Kos, Greece or Cos (English pronunciation: /kɒs/ or /kɔːs/) (Greek: Κως, Greek pronunciation: [kos]) is a Greek island, part of the Dodecanese island chain in the southeastern Aegean Sea, off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Kos is the third largest of the Dodecanese by area, after Rhodes and Karpathos; it has a population of 33,388 (2011 census), making it the second most populous of the Dodecanese, after Rhodes. The island measures 40 by 8 kilometres (25 by 5 miles), and is 4 km (2 miles) from the coast of the ancient region of Caria in Turkey. Administratively, Kos constitutes a municipality within the Kos regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Kos town.
In many Romance languages, Kos, Greece was formerly known as Stancho, Stanchio, or Stinco, and in Ottoman and modern Turkish it is known as İstanköy, all from the reinterpretation of the Greek expression εις την Κω ‘to Kos’; cf. the similar Istanbul, and Stimpoli, Crete. Under the rule of the Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes, it was known as Lango or Langò, presumably because of its length. In The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, the author misunderstands this, and treats Lango and Kos as distinct islands.
In Italian, the Kos, Greece island is known as Coo.
A person from Kos is called a “Koan” in English. The word is also an adjective, as in “Koan goods”.
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