With a land area of 71 square miles (180 km2) and water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is New York state's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among the city's five boroughs. Today, if each borough were ranked as a city, Brooklyn would rank as the third-most populous in the U.S., after Los Angeles and Chicago.
The name Brooklyn is derived from the original Dutch colonial name Breuckelen, meaning marshland. Established in 1646, the name first appeared in print in 1663. The Dutch colonists named it after the scenic town of Breukelen, Netherlands. Over the past two millennia, the name of the ancient town in Holland has been Bracola, Broccke, Brocckede, Broiclede, Brocklandia, Broekclen, Broikelen, Breuckelen and finally Breukelen. The New Amsterdam settlement of Breuckelen also went through many spelling variations, including Breucklyn, Breuckland, Brucklyn, Broucklyn, Brookland, Brockland, Brocklin, and Brookline/Brook-line. There have been so many variations of the name that its origin has been debated; some have claimed breuckelen means "broken land." The final name of Brooklyn, however, is the most accurate to its meaning.