: 6475 sq km (2500 sq miles)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

largest of the Solomon Islands, discovered 1568 by Sp. explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira and named for his hometown in Spain. The place name contains the Sp. form of Arabic wadi "river" which occurs in other Sp. place names (e.g. Guadalajara, from Arabic Wadi Al-Bajara "River of the Stones,"
either a parallel formation to or ult. a translation of the ancient Iberian name for the river that gave the place its earlier name, based on caruca "stony;" Guadalquivir, from Arabic Al-Wadi Al-Kabir "Big River;" and Guadalupe, from the Arabic river word and the Roman name of the river, Lupus, lit. "wolf").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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