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The meaning of the word "British"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by WillJ, May 18, 2004.

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What does "British" mean to you?

  1. Relating to the British Isles.

    7.4%
  2. Relating to Great Britain.

    24.7%
  3. Relating to the United Kingdom.

    40.7%
  4. Relating to England.

    9.9%
  5. I really don't know. Why must the British be so goddamn confusing with their political divisions of

    7.4%
  6. Relating to anyone that enjoys smoking pipes while sitting in finely-uppholstered chairs and strokin

    9.9%
  1. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Even dictionary.com seems to be divided on this issue. So how do you use the word?

    Edit: Just for clarification:

    BRITISH ISLES: the island of Ireland (which includes the Irish state and Northern Ireland) and the island of Great Britain
    GREAT BRITAIN: the island that includes England, Wales, and Scotland
    UNITED KINGDOM: the state that includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
    ENGLAND: a politcal division of the UK that is somewhat autonomous in ways I am not perfectly sure about, but I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about anyway
     
  2. MrPresident

    MrPresident Anglo-Saxon Liberal

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    Depends what context it is used. British can mean the inhabitants of Great Britain or the inhabitants of the United Kingdom. It also confusingly used to mean England, as if when people refer to a 'British accent', by which they mean an upper-class English accent.
     
  3. Goober

    Goober Turning Right ...

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    I take it to mean English, or live in England.
     
  4. Hitro

    Hitro Feistus Raclettus

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    Relating to Great Britain, basically. But MrP pointed out that this isn't always how people mean it...
     
  5. SeleucusNicator

    SeleucusNicator Diadoch

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    What's the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?
     
  6. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    Great Britain, since I don't naturally associate Northern Ireland with the British stereotype, and there's already an adjective for England.
     
  7. Hitro

    Hitro Feistus Raclettus

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    @Seleucus: Northern Ireland.
     
  8. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    The UK is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Great Britain is the UK, minus Northern Ireland (its a political thing). The British Isles is the UK plus all of Ireland (It's geographical).
     
  9. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Just for clarification:

    BRITISH ISLES: the island of Ireland (which includes the Irish state and Northern Ireland) and the island of Great Britain
    GREAT BRITAIN: the island that includes England, Whales, and Scotland
    UNITED KINGDOM: the state that includes England, Whales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
    ENGLAND: a politcal division of the UK that is somewhat autonomous in ways I am not perfectly sure about

    Edit: Others (somewhat) beat me to it. I must now kill myself in shame.
    Edit2: I have now edited this into the first post.
     
  10. Ossric

    Ossric Hedonistic Ruler

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    i guess the best way to remember the diff. between UK & GBR is to think of "Rule Brittania" as in the island Brittania..
     
  11. SeleucusNicator

    SeleucusNicator Diadoch

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    My dialect doesn't recognize a distinction between "Great Britain" and "The United Kingdom", but I'll try to keep in mind that those of others do.

    I use the terms interchangeably and use the adjective "British" for them. That always includes Northern Ireland.
     
  12. MrPresident

    MrPresident Anglo-Saxon Liberal

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    England is a country in its own right. However it is within the unitary state of the United Kingdom. Therefore England has its own national sports teams (except in Rugby League and athetics) but does not have any political institutions of its own, unlike Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
     
  13. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Well, I know that "British" should refer to the whole Isles, but for me it means something related to United Kingdom.
     
  14. Enkidu Warrior

    Enkidu Warrior Ultramagnetic

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    Great Britain and whomever chooses to refer to themselves in this way in Northern Ireland.
     
  15. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Er, Northern Ireland is part of the British Isles.

    Edit: Never mind; I see you've corrected yourself. :)
     
  16. Enkidu Warrior

    Enkidu Warrior Ultramagnetic

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    :blush: I managed to correct my silly mistake before the forums registered it but not quick enough to beat you.
     
  17. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    What do any of those things have to do with the topic? And why are Americans so obsessed with the Empire? It's not a healthy obsession! Britons are far less interested: Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
     
  18. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    For me it's the UK.
    But I do recognise that the Irish are as british as the rest.
     
  19. phoenix_night

    phoenix_night Chieftain

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    :rolleyes:

    What? How you can not recognise them? They are two different things, universally as far as I know...Great Britain simply does not refer to Northern Ireland...that's why it's called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland...get it? The union of Britain and Northern Ireland...
     
  20. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    I'm surprised RealGoober voted England, you silly Briton ;)

    From Dictionary.com

    1. Of or relating to Great Britain or its people, language, or culture.
    2. Of or relating to the United Kingdom.
    3. Of or relating to the Commonwealth of Nations.
    4. Of or relating to the ancient [celtic] Britons.

    I guess that means both 1 & 2 are correct; 3 & 4 were not options in the poll.
     

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