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Thread: Question on the term Great Britain (a silly one)

  1. #1
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    Question on the term Great Britain (a silly one)

    I wonder if Great Britain=the UK or Great Britain=Britain (i.e. Wales + England + Scotland)?

    It's not a vital question of course but I'm just keep thinking about that.

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    Geographically, "Great Britian" is the largest island in the British Isles. Politically, it is England, Scotland and Wales, including all the small outlying islands that are part of those countries.

    "UK" (The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland) is the name of the country, made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and a couple of overseas territories.

    Citizens of the UK are "British".

    "The British Isles" is a purely geographical term, and includes all of Ireland as well as the semi-independent Isle of Man, but not the Channel Islands.

    Actually, it's probably a lot more messy than even that.

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    Thanks, scotcher!
    Actually, "The United Kingdom of Great Britian and Northern Ireland" was the mantra we kept chanting almost at every English lesson at our school. Though it didn't prevent me from thinking that "Great Britian" along just another term for UK.

    Looks like I lost a bottle of beer to my friend.

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    No need to worry about this distinction though. Most Brits use the terms interchangably (and often wrongly), either because they don't know what the differences are, or, more likely, simply don't care.

    In point of fact, many English people go one further and use the words "England" and "English" interchangably with "Britain", "UK", and "British".

    The former mistake is unlikely to ever cause offence, but the latter might.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    No need to worry about this distinction though. Most Brits use the terms interchangably (and often wrongly), either because they don't know what the differences are, or, more likely, simply don't care.

    In point of fact, many English people go one further and use the words "England" and "English" interchangably with "Britain", "UK", and "British".

    The former mistake is unlikely to ever cause offence, but the latter might.
    I find being called a Brit offensive I'm either a Briton or, as I prefer, an Englishman.

    Also, England and Scotland are countries, Wales is a Principality, and Northern Ireland's a Province (I think).
    Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Citizens of the UK are "British".
    Quote Originally Posted by GabCNesbitt
    I find being called a Brit offensive I'm either a Briton or, as I prefer, an Englishman.
    Is it offensive to call a Welshman or Scotchman a Briton or British? 'Cause you know in Russian it's pretty much the same as Englishman:
    the British - сущ., мн.ч. англичане, британцы
    Isn't it the same in English?

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    Brit is a more general term than English. Scots and Irish would find it offensive to be called English, sorta like calling all slavs Russians. But usually, only the Brits make these distinctions. Outside the UK, everybody in the UK is English. jk

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    Nationalities are a minefield. There is no telling who will take offense at what.

    Some identify themselves as British, some as English/ Scottish/ Welsh/ Irish, some are happy to see themselves as both at the same time (and/ or European!). Some people find the words "Brit" and "Scot" derogatory, as opposed to "Briton" and "Scotsman", and vica versa, and so on and so on and so on. It all depends on the cultural and political views held by the Britisher ( ) in question.

    These are all pretty mild transgressions though.

    On the other hand, calling someone from Scotland, Wales or N Ireland an "Englishman" or "English" is always certain to cause serious offense, and since you'll have a hard time explaining that англичане and британцы are interchangable in Russian when your jaw is broken and six of your teeth are missing, it's probably best to avoid that one if possible.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashamania
    Brit is a more general term than English. Scots and Irish would find it offensive to be called English, sorta like calling all slavs Russians. But usually, only the Brits make these distinctions. Outside the UK, everybody in the UK is English. jk
    This is true for most people.


    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher

    On the other hand, calling someone from Scotland, Wales or N Ireland an "Englishman" or "English" is always certain to cause serious offense, and since you'll have a hard time explaining that англичане and британцы are interchangable in Russian when your jaw is broken and six of your teeth are missing, it's probably best to avoid that one if possible.
    I think it's more likely the other way... hehe

    Greetings,

    C

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Nationalities are a minefield. There is no telling who will take offense at what.
    Bingo. And on that note, I find your use of "nationalities", "minefield", "are" and "a" offensive. "Nationalities" can also be called ethnolinguistic groups, "minefield" conjures up graphic memories of Minesweeper being the only decent game included in MS Windows, "are" infringes upon the unique sound of the letter "r" (the cease and desist letter is in the mail), and "a", acting as an article, unfairly places foreigners who don't have articles in their native language at a linguistic disadvantage.
    Заранее благодарю всех за исправление ошибок в моём русском.

  11. #11
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    I apologise for the offense my words caused, but not for the words thenselves.

    (it worked for the Pope)

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