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The terminology of the British Isles
British Isles
refers to the various words and phrases that are used to describe the different (and sometimes overlapping) geographical and political areas of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, and the smaller islands which surround them. The terminology is often a source of confusion, partly owing to the similarity between some of the actual words used, but also because they are often used loosely. In addition, many of the words carry both geographical and political connotations which are affected by the history of the islands. The purpose of this article is to explain the meanings of and relationships among the terms in use; however many of these classifications are contentious and are the subject of disagreement (See the British Isles
British Isles
naming dispute).

Contents

1 Summary

1.1 Visual guide

2 Terminology in detail 3 Geographical distinctions

3.1 The British Isles

3.1.1 Great Britain 3.1.2 Ireland 3.1.3 Isle of Man 3.1.4 Channel Islands

4 Political terms in more detail

4.1 The United Kingdom 4.2 Ireland 4.3 British Islands

5 Historical aspects

5.1 Romans 5.2 Mediaeval
Mediaeval
period 5.3 Renaissance mapmakers 5.4 18th and 19th centuries 5.5 Evolution of kingdoms and states

6 Adjectives 7 Problems with use of terms

7.1 British Isles 7.2 England 7.3 Europe 7.4 Great Britain 7.5 Ireland 7.6 Ulster

8 Further information

8.1 Isle of Man
Isle of Man
and Channel Islands 8.2 Celtic names 8.3 Terms for the British Isles
British Isles
in the Irish language

9 Slang 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

Summary[edit] The use of terminology depends on context; words and phrases can generally be grouped into four main areas: geographical, political, linguistic and sporting terms. In brief, the main terms and their simple explanations are as follows:

Geographical terms:

The British Isles
British Isles
is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
off the coast of Continental Europe. It includes Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Shetland, Orkney, and thousands of smaller islands. Traditionally the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
are included, though these specific islands are geographically closer to mainland continental Europe, being positioned off the French coast of Normandy. This, in part, has resulted in the term being disputed.[1][2]

Great Britain
Great Britain
is the largest island of the archipelago.[3][4][5] Ireland
Ireland
is the second largest island of the archipelago and lies directly to the west of Great Britain. The island of Ireland
Ireland
itself has its own list of Irish Isles. The full list of islands of the British Isles
British Isles
includes over 6,000 islands,[6] of which 51 have an area larger than 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi).

Political terms:

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
is the constitutional monarchy occupying the island of Great Britain, the small nearby islands (but not the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
or the Channel Islands), and the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland. Usually, it is shortened to United Kingdom
United Kingdom
or the UK, though Britain is also an officially recognised short form. "Great Britain" is sometimes used as a short form, and is the name used by the UK in some international organisations.[7] The abbreviation GB is frequently used for the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
in international agreements, e.g. Universal Postal Union
Universal Postal Union
and Road Traffic Convention, as well as in the ISO 3166 country codes (GB and GBR). "England" was also formerly used synecdochically to refer to the whole United Kingdom, but this usage became rare early in the 20th century. Ireland
Ireland
is the sovereign republic occupying the larger portion of the island of Ireland. However, to distinguish the state from the island, or to distinguish either of these from Northern Ireland, it is also called "the Republic
Republic
of Ireland" or simply "the Republic". Occasionally, its Irish-language name, Éire
Éire
(or Eire without the diacritic), will be used in an English-language context to distinguish it from "Northern Ireland", even though the word Éire
Éire
directly translates as "Ireland". England, Scotland, Wales
Wales
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
are the four countries of the United Kingdom, though they are also referred to, especially in sporting contexts, as the home nations of the United Kingdom. England
England
and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland
Ireland
are legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom.[8] Great Britain
Great Britain
means the countries of England, Wales
Wales
and Scotland considered as a unit.[9][10] British Islands
British Islands
consists of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. These are the polities within the British Isles that have the British monarch
British monarch
as head of state.

Linguistic terms:

The two sovereign states in the region, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Ireland, are frequently referred to as countries. So too are England, Wales, Scotland
Scotland
and, to a lesser extent, Northern Ireland
Ireland
(as is the whole island of Ireland). British is an adjective pertaining to the United Kingdom; for example, a citizen of the UK is called a British citizen—but for citizenship purposes "British" includes the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
and the Isle of Man. Anglo- is often used as an adjectival prefix referring to the United Kingdom (notwithstanding that its original meaning is "English") particularly in the field of diplomatic relations. It can also refer to the English language, to anglophone peoples and can have a variety of other shades of meaning. Wales
Wales
is sometimes called the Principality
Principality
of Wales, although this has no modern constitutional basis. Northern Ireland
Ireland
is often referred to as a province or called Ulster, after the traditional Irish province of Ulster
Ulster
within which it is located.

Sport

Forms of national representation vary from sport to sport. England, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
often compete separately as nations.[11] In some sports—such as rugby and cricket—the island of Ireland
Ireland
competes as a nation; in others, most notably association football, Northern Ireland
Ireland
and the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
field separate teams. In these contexts England, Scotland, Wales
Wales
and Ireland/Northern Ireland
Ireland
are sometimes described as the home nations. Rugby union
Rugby union
players from both Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain
Great Britain
play for British and Irish Lions
British and Irish Lions
representing the four "Home Unions" of England, Ireland, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales. Great Britain
Great Britain
is sometimes used to mean United Kingdom. For example, at the Olympic Games, the team called "Great Britain" represents Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[12][13] However, athletes from Northern Ireland
Ireland
have, by virtue of their entitlement to dual nationality, the choice of participating in either the Great Britain
Great Britain
team or the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
team.[13] In the majority of individual sports (e.g. tennis and athletics), at international level competitors are identified as GB if they are from Great Britain
Great Britain
or Northern Ireland. A small number of sports (e.g. golf, darts, snooker) identify participants as representing their constituent country. In the Commonwealth Games, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales
Wales
each compete as separate nations, as do each of the three Crown Dependencies ( Ireland
Ireland
is not part of the Commonwealth and is not eligible to participate).

Visual guide[edit] Below is a visual reference guide to some of the main concepts and territories described in this article:

The British Isles

The British Islands

The United Kingdom

Great Britain
Great Britain
(island)

Ireland
Ireland
(island)

England

Scotland

Wales

Republic
Republic
of Ireland

Northern Ireland

The Isle of Man

The Channel Islands
Channel Islands
(Jersey, Guernsey)

Terminology in detail[edit]

Britain is a political and geographic term which can refer to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland,[14] or the island of Great Britain. Great Britain
Great Britain
is the largest island in Europe
Europe
and the political union of three nations, these being:

England
England
and Wales
Wales
is a political and administrative term referring to the two home countries of England
England
and Wales, which share the same legal system. Between 1746 and 1967 the term "England" did legally include Wales.

England
England
(see also the historical Kingdom of England). Wales
Wales
(see also the historical Principality
Principality
of Wales).

Scotland
Scotland
(see also the historical Kingdom of Scotland)

The historical Kingdom of Great Britain
Great Britain
is Britain for the period 1707–1801. Britannia
Britannia
is the Roman province of Britain, or a poetic reference to later Britain, or a personification of Britain.

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, usually shortened to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(abbreviation UK), is the sovereign state comprising Great Britain
Great Britain
plus Northern Ireland
Ireland
since 1927. (The Partition of Ireland
Ireland
took place in 1922, but the consequent change in the official title of the UK was only made by Act of Parliament five years later.) The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland is often shortened to Britain, even on official websites.[15][16] A proposal to rename the political entity as the " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ulster" was formally recommended by civil servants to the Cabinet in 1949 but ultimately rejected.[17]

The historical United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland
Ireland
was Great Britain plus Ireland, for the period 1801 to 1922, although the name change after the secession of the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
only took place in 1927.

N.B.: While "United Kingdom" is normally abbreviated UK, the official ISO 3166 two-letter country code is GB and the three letter code is GBR ( Ukraine
Ukraine
has the two letter code UA and the three letter code UKR). Due to a pre-existing convention originating in the UK's JANET academic computer network,[18] the UK's Internet top-level domain is .uk, a break from the TCP/IP
TCP/IP
practice of following ISO 3166 (a .gb domain has also been used to a limited extent in the past but is now defunct). GB is also used on car number plates to indicate the United Kingdom.

Ireland
Ireland
(in Irish, Éire) refers, geographically, to the island of Ireland, or to any of the following:

Historically:

The Kingdom of Ireland
Ireland
was Ireland
Ireland
for the period 1541–1801. (The King of Ireland
Ireland
remained Head of State in the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
and Ireland/ Éire
Éire
until the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1948 abolished that status). The Irish Republic, established by the Irish Declaration of Independence, was a 32-county republic encompassing the entire island, during the period 1919–22—though its de facto rule did not encompass all of the island. During this period, according to British law, Ireland
Ireland
remained part of the UK though its independence was recognised by Russia. Southern Ireland
Ireland
was a proposed Home Rule 26-county state under the Government of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1920. It never came into practical existence, being superseded by: The Irish Free State
Irish Free State
is Ireland
Ireland
excepting Northern Ireland
Ireland
during the period 1922–37.

Present:

Ireland
Ireland
(in Irish, Éire) is the political entity consisting of the island of Ireland
Ireland
excepting Northern Ireland, 1937–present. This is the name of the state according to the Irish Constitution and the United Nations. The Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
is a commonly used description of Ireland excepting Northern Ireland, 1949–present. It is also the name used by the international Association Football
Association Football
team.

The terms Irish Republic, Southern Ireland, the Irish Free State, the Free State, the 26 Counties and Éire
Éire
(in English-language texts) have been used synonymously with the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. Of these, Southern Ireland
Ireland
and Irish Free State, in particular, are seen as outdated. "Eire" (spelt without the Irish fada) was the British legal spelling from the Eire (Confirmation of Agreements) Act 1938
Eire (Confirmation of Agreements) Act 1938
until the Ireland
Ireland
Act 1949, and informally for some years after.

Northern Ireland
Ireland
1922–present. That part of the island of Ireland northeast of the line of partition of 1922, and which is still part of the United Kingdom. Various alternative names have been used or proposed for Northern Ireland. It is sometimes referred to as "the North of Ireland", "the Six Counties" or (in extremist usage) the "occupied six counties", especially by Irish Nationalists. Ulster. The name of one of Ireland's four traditional provinces. The area contains nine northern counties, six of which make up Northern Ireland, and three of which are part of the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. It is also often used by Unionists to refer to the smaller Northern Ireland. Though Ulster
Ulster
has not been a political entity since the ancient Gaelic provincial kingdoms, it remains associated with a geographical area and is used in sporting and cultural contexts. See Ulster (other).

In sport

In Gaelic games, no distinction is recognised between the GAA counties of the Republic
Republic
and those of Northern Ireland. County teams play in their provincial championships (where the six counties of Ulster within Northern Ireland
Ireland
and three within the Republic
Republic
all play in the Ulster
Ulster
championship) and the winners of these play in the All-Ireland championship. Even within Northern Ireland, a tricolour, the flag of the Republic
Republic
of Ireland, is flown at all games. At bigger games, where an anthem is played, it is always the national anthem of the Republic. In the case of the International Rules series against Australia, an Irish national team is chosen from all 32 counties. In Association Football, the teams correspond to political entities: Northern Ireland
Ireland
and the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. In accordance with UEFA and FIFA's rules, each of these countries has its own football league: the Irish League and the League of Ireland
Ireland
respectively. In rugby union, rugby league, field hockey, cricket, boxing, golf, athletics and others the Ireland
Ireland
team is drawn from the whole island (i.e. both the Republic
Republic
and Northern Ireland). Many sports organisations are subdivided along provincial lines e.g. Gaelic Athletic Association, golf.

The British Isles
British Isles
is a term used to mean the island of Great Britain plus the island of Ireland
Ireland
and many smaller surrounding islands, including the Isle of Man
Isle of Man
and, in some contexts, the Channel Islands ( Guernsey
Guernsey
and Jersey). See British Isles
British Isles
naming dispute for details of the conflict over use of this term. Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland, or variants like "Britain and Ireland" or "The UK and Ireland" are sometimes used as alternatives to the term British Isles. Anglo-Celtic Isles is an alternative term (in limited use) for the geographic region comprising Britain & Ireland, more commonly referred to as the 'British Isles'. ' Anglo-Celtic Islands' is a derivative of this. It is intended as a geographic term free of any political implication and uses the macro-cultural grouping term Anglo-Celtic, referring to the peoples from which the majority of the island group's population are descended—the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
and the Celts (it can also be inclusive of the Anglo-Normans). Islands of the North Atlantic is another suggested replacement term for 'British Isles', without the same political connotations. However, its convolution and impracticality due to implying inclusion of fellow North Atlantic islands such as Iceland have made it unworkable and it has not come into common use. The term was used as part of the Strand 3 level of negotiations for the Belfast agreement. (Its acronym, IONA, is also the name of the small but historically important island of Iona
Iona
off the coast of Scotland.) British Islands
British Islands
(a legal term not in common usage) is the UK, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Brittany, itself a corruption of 'Britain', and sometimes formerly known as 'Little Britain' is a historical Duchy in the West of France, now a French region; for this modern administrative sense, see Brittany
Brittany
(administrative region).

Geographical distinctions[edit] The British Isles[edit]

The British Isles
British Isles
is a group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
off the coast of Continental Europe. It includes Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Shetland, Orkney, and thousands of smaller islands. Traditionally the Channel Islands, are included, however these specific islands are geographically part of mainland continental Europe, as they are positioned off the French coast of Normandy. The term is disputed (see British Isles
British Isles
naming dispute).

Great Britain[edit]

Great Britain
Great Britain
is the largest of the British Isles. On Great Britain are located three constituent countries of the United Kingdom: Scotland
Scotland
in the north, England
England
in the south and east and Wales
Wales
in the west. There are also numerous smaller islands off its coast (not coloured red on the attached map) that are administered as part of England, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales. The inclusion of these smaller islands means political 'Great Britain' covers a slightly larger area than the island of Great Britain.

Ireland[edit]

The second largest island in the group is Ireland. Most of the island is in the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. The north east of the island (Northern Ireland) is part of the United Kingdom. There are also numerous smaller islands off the coast of Ireland.

Isle of Man[edit]

The Isle of Man
Isle of Man
lies between Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. It is governed as a British Crown dependency, having its own parliament, but with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
responsible for its defence and external relations.

Channel Islands[edit]

Although the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
are associated with the United Kingdom politically as Crown dependencies, they are geographically an outcrop of the nearby French mainland (specifically, the Armorican massif), and historically they are the last remaining parts of the Duchy of Normandy, the Duke of Normandy
Normandy
being a title belonging to the British monarch.

Political terms in more detail[edit] The United Kingdom[edit]

A UK passport

The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
is the official full title of the state. This name appears on official documentation such as British passports. For convenience, the name is usually shortened to United Kingdom, UK or Britain.[9] The United Kingdom
United Kingdom
is a sovereign state. Its four constituent countries are sometimes considered to be of different status. This view may be supported by the existence of devolved governments with different levels of power in Scotland, Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Wales
Wales
(see Asymmetrical federalism). Wales
Wales
is also often erroneously[19] described as a principality of the United Kingdom. The title of Prince of Wales
Wales
is usually given to the heir apparent to the British throne
British throne
but it has no political or other role in respect of Wales. The International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) has defined Wales
Wales
as a "country" rather than a "principality" since 2011, following a recommendation by the British Standards Institute and the Welsh Government.[20] Northern Ireland
Ireland
is sometimes described by United Kingdom
United Kingdom
citizens as a province of the United Kingdom, which derives from the Irish province of Ulster, of which Northern Ireland
Ireland
is a part. Northern Ireland
Ireland
also had, until 1972, a far greater degree of self-government than the other constituent parts of the UK. Great Britain
Great Britain
is both a geographical and a political entity. Geographically, it is one island, but as a political entity it also includes the smaller offshore islands that are administered as part of its constituent nations – England, Wales
Wales
and Scotland
Scotland
– such as England's Isle of Wight, Wales' Anglesey
Anglesey
and Scotland's Inner Hebrides, Outer Hebrides, Orkney
Orkney
Islands and Shetland
Shetland
Islands. The abbreviation GB is sometimes officially used for the United Kingdom, for example in the Olympics, or as the vehicle registration plate country identification code for UK-registered cars (see also British car number plates). SCO in Scotland, CYM for Wales
Wales
(Cymru), NI for Northern Ireland, or ENG for England
England
can also be used.[21] The internet code .gb, although allocated to the UK, is virtually unused and UK web domains use .uk. The four constituent parts of the UK are also known, particularly in sporting contexts, as Home Nations
Home Nations
or the "Four Nations". The BBC refers to its UK-wide broadcasting operation as Nations and Regions [22] ("regions" referring to geographic regions of England. Thus the UK naming conventions tend towards describing distinct regions or nations which exist within a single sovereign state. In sport, the UK Nations mostly have their own separate national teams – England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, for example in football. Sporting contests between the Four Nations are known as "Home internationals" (an example is the British Home Championship in football). The governing body for football in Northern Ireland
Ireland
is called the Irish Football Association
Irish Football Association
(the IFA), having been in existence since some forty years before Partition. Its counterpart in the Republic (plus Derry City FC) is the Football Association of Ireland
Ireland
(the FAI). The Northern Ireland
Ireland
national team retained the name "Ireland" for some fifty years after partition. Since around 1970 the two teams have been consistently referred to as "Northern Ireland" and " Republic
Republic
of Ireland" respectively. The UK competes as Great Britain
Great Britain
at the Olympic Games. According to the Olympic Charter the Olympic Council of Ireland represents the entire island of Ireland.[23] Olympic athletes from Northern Ireland
Ireland
may choose whether to represent the UK or the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. Since the Good Friday Agreement
Good Friday Agreement
and the subsequent implementation legislation, sporting organisation (and several other organisations, e.g. tourism, Irish Gaelic
Irish Gaelic
and Ulster
Ulster
Scots language
Scots language
boards) on the island of Ireland
Ireland
has increasingly been cross-border. Citizens of the UK are called British, Brits, Britons or Britisher (archaic). The term Unionists may also be used, sometimes pejoratively, for example by supporters of Scottish independence
Scottish independence
when referring to supporters of the Union. Some older slang names for Britons are Tommy (for British soldiers) and Anglo. Anglo
Anglo
properly refers only to England, but it is sometimes used as a broader reference as an element in compound adjectives: for example, "Anglo-French relations" may be used in newspaper articles when referring to relations between the political entities France
France
and the United Kingdom. Anglo-Saxon may be used (particularly in Continental European languages) when referring to the whole English-speaking world. Ireland[edit] Main article: Names of the Irish state

An Irish passport

Since the adoption of the Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
in 1937, Ireland
Ireland
has been the English name of the state which covers approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The name Éire
Éire
is used when writing in Irish. Since the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
Act 1948, the term " Republic
Republic
of Ireland" is the term used as the additional description of the state. This term is useful in avoiding ambiguity between the name of the island and the name of the state. However, the term "Ireland" is always used in formal diplomatic contexts such as the European Union
European Union
or the United Nations. The passport of the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
bears the name Éire – Ireland. Before the introduction of the 1937 constitution and the new name, the Irish Free State
Irish Free State
occupied the same territory as the modern state of Ireland. The Irish Free State
Irish Free State
became an autonomous dominion of the British Empire
British Empire
in 1922 when it seceded from the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
through the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The King ceased to be its Head of State in 1936 and the state ceased to be a Dominion
Dominion
and left the Commonwealth in 1948. Traditionally, the island of Ireland
Ireland
is divided into four provinces – Leinster, Connacht, Munster
Munster
and Ulster, with each of the provinces further divided into counties. The Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
takes up 83% of the island, twenty-six of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland. Northern Ireland
Ireland
takes up the remaining area, six of the traditional nine counties of Ulster. On the island of Ireland
Ireland
the naming of places often raises political issues. The usage of "Ireland" as the official name of the state causes offence to some Unionists in Northern Ireland, who believe it implies that the state still has a territorial claim to the whole island – the terminology of " Republic
Republic
of Ireland" or "Éire" is much preferred by Northern Irish unionists when referring to that political state. Similarly, some Nationalists in Northern Ireland
Ireland
also prefer to reserve the usage of "Ireland" to refer to the whole island. In Northern Ireland, Irishness is a highly contested identity, with fundamentally different perceptions of national identity between unionists (who generally perceive themselves as being British) and nationalists (who generally consider both communities to be part of the Irish nation).[24] The Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
is often referred to by the Nationalist and Republican communities by the term "the Twenty-six Counties", with the connotation that the state constituted as such forms only a portion of the ideal political unit of the Irish Republic, which would consist of all of the thirty-two counties into which the island is divided. The term "the Six Counties" (of Northern Ireland) is also used. Other Nationalist terms in use include "the North of Ireland" and "the North". These latter are terms also used by the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ.[citation needed] More extreme terms for Northern Ireland
Ireland
include "the occupied six counties" or "occupied Ireland", which are often used by people who reject the idea of Northern Ireland as a separate entity from the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. The Irish passport
Irish passport
is available to Irish citizens and can also be applied for abroad through Irish Consular services and the local Irish Embassy. As per the Irish nationality law, any person born on the island of Ireland
Ireland
before 2005, or otherwise a first generation descendant of such a person, is allowed to apply for an Irish passport. As such, people born in Northern Ireland
Ireland
and their children may be Irish citizens and hold an Irish passport
Irish passport
if they choose. British Islands[edit]

A Jersey
Jersey
passport

Under the Interpretation Act 1978 of the United Kingdom, the legal term British Islands
British Islands
(as opposed to the geographical term British Isles) refers to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland, together with the Crown dependencies: the Bailiwicks of Jersey
Jersey
and of Guernsey
Guernsey
(which in turn includes the smaller islands of Alderney, Herm
Herm
and Sark) in the Channel Islands; and the Isle of Man. Special
Special
British passports are issued to citizens of the Crown dependencies. On the front of passports issued to residents of the Crown dependencies, the words " United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland" are replaced with "British Islands" followed by the name of the issuing state or island. This design applies to Jersey passport, Guernsey
Guernsey
passport and Isle of Man
Isle of Man
passport. Like UK passports, Crown dependency
Crown dependency
also bear the title "European Union" for customs purposes. However, Crown dependency
Crown dependency
citizens who have no family ties to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
are granted a special limited "Islander Status" under EU law (article 6 of Protocol 3 in the Treaty of Accession of the UK to the European Community).[25][26]

Historical aspects[edit] Further information: Britain (name) Some suggest an early known for the term might be from ancient Greek writings. Though some of the original texts have been lost, excerpts were quoted or paraphrased by later authors. Parts of the Massaliote Periplus, a merchants' handbook describing searoutes of the sixth century BC, were used in translation in the writings of Avienus around AD 400. Ireland
Ireland
was referred to as Ierne (Insula sacra, the sacred island, as the Greeks interpreted it) "inhabited by the race of Hiberni" (gens hiernorum), and Britain as insula Albionum, "island of the Albions".[27] Several sources from around 150 BC to AD 70 include fragments of the travel writings of the ancient Greek Pytheas
Pytheas
around 320 BC, use the terms Albion
Albion
and Ierne[28][29] and have been described as referring to the British Isles, including Ireland, as the Prettanic or Brettanic Islands (Βρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι) or as αἱ Βρεττανιαι, literally "the Britains".[27][29][30] Greek writers called the peoples of these islands the Πρεττανοί, later Bρεττανοί (alternative spellings of this and of all relative words have a single tau or a double nu), a name that possibly corresponds to the Priteni.[27] These names may have derived from a "Celtic language" term which may have reached Pytheas
Pytheas
from the Gauls[30] who may have used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands. The Romans called the inhabitants of Gaul
Gaul
(modern France) Galli or Celtae, the latter term deriving from the Greek name Κελτοί for a central European people. Antiquarians of the seventeenth century who found language connections developed the idea of a race of Celts inhabiting the islands, but this term was not used by the Greeks or Romans for the inhabitants of Britain or Ireland,[31] nor is there any record of the inhabitants of the British Isles
British Isles
referring to themselves as such. Nevertheless, Roman administration later incorporated the province of Britannia
Britannia
into the praetorian prefecture of Gaul, in common with Hispania, which had Celtiberians. Armorica, where the Bretons would settle[when?], was part of Gallia Celtica, so there were tertiary relations between the Britons and Gallic Celts at least. In addition, the Parisii of Gallia Celtica are thought to have founded Aldborough in Britain. Belgae
Belgae
and Silures
Silures
also came from Gallic areas, although not strictly "Celtic", but from Gallia Belgica and Aquitainia. Priteni is the source of the Welsh language
Welsh language
term Prydain, Britain,[30] and has the same source as the Goidelic term Cruithne. The latter referred to the early Brythonic speaking inhabitants of the Scottish highlands and the north of Scotland,[30] who are known as the Cruithne in Scottish Gaelic, and who the Romans called Picts
Picts
or Caledonians. Romans[edit]

Roman Britain
Roman Britain
in 410

Caesar's invasions of Britain
Caesar's invasions of Britain
brought descriptions of the peoples of what he called Britannia
Britannia
pars interior, "inland Britain", in 55 BC. Throughout Book
Book
4 of his Geography, Strabo
Strabo
is consistent in spelling the island Britain (transliterated) as Prettanikē; he uses the terms Prettans or Brettans loosely to refer to the islands as a group – a common generalisation used by classical geographers. For example, in Geography 2.1.18, …οι νοτιώτατοι των Βρεττανών βορειότεροι τούτων εισίν ("…the most southern of the Brettans are further north than this").[32] He was writing around AD 10, although the earliest surviving copy of his work dates from the 6th century. Pliny the Elder writing around AD 70 uses a Latin
Latin
version of the same terminology in section 4.102 of his Naturalis Historia. He writes of Great Britain: Albion
Albion
ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britanniae vocarentur omnes de quibus mox paulo dicemus. (" Albion
Albion
was its own name, when all [the islands] were called the Britannias; I will speak of them in a moment"). In the following section, 4.103, Pliny enumerates the islands he considers to make up the Britannias, listing Great Britain, Ireland, and many smaller islands. In his Geography written in the mid 2nd century and probably describing the position around AD 100,[30] Ptolemy
Ptolemy
includes both Great Britain
Great Britain
(Albion) and Ireland
Ireland
(Iwernia) in the so called Bretanic island group. He entitles Book
Book
II, Chapter 1 of as Iwernia, Bretanic Island, and Chapter 2 as Alwion [sic], Bretanic Island.[33] The name Albion
Albion
for Great Britain
Great Britain
fell from favour, and the island was described in Greek as Πρεττανία or Βρεττανία, in Latin
Latin
Britannia, an inhabitant as Βρεττανός, Britannus, with the adjective Βρεττανικός, Britannicus, equating to "British".[27] With the Roman conquest of Britain
Roman conquest of Britain
the name Britannia was used for the province of Roman Britain. The Emperor Claudius
Claudius
was honoured with the agnomen Britannicus as if he were the conqueror, and coins were struck from AD 46 inscribed DE BRITAN, DE BRITANN, DE BRITANNI, or DE BRITANNIS. With the visit of Hadrian
Hadrian
in AD 121 coins introduced a female figure with the label BRITANNIA as a personification or goddess of the place. These and later Roman coins introduced the seated figure of Britannia
Britannia
which would be reintroduced in the 17th century.[34] In the later years of Roman rule Britons who left Latin
Latin
inscriptions, both at home and elsewhere in the Empire, often described themselves as Brittanus or Britto, and where describing their citizenship gave it as cives of a British tribe or of a patria (homeland) of Britannia, not Roma.[27] From the 4th century, many Britons migrated from Roman Britain across the English Channel
English Channel
and founded Brittany. Mediaeval
Mediaeval
period[edit]

Map of Britain with part of Ireland
Ireland
in 802

Hereford Mappa Mundi with the isles in the lower left hand corner.

While Latin
Latin
remained the language of learning, from the early mediaeval period records begin to appear in native languages. The earliest indigenous source to use a collective term for the archipelago is the Life of Saint Columba, a hagiography recording the missionary activities of the sixth century Irish monk Saint Columba among the peoples of what is now Scotland. It was written in the late seventh century by Adomnán of Iona, an Irish monk living on the Inner Hebridean island. The collective term for the archipelago used within this work is Oceani Insulae meaning "Islands of the Ocean" ( Book
Book
2, 46 in the Sharpe edition = Book
Book
2, 47 in Reeves edition), it is used sparingly and no Priteni-derived collective reference is made. Another early native source to use a collective term is the Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum of Bede
Bede
written in the early eighth century. The collective term for the archipelago used within this work is insularum meaning "islands" ( Book
Book
1, 8) and it too is used sparingly. He stated that Britain "studies and confesses one and the same knowledge of the highest truth in the tongues of five nations, namely the Angles, the Britons, the Scots, the Picts, and the Latins", distinguishing between the Brythonic languages
Brythonic languages
of the "ancient Britons" or Old Welsh speakers and other language groups.[35] Brythonic, Saxon and Viking
Viking
kingdoms such as Strathclyde, Wessex, and Jórvík amalgamated, leading to the formation of Scotland, and England. Wales
Wales
was sometimes united under princes or kings such as Gruffydd ap Llywelyn. Between 854 and 1171, a kingship of Ireland
Ireland
was established by kings of the regional kingdoms such as Máel Sechnaill mac Máele Ruanaid, Toirdelbach Ua Briain, Muirchertach Mac Lochlainn, and Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, something not achieved in Britain until 1707. In subsequent Norman Ireland, local lords gained considerable autonomy from the Lordship of Ireland
Ireland
until it became the Kingdom of Ireland
Ireland
under direct English rule. Renaissance mapmakers[edit]

The 1654 Blaeu Atlas of Scotland, Insulae Albion
Albion
Et Hibernia

Abraham Ortelius
Abraham Ortelius
makes clear his understanding that England, Scotland and Ireland
Ireland
were politically separate in 1570 by the full title of his map: Angliae, Scotiae et Hiberniae, sive Britannicar. insularum descriptio ('A representation of England, Scotland
Scotland
and Ireland, or the Britannic islands'). George Lily's 1546 map divides Britain into the two kingdoms of England
England
and Scotland, with Ireland
Ireland
alongside. Some maps from this period also appear to mark Wales, and sometimes Cornwall, as separate areas within Britain, while the history of England
England
created by Polydore Vergil[36] for Henry VIII
Henry VIII
states, "The whole country of Britain is divided into four parts, whereof the one is inhabited by Englishmen, the other of Scots, the third Welshmen and the fourth of Cornish people."[37][38] Maps of the Mediaeval, Renaissance and later periods often referred to Albion. This archaic term was originally used by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
and Pliny to mean the island of Great Britain. In later centuries its meaning changed to refer only to the area we now call Scotland
Scotland
(Albany, or Alba
Alba
in Gaelic). Albion
Albion
has survived as a poetic name for Britain but it is not in everyday use. 18th and 19th centuries[edit]

A 1726 map showing "The north part of Great Britain
Great Britain
called Scotland"

Following the Acts of Union 1707, a fashion arose, particularly in Scotland, for referring to Scotland
Scotland
and England
England
as North Britain
North Britain
and South Britain respectively. These terms gained in popularity during the 19th century. The most lasting example of this usage was in the name of the North British Railway, which became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923, and in the name of the North British Hotel, built by the railway in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
in 1902, which retained the name until it reopened in 1991 as the Balmoral Hotel. Evolution of kingdoms and states[edit]

A timeline of states in the British Isles. ( Ireland
Ireland
continues to exist, but the description " Republic
Republic
of Ireland" is used as a disambiguator in this case).

The diagram on the right gives an indication of the further evolution of kingdoms and states. In 1603 the Scottish King
Scottish King
James VI inherited the English throne
English throne
as "James I of England". He styled himself as James I of Great Britain, although both states retained their sovereignty and independent parliaments, the Parliament of Scotland
Scotland
and the Parliament of England. (The term "Great Britain" itself reportedly dates from as early as 1474, and was in common usage from the mid-16th century onwards.[39]) The 1707 Act of Union united England
England
and Scotland
Scotland
in the Kingdom of Great Britain
Great Britain
under the Parliament of Great Britain, then in 1800 Ireland
Ireland
was brought under British government control by the Act of Union creating the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. Irish unrest culminated in the Irish War of Independence and the 1922 separation of the Irish Free State, which later became a republic with the name Ireland. The majority Protestant northeast continued to be part of what became the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland. British overseas territories
British overseas territories
such as Bermuda, Gibraltar
Gibraltar
and the Falkland Islands
Falkland Islands
have various relationships with the UK. The Commonwealth of Nations, initially formalised in 1931 (the British Commonwealth until 1949), is an association of independent states roughly corresponding to the former British Empire. (This has no connection with the Commonwealth of England, a short-lived republic replacing the previous kingdoms during the English Interregnum (1649–1660).) Adjectives[edit] The adjectives used to describe the contents and attributes of the various constituent parts of the British Isles
British Isles
also cause confusion. In the absence of a single adjective to refer to the United Kingdom, British is generally used to refer to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as a whole. However, in a specifically physical geographical sense, British is used to refer to the island of Great Britain.[40] The adjectival phrase Great British is very rarely used to refer to Great Britain, other than to contrive a pun on the word great, as in "Great British Food". Irish, refers to people or a characteristic "of Ireland".[41] As such, its meaning is contextual on the meaning of "Ireland" being used: it can relate both to the Irish state, and to the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland, as a constituent part of the United Kingdom, can thus be both British or Irish, reflected in the ability for residents of Northern Ireland
Ireland
to take either British or Irish citizenship.[42] In order to be more specific, Northern Irish is therefore in common usage. Members of the Nationalist communities would not describe themselves as British and would only use the terms Irish, or specifically Northern Irish where needed. The term Ulster
Ulster
can also be used as an adjective (e.g. "Royal Ulster Constabulary"), but this is more likely to be used by Unionists and has political connotations in the same fashion as its use as a proper noun (because only six of the traditional nine counties of Ulster, namely Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone, are included in Northern Ireland
Ireland
with the remaining three counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan forming part of the Republic). The term Ulsterman (or Ulsterwoman) is common and holds no such political connotation. Likewise, Nationalists might describe, say, a lake in Northern Ireland as Irish. Note that the geographical term Irish Sea
Irish Sea
thus far appears to have escaped political connotations, even though territorial control of the waters of the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
is divided between both the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
and the UK, and also includes a British Crown dependency, the Isle of Man—as yet there appears to be no controversy with the term’s usage to mirror that of "British Isles". The "Northern" in "Northern Ireland" is not completely accurate. The most northerly point on the island, Malin Head, is in the Republic
Republic
of Ireland—in County Donegal's Inishowen
Inishowen
Peninsula. Problems with use of terms[edit] British Isles[edit] Main article: British Isles
British Isles
naming dispute The dictionary definition of British Isles
British Isles
is that it is a geographical term that refers to the whole of Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain as well as the surrounding islands. It is sometimes incorrectly used as if identical to the UK;[citation needed] or to refer to Great Britain
Great Britain
and the surrounding islands, excluding the island of Ireland
Ireland
entirely.[43][44][45] The BBC
BBC
and The Times
The Times
have style guides that mandate the dictionary definition but occasional misuse can be found on their web sites.[46][47] The term British Isles
British Isles
can also be considered irritating or offensive by some[48] on the grounds that the modern association of the term British with the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
makes its application to Ireland inappropriate. The term British Isles
British Isles
can also be considered to imply a proprietary title on the entire archipelago.[49] The policy of the government of Ireland
Ireland
is that no branch of government should use the term,[50] and although it is on occasion used in a geographical sense in Irish parliamentary debates, this is often done in a way that excludes the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. In October 2006, The Times
The Times
quoted a spokesman for the Irish Embassy in London as saying that they would discourage its use.[51] During a stop-over visit to the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
in 1989, the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, indicated that he assumed Ireland's head of state was Queen Elizabeth II, given that she was the British Queen and his officials said that Ireland
Ireland
was a part of the British Isles.[52] In Northern Ireland, some nationalists reject the term and instead use these islands, these isles or "Britain and Ireland" as an alternative.[53] There have been several suggestions for replacements for the term British Isles. Although there is no single accepted replacement, the terms Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland, The British Isles
British Isles
and Ireland
Ireland
and Britain and Ireland
Ireland
are all used. England[edit]

A still from the 1943 US propaganda film series Why We Fight, which suggests that the name "England" applies to the whole of Great Britain

The word "England" is often used synecdochically to refer to Great Britain—or the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
as a whole[54][55]—which often causes offence, particularly to those from the non-English parts of Britain. In a similar way, references to England
England
as an island,[56] to an "English passport",[57] or to Scottish or Welsh places as being in England[57][58] are examples of this usage of the term "England". Because of the offence likely to be taken by Scots, Welsh and Irish at this usage, most politicians and official figures have avoided this usage since the early 20th century. However, there are frequent examples of this usage from earlier times.[59][60][61] For a long time it was common for fans of the England
England
football team to wave the British Union Flag—with the use of the specifically English St George's Cross flag only gaining popularity at the Euro 96 tournament.[57] The colloquial usage of "England" as a synonym for "Britain" is still widespread outside the UK. In Germany, the term "England" is often used to mean Great Britain
Great Britain
or even the entire United Kingdom. In many other languages, such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean, the word for "English" is synonymous with "British"—see the article on Alternative words for British for more detail. Europe[edit] The term "Europe" may be used in one of several different contexts by British and Irish people: either to refer to the whole of the European continent, to refer to only to Mainland Europe, sometimes called "continental Europe" or simply "the Continent" by some people in the archipelago. Europe
Europe
may also be used in reference to the European Union (or, historically, to the European Economic Community). A comedic treatment of the different uses of this word appears in an episode of the BBC
BBC
sitcom To the Manor Born. When tradesmen are taking measurements in metric, and Audrey fforbes-Hamilton objects on the grounds that the house was built "in feet and inches", a tradesman says "We're in Europe
Europe
now", referring to the European Economic Community. Audrey fforbes-Hamilton retorts "Well you may be, but I'm staying here!" - implying that to her, the word "Europe" referred only to mainland Europe, excluding Britain and Ireland. Great Britain[edit] The word "Great" means "larger", in comparison with Brittany
Brittany
in modern-day France. One historical term for the peninsula in France that largely corresponds to the modern French province is Lesser or Little Britain. That region was settled by many British immigrants during the period of Anglo-Saxon migration into Britain, and named "Little Britain" by them. The French term "Bretagne" now refers to the French "Little Britain", not to the British "Great Britain", which in French is called Grande-Bretagne. In classical times, the Graeco-Roman geographer Ptolemy
Ptolemy
in his Almagest
Almagest
also called the larger island megale Brettania (great Britain). At that time, it was in contrast to the smaller island of Ireland, which he called mikra Brettania (little Britain).[62] In his later work Geography, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
refers to Great Britain as Albion
Albion
and to Ireland
Ireland
as Iwernia. These "new" names were likely to have been the native names for the islands at the time. The earlier names, in contrast, were likely to have been coined before direct contact with local peoples was made.[63] Ireland[edit] The word Ireland
Ireland
has two meanings.

It is the official name of the state that occupies five sixths of the island, formally named the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. It is a geographical term for the whole island, which may be referred to as "the island of Ireland" to avoid ambiguity.

Ulster[edit]

The traditional province of Ulster
Ulster
on the island of Ireland, showing the modern-day border between the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
and Northern Ireland

The terminology and usage of the name Ulster
Ulster
in Irish and British culture varies. Many within the unionist community[64] and much of the UK press refer to Northern Ireland
Ireland
as Ulster – whereas the nationalist community refer to the traditional Irish province of Ulster, which is a nine-county entity that incorporates the three counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan (which are in the Republic) along with the counties of Armagh, Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone
Tyrone
in Northern Ireland. Thus, the word Ulster
Ulster
has two usages:

It is the name of one of the four Provinces of Ireland, consisting of the nine northern counties of the island, that was partitioned between the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(six counties) and the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
(three counties). It is an alternative name for Northern Ireland, used by many in the Unionist community. It consists of the six north-eastern counties of the island that remain part of the United Kingdom.

Further information[edit] Isle of Man
Isle of Man
and Channel Islands[edit] The Isle of Man
Isle of Man
and the two bailiwicks of the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
are Crown dependencies; that is, non-sovereign nations, self-governing but whose sovereignty is held by the British Crown. They control their own internal affairs, but not their defence or foreign relations. They are not part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
or part of the European Union.

The Isle of Man
Isle of Man
is part of the British Isles, situated in the Irish Sea between Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland. The Channel Islands
Channel Islands
consist politically of two self-governing bailiwicks: the Bailiwick of Guernsey
Guernsey
and the Bailiwick of Jersey. They are the remnants of the Duchy of Normandy, which was once in personal union with the Kingdom of England. They are sometimes, despite their location next to mainland France, considered part of the British Isles. This usage is political rather than geographic. The Isle of Man
Isle of Man
and the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
are British Islands
British Islands
in United Kingdom law.

Celtic names[edit] There are five living Celtic languages
Celtic languages
in the region. Each has names for the islands and countries of the British Isles. They are divided into two branches:

Brythonic – which includes Welsh and Cornish Goidelic – which includes Irish, Scottish Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic
and Manx

Some of the above are:

English Cornwall Wales Ireland Northern Ireland Republic
Republic
of Ireland Scotland Mann England

Cornish (Kernewek) Kernow Kembra Iwerdhon Iwerdhon Gledh Repoblek Iwerdhon Alban Manow Pow an Sawson

Welsh (Cymraeg) Cernyw Cymru Iwerddon Gogledd Iwerddon Gweriniaeth Iwerddon Yr Alban Manaw Lloegr

Irish (Gaeilge) an Chorn an Bhreatain Bheag Éire Tuaisceart Éireann Poblacht na hÉireann Albain Manainn Sasana

Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) a' Chòrn a' Chuimrigh Èirinn Èirinn a Tuath Poblachd na h-Èireann Alba Manainn Sasann

Manx (Gaelg) y Chorn Bretyn Nerin Nerin Hwoaie Pobblaght Nerin Nalbin Mannin Sostyn

The English word Welsh is from a common Germanic root meaning "Romanised foreigner" (cognate with Wallonia
Wallonia
and Wallachia, and also cognate with the word used in Mediaeval
Mediaeval
German to refer to the French and Italians).[65] The English names Albion
Albion
and Albany are related to Alba
Alba
and used poetically for either England
England
or Scotland, or the whole island of Great Britain. English Erin
Erin
is a poetic name for Ireland
Ireland
derived from Éire
Éire
(or rather, from its dative form Éirinn). Terms for the British Isles
British Isles
in the Irish language[edit] In Irish, the term Oileáin Bhriotanacha is a translation of the English term British Isles. Another translation is Oileáin Bhreataineacha, which was used in the 1937 translation from English to Irish of a 1931 geography book.[66] Earlier dictionaries[67] give Oileáin Iarthair Eorpa as the translation, literally meaning West European Isles. Today the most common term Éire
Éire
agus an Bhreatain Mhór is used, meaning literally as Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain, as provided by terminological dictionaries.[68] Slang[edit] Blighty
Blighty
is a slang word for Britain derived from the Hindustani word bilāyatī ("foreign"). Depending on the user, it is meant either affectionately or archly. It was often used by British soldiers abroad in the First World War
First World War
to refer to home. See also[edit]

Administrative geography of the United Kingdom British–Irish Council British and Irish Lions British Overseas Territories Glossary of names for the British

References[edit]

^ Alan, Lew; Colin, Hall; Dallen, Timothy (2008). World Geography of Travel and Tourism: A Regional Approach. Oxford: Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7506-7978-7. The British Isles
British Isles
comprise more than 6,000 islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe, including the countries of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
(England, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales) and Northern Ireland, and the Republic
Republic
of Ireland. The group also includes the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
crown dependencies of the Isle of Man, and by tradition, the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
(the Bailiwicks of Guernsey
Guernsey
and Jersey), even though these islands are strictly speaking an archipelago immediately off the coast of Normandy
Normandy
(France) rather than part of the British Isles.  ^ "Written Answers – Official Terms" Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine., Dáil Éireann, Volume 606, 28 September 2005. In his response, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs stated that "The British Isles
British Isles
is not an officially recognised term in any legal or inter-governmental sense. It is without any official status. The Government, including the Department of Foreign Affairs, does not use this term. Our officials in the Embassy of Ireland, London, continue to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms as set out in the Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
and in legislation. These include the name of the State, the President, Taoiseach
Taoiseach
and others." ^ "Britain", Oxford English Dictionary: "More fully Great Britain. The term Great Britain
Great Britain
includes England, Scotland
Scotland
and Wales; it does not include Northern Ireland. As a geographical and political term: (the main island and smaller offshore islands making up) England, Scotland, and Wales, sometimes with the Isle of Man" ^ New Oxford American Dictionary: "Britain: an island that consists of England, Wales, and Scotland. The name is broadly synonymous with Great Britain, but the longer form is more usual for the political unit." ^ "Britain", Oxford English Dictionary (Online Edition): "Britain: 1a – The proper name of the whole island containing England, Wales, and Scotland, with their dependencies; more fully called Great Britain; now also used for the British state or empire as a whole." ^ There are no official definitions, but Scotland
Scotland
has over 790 offshore islands – see Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 1-84195-454-3.  plus numerous freshwater islands so a complete list of the British Isles would probably have between 1,000 and 2,000 entries.[better source needed] ^ "About BOA". British Olympic Authority. Retrieved 28 February 2012.  ^ Though the statute law applicable in Wales
Wales
has diverged further from that applicable in England
England
since devolution from the UK government to the National Assembly for Wales, " England
England
and Wales" remains a single jurisdiction. ^ a b "Great Britain", New Oxford American Dictionary: "Great Britain: England, Wales, and Scotland
Scotland
considered as a unit. The name is also often used loosely to refer to the United Kingdom." ^ "Countries within a country". Number-10.gov.uk. 2003-01-10. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ World and Its Peoples, Terrytown (NY): Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2010, p. 111, In most sports, except soccer, Northern Ireland
Ireland
participates with the Republic
Republic
of Ireland
Ireland
in a combined All- Ireland
Ireland
team.  ^ British Olympic Association, Team GB retrieved 2 Jan. 2011 ^ a b 'Irish and GB in Olympic row' BBC
BBC
Sport 27 January, 2004 retrieved 1 January 2011 ^ "the term 'Britain' is used informally to mean the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
of Great Britain
Great Britain
and Northern Ireland" — quote from British Government website ^ "UK Government's "Guide to Government"". Direct.gov.uk. Archived from the original on July 14, 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ "Office for National Statistics". Statistics.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-10-05. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ British Archives, Catalogue Reference:CAB/129/32 (Memorandum by PM Attlee to Cabinet appending Working Party Report); Quoted at length on the Alternative names for Northern Ireland
Ireland
page. ^ "Electronic Mail address changes" On the transition form big-endian to little-endian notation (Dept of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Leeds ^ " Wales
Wales
FAQ Page". Wales.com. Retrieved 2011-07-03.  ^ "International body grants Wales
Wales
country status after principality error", WalesOnline, 1 August 2011, retrieved 4 May 2016  ^ BBC
BBC
News (2001-12-28). "Flag day for patriotic drivers". Retrieved 2007-10-22.  ^ BBC
BBC
Press Office. " BBC
BBC
Nations & Regions".  ^ BBC
BBC
News (2004-01-27). "Irish and GB in Olympic Row". Retrieved 2013-05-02.  ^ CAIN: Democratic Dialogue: With all due respect – pluralism and parity of esteem (Report No. 7) by Tom Hennessey and Robin Wilson, Democratic Dialogue (1997) ^ "What is Islander status?". States of Guernsey. 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2017.  ^ Jersey, States of. "Islander status and your right to live and work in Europe". www.gov.je. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2017.  ^ a b c d e Snyder, Christopher A. (2003). The Britons. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-22260-X.  ^ "Entry for Albion
Albion
a 1911 Encyclopedia". Historymedren.about.com. 2010-06-14. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ a b Greek "... ἐν τούτῳ γε μὴν νῆσοι μέγιστοι τυγχάνουσιν οὖσαι δύο, Βρεττανικαὶ λεγόμεναι, Ἀλβίων καὶ Ἰέρνη, ...", transliteration "... en toutoi ge men nesoi megistoi tynchanousin ousai dyo, Brettanikai legomenai, Albion
Albion
kai Ierne, ...", Aristotle
Aristotle
or Pseudo-Aristotle. "On the Cosmos, 393b12". On Sophistical Refutations. On Coming-to-be and Passing Away. On the Cosmos. E. S. Forster (translator), D. J. Furley (translator). William Heinemann, Harvard University Press.  ^ a b c d e Donnchadh O Corrain (2001). Chapter 1: Prehistoric and Early Christian Ireland. The Oxford History of Ireland. R F Foster (editor). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280202-X.  ^ "The earliest Celts in Europe". WalesPast. Archived from the original on 2004-10-11. Retrieved 2010-06-19.  ^ Translation by Roseman, op.cit. ^ Greek text Ptolemy's Geography, Books I-IV, pg 59 ^ " Britannia
Britannia
on British Coins". 24carat.co.uk.  ^ General survey of Lothian Archived 2006-09-25 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Map Collectors' Series, Issue 9, Map Collectors' Circle, 1972. ^ Thomas Kingston Derry, Michael G. Blakeway, J. Murray, The making of pre-industrial Britain: life and work between the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, 1969. ^ Philip Payton, The Making of Modern Cornwall: Historical Experience and the Persistence of "Difference", Dyllansow Truran, 1992. ^ Royal Styles and Titles in England
England
and Great Britain, heraldica.org ^ "British". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 16 April 2014.  ^ "Irish". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 16 April 2014.  ^ "British-Irish Agreement". British-Irish. Retrieved 16 April 2014.  ^ "[1] Website on Megalithic Monuments in the British Isles
British Isles
and Ireland. Ireland
Ireland
in this site includes Fermanagh, which is politically in Northern Ireland." ^ "The website uses the term "British Isles" in various ways, including ways that use Ireland
Ireland
as all of Ireland, while simultaneously using the term "The British Isles
British Isles
and Ireland", e.g. "Anyone using GENUKI should remember that its name is somewhat misleading — the website actually covers the British Isles
British Isles
and Ireland, rather than just the United Kingdom, and therefore includes information about the Channel Islands
Channel Islands
and the Isle of Man, as well as England, Scotland, Wales
Wales
and Ireland." ^ "[2][permanent dead link] Guide to Narrow Gauge rail in the British Isles and Ireland
Ireland
which includes Belfast lines under the section on Ireland." ^ British Weather (Part One) This BBC
BBC
article referred to "a small country such as the British Isles" between at least April 2004 and January 2007 (checked using the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
at https://web.archive.org. Last accessed and checked 01/01/07. It was changed in February 2007 and now reads 'a small area such as the British Isles' ^ For example, see Google searches of the BBC
BBC
website. ^ Marsh, David (2010-05-11). " Snooker
Snooker
and the geography of the British Isles". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-08-23.  ^ Trevor Montague (2009). A to Z of Britain and Ireland
Ireland
(A to Z series). Little, Brown Book
Book
Group. p. introduction. ISBN 1-84744-087-8.  ^ "Written Answers – Official Terms" Archived 2012-10-06 at the Wayback Machine., Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
– Volume 606 – 28 September 2005. In his response, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs added that "Our officials in the Embassy of Ireland, London, continue to monitor the media in Britain for any abuse of the official terms as set out in the Constitution of Ireland
Ireland
and in legislation. These include the name of the State, the President, Taoiseach
Taoiseach
and others." ^ "New atlas lets Ireland
Ireland
slip shackles of Britain" A spokesman for the Irish Embassy in London said: “The British Isles
British Isles
has a dated ring to it, as if we are still part of the Empire. We are independent, we are not part of Britain, not even in geographical terms. We would discourage its useage. [sic]” ^ Eamon Delaney, 2001, An Accidental Diplomat: My Years in the Irish Foreign Service, New Island Books, Dublin, ISBN 1-902602-39-0 ^ Guelke, Adrian (2001). "Northern Ireland
Ireland
and Island Status". In John McGarry ed. Northern Ireland
Ireland
and the Divided World: The Northern Ireland
Ireland
Conflict and the Good Friday Agreement
Good Friday Agreement
in Comparative Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 231. CS1 maint: Extra text: editors list (link) ^ "When people say England, they sometimes mean Great Britain, sometimes the United Kingdom, sometimes the British Isles
British Isles
— but never England." — George Mikes (1946), How To Be An Alien, Penguin  ISBN 0-582-41686-8 ^ "In practice, many people outside of Scotland, Wales
Wales
and Northern Ireland
Ireland
incorrectly use 'England' to mean Britain..." p. 208 – Jean Rose Freedman (1998), Whistling in the Dark: Memory and Culture in Wartime London, University Press of Kentucky  ISBN 0-8131-2076-4 ^ Charlotte Augusta Sneyd (1500). A Relation or rather a True Account of the Island of England. Retrieved 2007-10-21.  ^ a b c BBC
BBC
News (1999-01-14). "The English: Europe's lost tribe". Retrieved 2007-10-21.  ^ "Learn English in Edinburgh, England". ESL Language Studies. Archived from the original on 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2007-10-21.  ^ England
England
expects that every man will do his duty — Horatio Nelson, message to the British Fleet 1805 ^ "The English Prime Minister. Mr. Disraeli's Elevation To The Peerage" (PDF). New York Times. 1876-08-12. Retrieved 2007-10-21.  ^ "The more formal use of 'Great-Britain and Ireland' and colloquial use of 'Old England' and 'old English spirit' in this description is evidence of the process of forging a national identity..." page 99 — Margarette Lincoln (1946), Representing the Royal Navy: British Sea Power, 1750–1815, Ashgate Publishing  ISBN 0-7546-0830-1 ^ Claudius
Claudius
Ptolemy
Ptolemy
(1898). "Ἕκθεσις τῶν κατὰ παράλληλον ἰδιωμάτων: κβ', κε'". In Heiberg, J.L. Claudii Ptolemaei Opera quae exstant omnia (PDF). vol.1 Syntaxis Mathematica. Leipzig: in aedibus B.G.Teubneri. pp. 112–113.  ^ Philip Freeman, Ireland
Ireland
and the Classical World, University of Texas Press, 2001 ^ "A Glossary of Terms Related to the Conflict". CAIN Web service. Ulster
Ulster
University. Retrieved 12 January 2017.  ^ Davies, John (1994). A History of Wales. London: Penguin. p. 69. ISBN 0-14-014581-8.  ^ Tír-Eóluíocht na h-Éireann (translation by Toirdhealbhach Ó Raithbheartaigh of Macmillan's General and Regional Geography of Ireland
Ireland
by T. J. Dunne), Government Publications Office, Dublin

Éire
Éire
ar cheann de na h-oileáin a dtugar na h-Oileáin Bhreataineacha ortha agus atá ar an taobh Thiar-Thuaidh de'n Eóraip. Tá siad tuairim a's ar chúig mhíle oileán ar fad ann. (Oileánradh an t-ainm a bheirtear ar áit ar bith i n-a bhfuil a lán oileán agus iad i n-aice a chéile mar seo.) Éire
Éire
agus an Bhreatain Mhór (Sasain, an Bhreatain Bheag, agus Alba) an dá oileán is mó de na h-Oileáin Bhreataineacha.

Ireland
Ireland
is one of the islands which are called the British Isles
British Isles
and which are on the North-Western side of Europe. It is thought that there are five thousand islands in total there. ( Archipelago
Archipelago
is the name which is borne by a place in which there are many islands next to each other like these.) Ireland
Ireland
and Great Britain
Great Britain
(England, Wales, and Scotland) are the two largest islands of the British Isles.

^ Patrick S. Dinneen, Foclóir Gaeilge Béarla, Irish-English Dictionary, Dublin, 1927 ^ "the British Isles". téarma.ie – Dictionary of Irish Terms. Foras na Gaeilge and Dublin City University. Retrieved 18 Nov 2016. 

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