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The caption on the map says the Spanish Main is shown in brown, which seems to contradict the description in the text.
- The latest version of the caption claimed the land in question was shown in green. Since that was most certainly incorrect (the colour used was a brownish yellow), perhaps because it links to an image that has been changed in another context, I've circumvented the problem by changing the sentence to: Spanish possessions are highlighted. Laanders (talk) 09:00, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Obvious question: why was it called the Spanish Main? Trekphiler 07:40, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
- I was wondering that myself. Amazing that the author(s) didn't include an explanation of the term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 04:37, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
- Yes. If anyone knows and can cite a source, it would be useful.
- I found a source to support the "mainland" claim, on the Online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com), stating "In Spanish Main the word is short for mainland and refers to the coast between Panama and Orinoco." It's fairly recent; the latest version on the Wayback Machine website does not include it, and trying to cite it on WebCite causes a displeased pop-up from the site to be shown when viewing it, so I've linked directly to the dictionary. The WebCite link is  if anyone thinks that would still be better, or if it does get changed/disappear and no other source remains. Laanders (talk) 08:56, 20 August 2014 (UTC)
Main a corruption of mesne?
The article currently states (with no reference provided): ""Main" in this sense is a corruption of French and Anglo-French mesne, a reference to the fact that the Spanish Crown exercised its sovereignty over the land through various provincial governors and other intermediate landholders."
I'm skeptical. Perhaps this is true, but a cursory search of the web doesn't reveal any source for this claim that doesn't trace back to this article. There's quite a bit of discussion on this forum thread (http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1261215) about the phrase. Main can apparently refer to the open sea (in some contexts) as well as the mainland. Dictionaries support both definitions. The corruption of mesne theory apparently started on Wikipedia, and as it is unreferenced, I will remove the questionable sentence. If there is a source for this theory feel free to add it back. Plantdrew (talk) 21:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)