There are at least three Malay legends and stories pertaining to the island's name. One story propounds that the island got its name because it was the burial ground of old warrior pirates. Another view refers to the island as Pulau Ayer Brani, as recorded in John Turnbull Thomson's 1949 chart, because a stream of fresh water was said to come up from the coastal sea bed or beach, which persisted despite the flow of sea water. The third story has it that there is a well on top of the island, with water of potent qualities. A tank formed of natural rock on the Tanjong Pagar side of the island contained the overflow of water from this well and was used by people for bathing.
Pulau Brani is known as san chu shek tui min in Cantonese, meaning "opposite the new tin smelting" due to a tin smelting plant located on the island in the first half of the twentieth century. The Cantonese also refer to it as cha tin ma thau tui min, meaning "opposite Jardine's jetty".
Other articles related to "pulau brani":
... Initially, Pulau Brani only had Malay fishing villages along the coast, such as Telok Saga and Kampong Selat Sengkir ... Interest in Pulau Brani as a military base was already evident before 1822, with the completion of a chart based on a survey of the island and its coast in that year by ... In line with the above, the Commissariat and the Ordnance Department were moved to Pulau Brani ...