According to a myth, the name of the island derives from Minos’s son, Folegandros, who was considered to be its first settler in the Antiquity. It is possible that the myth refers to the Minoans’ settlement on the island around 1600 BC. Some linguists claim that the name of Folegandros derives from a corrupted form of the Phoenician word “phelekgundari” which means “arid and rocky land”.
The island was also called “Sidira”, which means coarse, in the Antiquity. It is said that the geographer Aratus named the island “Sidira”, due to the coarseness of its terrain.