I want to understand British references to your countries.

by compound complex 30 Replies latest jw friends

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Greetings, Friends Across the Two Ponds:

    Of course, as per other posters' recommendations, I could Google this; I have and remain, not totally confused, but wanting the straight dope as well as nuanced meaning. I'm both curious and needing to know for purposes of editing works of American and British writers.

    I like and want detail. It's crucial when I have to distinguish between bathroom/lavatory; I went to the hospital/I went to hospital; My family shuns me/My family sent me to Coventry. But, in keeping with the OP, I want, principally, to understand how you call yourselves and how you designate the diverse parts of the kingdom.

    I saw a movie recently where, in an opening scene, there is an aerial shot of London. In the lower left-hand corner is the title, London, UK. In older films, it would have been referenced as London, England.

    So, there're the British Isles, The United Kingdom, and a separation, I gather, of Ireland from Wales, England, Scotland, . . . Then, the Commonwealth. Do you members from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, [anyone else?] refer to yourselves as members of the Commonwealth? Is there a shorter, snappier term? Or would one just say, for example, "I'm a New Zealander"? I can figure out Canadian and Australian. A citizen from Wales is Welsh (I think).

    As earlier stated, even here in the US, we have the formal but more commonly used colloquialisms that indicate our origins, our nationality. I'm a Californian and an American (I think).

    Yet, there's North America, Central America, South . . .


  • stuckinarut2

    I'm Australian. (or more specifically : "I'm Aussie")

    I dont refer to myself as a member of the Commonwealth. Not for any political reason, but it just doesnt seem to be relevant.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    "Aussie" is good, stuckinarut2.

    Thanks for #1 on my list!

  • slimboyfat
    So, there're the British Isles, The United Kingdom, and a separation, I gather, of Ireland from Wales, England, Scotland

    It's even slightly more complicated than that, because the "United Kingdom" consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the Republic of Ireland (South) that is excluded from the "United Kingdom".

    I am not even sure about the status of the smaller islands such as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands in relation to the United Kingdom, let alone foreign possessions (or whatever you call them) such as Gibraltar and the Falklands.

    A more useful distinction that people often get wrong is between Britain the island and the British Isles.

    Britain - is the geographic island that consists of Scotland, England and Wales.

    British Isles - is the archipelago that includes Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Orkney, Shetlands, Isle of Wight, and other small islands between the Atlantic and the North Sea.

    So Dublin, Belfast, Lerwick and Douglas are in the British Isles, but they are not on Britain, whereas London, Edinburgh and Cardiff are on both.

    Apparently there are 194 inhabitied islands in the British Isles. Britain is the largest but there are many more. Here is a list:


  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    in Oz they speak Strine

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    i live on the Isle of Wight--an island just offshore from southern England---not far from Portsmouth and Southampton. Portsmouth is known as Pompey. Sothampton is scumamton.

    but i was born in Birmingham, UK pronounced burbigubb. try it--just hold your nose as you say it. also abbreviated to B'ham.

  • stan livedeath
    stan livedeath

    the biggest nonsense is where the new watchtower has been erected--warwick...pronounced in the US as WAR_WICK.

    FFS its WORRICK--the county town of the county of Warwickshire--in England.. Famous for Shakespeare..and a lot older than the USA.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Great Britain is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, etc). The UK includes Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the isle of Man, Gibraltar and the Falklands.

    People from Man (Mannin, Ellan Vannin) are called Manx. They used to speak their own language that had similarities with Irish and Scottish Gaelic. It was called Gaelg. There has been a language revival in recent decades.

    People from Wales (Cymru) are called Welsh (Cymry). Some 500,000 speak Welsh (Cymraeg), all are bilingual.

    Cornwall (Kernow) is not only a county like Kent; it is also a duchy. The people, called Cornish (Kernowyon), used to have their own language (Kernowek) which was similar to Welsh. Like the Manx language, Cornish has seen a revival. It is the first language of a few thousand Cornish people.

    People from Newcastle are called Geordies.

    People from Glasgow are called Glaswegians.

    People from Shetland are called Shetlanders. People from Orkney are called Orcadians. Both Shetland and Orkney were part of Norway until about 1450. The local folk used to speak a Scandinavian language called Norn. This died out in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    People from Dublin (Rep of Ireland or Eire) are called Dubliners.

    People from Liverpool are called Liverpudlians or Scousers.

    People from Manchester are called Mancunians. The 'Man' element might have the same etymology as the Man in the isle of Man and the Welsh name for Anglesea - Ynys Mon. I read somewhere that Man might've been a Celtic deity.

    People from Birmingham are called Brummies.

    Not all Londoners are true Cockneys - traditionally that name is only given to people born within earshot of Bow Bells.

  • slimboyfat

    People often say Britain or Great Britain when they mean the United Kingdom. Whether this is just common useage or plain wrong I guess depends on your perspective. Even the Olympic team from the United Kingdom is called "Great Britain", which some people think is fine, and other people think is wrong or stupid or both. Because strictly speaking "Great Britain" notionally excludes people from Norther Ireland, and other islands, that compete as part of the "Great Britain" team.

    Incidentally the term "Great Britain" was originally intended to distinguish the island of Britain from the smaller region of France called Brittany. It was not intended to imply "greatness" as such, imperial or otherwise, as some have taken it mean; most commonly as in the embarrassing phrase: "Britain didn't become 'great' by... accepting orders from Brussels", or whatever else the person has a bee in their bonnet over.

  • cofty

    United Kingdom is an abbreviation for The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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