PDA

View Full Version : UK'ers in the playground, answer a question for me!



Logic
2007-08-06, 03:28 PM
Honestly, what is the difference, if any, between "English" and "British?"

This has bothered me for some time, and some members of the Royal Air Force seem to get offended if I use one or the other to describe them.

Eldred
2007-08-06, 03:30 PM
To be British is to be from Great Britain (ie. England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland) whereas English only refers to people from England.

I think... I can't remember if all of Ireland is included in GB.

As for the RAF getting offended: no idea. I wouldn't be bothered if I was called British or English.

Castaras
2007-08-06, 03:32 PM
*shrugs*

Some people refer to themselves as English, as in only acknowledging they're from England, while another will say they're British, which means they're saying they're from Britain.

Something like that, anyway...

Rumda
2007-08-06, 03:34 PM
though most scotish people will be mortally offended if you call them English, and some would be offended even if you called them British

technically all of Ireland is not Britain, as the full name of the UK is the united kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Mr Croup
2007-08-06, 03:37 PM
"English" would apply to an individual from England.

"British" would apply to an individual from England, Wales, Scotland (though I've known a few Scots that would object), Northern Ireland, and to various other holdings of the U.K.

nagora
2007-08-06, 03:39 PM
Honestly, what is the difference, if any, between "English" and "British?"

This has bothered me for some time, and some members of the Royal Air Force seem to get offended if I use one or the other to describe them.

England is to Britain what Texas is to United States.

England is to Britain what France is to Europe.

England is to Britain what Russia was to the Soviet Union.

In other words: it's the largest of several components. I am British but not English because I'm from Northern Ireland.

Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) is British but not English being from Scotland.

Anthony Hopkins (Hanibal Lector) is British but not English, being from Wales.

David Beckham (half-wit footballer) is British and English.

nagora
2007-08-06, 03:43 PM
To be British is to be from Great Britain (ie. England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland) whereas English only refers to people from England.

I think... I can't remember if all of Ireland is included in GB.

As for the RAF getting offended: no idea. I wouldn't be bothered if I was called British or English.

Well, that's fair enough since you are both. The south of Ireland rebelled and split away from Britain in 1916, but "Great Britain" is a geographical term meaning the large island that England, Scotland, and Wales are part of, so Ireland was never part of that. Just plain "Britain" and "British" are more political/cultural terms to mean (roughly) any area subject to the queen and/or parliament.

Rumda
2007-08-06, 03:48 PM
Well, that's fair enough since you are both. The south of Ireland rebelled and split away from Britain in 1916, but "Great Britain" is a geographical term meaning the large island that England, Scotland, and Wales are part of, so Ireland was never part of that. Just plain "Britain" and "British" are more political/cultural terms to mean (roughly) any area subject to the queen and/or parliament.
well that definition would either mean that the entire commonwealth is british as the majority still recognise the queen as there sovereign as much as the UK does , and with devolution the westminister parliament has less power in scotland wales and northern ireland

Hoggy
2007-08-06, 04:35 PM
I prefer to be called Cornish.

nagora
2007-08-06, 04:44 PM
well that definition would either mean that the entire commonwealth is british as the majority still recognise the queen as there sovereign as much as the UK does , and with devolution the westminister parliament has less power in scotland wales and northern ireland

I did say "roughly". The effect of the spell diminishes as one goes further from London. I didn't want to get into a discussion about the Commonwealth and things like Australia.

Totally Guy
2007-08-06, 04:57 PM
A term I hear all the time is "British accent", which doesn't make much sense as the four parts all sound very different. For example nagora has his location as a phonetic of how he'd probably say where he comes from (which is quite cool in an exclusive kind of way).

But even if people say "English accent" that's probably inaccurate again as people still sound different city by city. But unlike the term "British accent" to mean the stereotypical english one, at least you've got a term that doesn't show any unintended favourtism. If anyone were to moan about the term "English accent" to mean the RP English, the stereotype, they'd probably just be being pedantic.

Mr the Geoff
2007-08-06, 05:13 PM
England also is derived from the Angles, one of the tribes which settled in Britain from mainland Europe around the 5th century AD. As Anglo Saxon settlement didn't reach as far as Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man or Ireland, no-one from there is English. They are instead Welsh, Scottish, Cornish, Manx or Irish.

Britain is the name of the island, the British are the inhabitants of the island of Britain.

Great Britain is the country made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern island (mostly by conquest, hence the certain resentment of many at being called British rather than Scottish for instance. For more information why that is, watch Braveheart!).

Being both English and British, I don't mind either.

Dihan
2007-08-06, 05:49 PM
I'm Welsh first, and British second.

Kiero
2007-08-06, 05:57 PM
Great Britain is the country made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern island.

Actually, Great Britain is only England, Scotland and Wales. Thus the United Kingdom of Great Britain abd Northern Ireland.

Flakey
2007-08-06, 06:26 PM
(mostly by conquest, hence the certain resentment of many at being called British rather than Scottish for instance. For more information why that is, watch Braveheart!).


Just do not take much of it as real though :)

William Wallace was mostly of Norman/French extraction, and not much Scotish at all. Plus the princess in the film was 11 when William died soooo... *cough* lets not go further.

Dispite the distorted view some people in Wales and Scotland take of history, most of the inhabitants of both nations take pride in it, and dislike bring called English.

Mostly by Americans, but not totally. I think I should have printed a card up in my first visit to Florida stating :-

1. No I am not English
2. No I am not from London.
3. No I do not know x from London. I only know of 10 people out of several million that live there.

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 02:55 AM
I'm Welsh first, and British second.

This is the prevalent attitude of most British people; own nationality first, British second.

And no, no part of Ireland is in Britain.

Cornwall, many many moons ago, was it's own...country? Principality? Dunno. Anyhow, there's an independence movement down there, but I have to say it's largely a local issue and barely impinges upon the rest of the isles whatsoever (sorry Cornwall).

So:

Britain = England, Scotland and Wales, plus Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides, and the island groups of Orkney and Shetland

Politically you can add Northern Ireland, but technically they're a part of the United Kingdom (of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

God save the Queen :smallbiggrin:

CrazedGoblin
2007-08-07, 03:52 AM
sounds all very confusing :smalltongue:

Archonic Energy
2007-08-07, 04:07 AM
I'm Welsh first, and British second.

that's strange i'm British first & a Londoner second... and English Third

Adlan
2007-08-07, 04:08 AM
Local Identity is quite important to people in the UK, I often find my self responding to Where are you from with Norfolk, instead of England.

A Scotsman is a Scotsman, and will be very offended if you called him an Englishman, A Yorkshireman would be offended if you asked if he was from london, and if you mistook some Irish for english, you'd be a lick of trouble.

Too me, a Forigener is someone from outside norfolk, I'm off to machester today, and to me it can be like another country. People at the Uk meet up will attest to this.

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 04:10 AM
Too me, a Forigener is someone from outside norfolk...

You mean someone not related to you? :smallwink: :smallbiggrin:


EDIT: You see, predictable local joke - there's much more variation
over "small" distances here than somewhere like, say, the USA. Another insight into what Britain "is". Sorry Adlan.

Adlan
2007-08-07, 04:21 AM
The English and The American have one peculair flaw in common, they both fail to understand the number 100.

To An Englishman, a 100 miles is a Long way
To An American a 100 years is a Long time

banjo1985
2007-08-07, 04:30 AM
Local Identity is quite important to people in the UK, I often find my self responding to Where are you from with Norfolk, instead of England.

A Scotsman is a Scotsman, and will be very offended if you called him an Englishman, A Yorkshireman would be offended if you asked if he was from london, and if you mistook some Irish for english, you'd be a lick of trouble.

Too me, a Forigener is someone from outside norfolk, I'm off to machester today, and to me it can be like another country. People at the Uk meet up will attest to this.


Funny, I'm from near Birmingham, and I get very annoyed when I get called a Brummie! However it is true that anyone outside of the Black Country tends to seem pretty foreign to me!

Serpentine
2007-08-07, 04:33 AM
I think that works just as well with Australia rather than the US.

Saithis Bladewing
2007-08-07, 04:49 AM
I get very annoyed when anyone calls me a Brummie, maybe because I don't live in Birmingham (nevermind how close it is...)

I think that the term 'British accent' is probably used not only to describe the stereotypical english accent, but more primarily used as a label for those who speak the British dialect of english, which while varying minorly from area to area, is still more or less the same across the UK.

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 05:07 AM
There was an awesome TV show in which they analysed the true origins of people. They picked the most intolerant people who took massive pride in being English (or Scottish, or whatever) and not being a part of anything else like Britain and measured the "purity" of their blood. Of course they were largely dumb so didn't see it coming when the presenter said "so, you're 80% African. Still think you're better than other people? How'dya feel, sucka?*"





*I paraphrase.

InaVegt
2007-08-07, 05:53 AM
As with the Welsh first, British second.

I'm Overijsselian first, Dutch second. As such I absolutely hate it when people say I'm from Holland, as that's like calling england Britain, France Europe, Texas the USA, or the USA America. Holland is simply the largest part of the Netherlands.

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 05:55 AM
As with the Welsh first, British second.

I'm Overijsselian first, Dutch second. As such I absolutely hate it when people say I'm from Holland, as that's like calling england Britain, France Europe, Texas the USA, or the USA America. Holland is simply the largest part of the Netherlands.

This is a common viewpoint of those not from the largest part of their country. As an Englishman, when people refer to Britain as England I'm not offended so I can politely educate them. Call a Welsh or Scottish person English and you'll get an outburst.

Sounds the same in The Netherlands.

Archonic Energy
2007-08-07, 05:59 AM
This is a common viewpoint of those not from the largest part of their country. As an Englishman, when people refer to Britain as England I'm not offended so I can politely educate them. Call a Welsh or Scottish person English and you'll get Shot.


Fixed that for you there...

that's twice in one day Ikk. :smallwink:

Serpentine
2007-08-07, 06:13 AM
As with the Welsh first, British second.

I'm Overijsselian first, Dutch second. As such I absolutely hate it when people say I'm from Holland, as that's like calling england Britain, France Europe, Texas the USA, or the USA America. Holland is simply the largest part of the Netherlands.
Um, it probably doesn't really matter, but... these comparisons are starting to bug me. Russia to the Soviet Union, sure, or, I don't know, Java to Indonesia maybe, and there was another one that worked even better that I've forgotten, but comparing a state/nation or nation/continent association to a nation/union of nations one? Bad people, naughty. Fix your analogies :smalltongue:

Rawhide
2007-08-07, 06:19 AM
I have only one word...


QUEENSLANDER!



Call me Australian, call me an Aussie, call me a Queenslander, I don't care. I am part of the great nation of Australia, I am also a Queenslander, but I do not see that I am in any way a Queenslander more than I am an Aussie.

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 06:20 AM
Fixed that for you there...

that's twice in one day Ikk. :smallwink:

You call them fixes, I just shrug and say "AE - gotta love shoot him repeatedly in the head".

Fixed my own one there mate :smallbiggrin: :smallcool:

nagora
2007-08-07, 06:25 AM
Um, it probably doesn't really matter, but... these comparisons are starting to bug me. Russia to the Soviet Union, sure, or, I don't know, Java to Indonesia maybe, and there was another one that worked even better that I've forgotten, but comparing a state/nation or nation/continent association to a nation/union of nations one? Bad people, naughty. Fix your analogies :smalltongue:

I'm not sure what you're complaining about, these are all examples of calling a larger group by the name of one of its components (usually the largest), implicitly dismissing the importance of the other members.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-07, 06:44 AM
I think he's saying there is more of a tie between nations of the UK than some of those analogies suggest.

e.g France-> Europe is geographical.

The UK nations constitute one country and one government.

What has happened is that the term "British" now refers to anyone from the UK, since making up the demonym "UKish" would be ridiculous.
So people from Northern Ireland are also British (and I say that without making a political point...) despite not being from Great Britain.

I am British first and foremost, by birth and nationality. England and English is just a geographical division and a language.

The Prince of Cats
2007-08-07, 06:44 AM
England also is derived from the Angles, one of the tribes which settled in Britain from mainland Europe around the 5th century AD.
Similarly, Scotland is named for the Scotti tribe from Northern Ireland who conquered/bred with/out-drank the picts.

I am British first, English second. I speak RP with a slight Belfast twang, so it is easier to say British than explain why a Londoner has a slightly Irish accent.

EvilDMMk3
2007-08-07, 06:50 AM
I am welsh.

I was born in wales.

I speak welsh.

Just as Scotts can be annoyed if called british, the wlesh tend to get very upset if called english. Wouldn't you be if you had finaly manadged to undo about 600 years of cultural opreshion and get your culture recognised?

Serpentine
2007-08-07, 06:51 AM
I think he's saying there is more of a tie between nations of the UK than some of those analogies suggest.
Typo? If not, please do tell me how you got that impression. I'm curious. Never happened before...
You're spot-on, though. Thanks for explaining it for me.

nagora
2007-08-07, 06:52 AM
I think he's saying there is more of a tie between nations of the UK than some of those analogies suggest.

e.g France-> Europe is geographical.


OK, I was thinking more "France -> EU", I suppose, but I have met Americans online who made both errors.

Rawhide
2007-08-07, 06:55 AM
I am an Earthling.

Archonic Energy
2007-08-07, 07:03 AM
I am an Earthling.

if that comment was made by anyone other than a mod i may have had to dispute that...
what the hell. :smallamused:

I'm not too sure about that Rawhide, are you sure you are not a Solinate...

(there has to be a better term for people from the planetry system Sol)

CrazedGoblin
2007-08-07, 07:09 AM
from what i gather from this thread not manypeople like being English hehe

Ikkitosen
2007-08-07, 07:16 AM
from what i gather from this thread not manypeople like being English hehe

Not really, we're just aware that saying "I'm English" rather than "I'm British" can be read as "I don't like the Scottish or Welsh".

Note that you're still allowed to say "I'm Scottish" or "I'm Welsh" and yes, the connotation of "I'm not English" is still there, but somehow it's ok one way and not the other. Go figure.

Tom_Violence
2007-08-07, 08:56 AM
There was an awesome TV show in which they analysed the true origins of people. They picked the most intolerant people who took massive pride in being English (or Scottish, or whatever) and not being a part of anything else like Britain and measured the "purity" of their blood. Of course they were largely dumb so didn't see it coming when the presenter said "so, you're 80% African. Still think you're better than other people? How'dya feel, sucka?*"





*I paraphrase.

I remember watching that show, that was a good laugh.

I think one of the important points for this issue is that a lot of first, second, and third generation immigrants who have integrated themselves are more likely to describe themselves as 'British', and I think a lot of 'English' people describe themselves as such in order to distinguish them as having 'been around longer' or somesuch.

I describe myself as English because its more specific (many times people have asked me if I'm from the UK, and then from whereabouts, so just saying 'English' cuts down on a lot of pointless chat), and also I quite enjoy the connotations of being English. Being 'British' seems something a newer thing, and I don't quite see the point of it, or what good it serves denoting yourself as such. I do hope its not some silly PC thing as Ikkitsosen suggested. Are we all to call ourselves 'European' next to avoid offending anyone else?

Jibar
2007-08-07, 08:56 AM
What if we want to say "I'm English?" because we don't like the Welsh, but don't mind the Scottish.
I'm looking at you Decken.


(there has to be a better term for people from the planetry system Sol)[/SIZE]

Solute?
Then the kings would be the Solubility?
The revolution would be called the Solution.

CrazedGoblin
2007-08-07, 09:19 AM
Solute?
Then the kings would be the Solubility?
The revolution would be called the Solution.

hahaha:smallbiggrin:

Rawhide
2007-08-07, 09:20 AM
Living on earth may not be cheap, but it does include an annual free trip around the sun.

JellyPooga
2007-08-07, 09:25 AM
I was born and raised in England, currently live in mid-Wales, have family in the SouthEast, SouthWest and far-far North (read: London, Somerset and Scotland), my paternal heritage is possibly from South Wales and my maternal heritage is from London alone (at least as far back as the 16th century...my grandad is big into his family trees)...I'd like to be able to say that I'm English, but in truth I'm really British and I doubt that many people in the UK could reliably say that they are through and through English/Welsh/Scottish or Irish (no matter how fervantly they support their national rugby/football team :smalltongue:).

It is strange, however, that most English people (at least the ones I've met) denote themselves by where they live (i.e. South/North Londoner (do not get them confused...there is a world of difference), Mancunian, Brummie, or whatever), whereas most Scottish and Welsh people denote themselves by nationality...I've always wondered why, but never come up with an answer.:smallconfused:

Rare Pink Leech
2007-08-07, 09:53 AM
On the subject of "what is a British/English accent": for what it's worth, when I (a Canadian) think British/English accent, I think of Received Pronunciation, a.k.a. Queen's/BBC English a.k.a. the one found in the Oxford English Dictionary's pronunciation guide a.k.a. the accent villains have in American movies :smalltongue:

nagora
2007-08-07, 10:25 AM
from what i gather from this thread not many people like being English hehe

I don't like being called English, for the simple reason that I'm not English. It's not that complicated.

banjo1985
2007-08-07, 10:46 AM
I don't mind being called English, to be honest it's better than being called a Brummie, we're constantly winning the "worst accent in the country" competitions and surveys etc, which I find a little harsh!


"Ow bin ya?"
"alri' bab, bin you ok?"
"ar!"

See, not that bad.....right?

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-07, 10:48 AM
from what i gather from this thread not manypeople like being English hehe

Oh don't get me wrong, I love being English. However being British is better ;)


It is strange, however, that most English people (at least the ones I've met) denote themselves by where they live (i.e. South/North Londoner (do not get them confused...there is a world of difference), Mancunian, Brummie, or whatever), whereas most Scottish and Welsh people denote themselves by nationality...I've always wondered why, but never come up with an answer.:smallconfused:

I've heard Welsh defined as North/South and Scots as East/West or Highland/Lowland.
I guess it depends on who you are talking too and where you are at the time.

nagora
2007-08-07, 11:01 AM
It is strange, however, that most English people (at least the ones I've met) denote themselves by where they live (i.e. South/North Londoner (do not get them confused...there is a world of difference), Mancunian, Brummie, or whatever), whereas most Scottish and Welsh people denote themselves by nationality...I've always wondered why, but never come up with an answer.:smallconfused:


England has vastly more people in it, that's why. London alone is bigger in population than Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Since people are trying to get their identity down to a group they can feel part of, the English tend to divide into smaller geographic groupings in order to get similar sized "tribes".

I've noticed the same thing in New York.

bosssmiley
2007-08-07, 11:37 AM
from what i gather from this thread not manypeople like being English hehe

...and that's what's so totally English about them. :smallwink:

Adlan
2007-08-07, 04:11 PM
Maybe we should Adopt the Tribal Names of Iron age Brythons.

I am Icini :D

http://info.wlu.ca/~wwweng/jweldon/medieval/ML100/roman-britain.gif

Which tribe are you?

Eldpollard
2007-08-07, 04:11 PM
Great Britain is the main isle which contains England, Scotland and Wales.

The United Kingdom is a political nationstate which comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northen Ireland. The UK is recognised as a political entity by the UN. England would not.

The British Isles refers to The Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
The Republic of Ireland is its own nation state and as such has political powers.

Hope that clears things up.

Flakey
2007-08-07, 04:33 PM
I've heard Welsh defined as North/South

Well you have the North Welsh, The West Welsh (subdived into West Welsh and Swansea), The Valleys, and Cardiff (or the South in more polite terms. For some reason Newport seems to usually get lumped with Cardiff in this).

Dihan
2007-08-07, 04:38 PM
I'm from and live in a North Wales Valley :smalltongue: ... According to that tribe thingy "Degeangli"

Mr the Geoff
2007-08-07, 05:03 PM
Gets complicated as, while my family have been kentish farmers for a few hundred years (I'm the first generation not to grow up on a farm, though I did work on my uncle's for a while), when my grandad traced the family back we are actually scottish clansmen. So on the Roman map I would count as off the top of the map, but I don't consider myself Scottish, the 300 years of Kentish heritage count more in my book, Scotland is just where the surname comes from.

Logic
2007-08-07, 05:07 PM
As with the Welsh first, British second.

I'm Overijsselian first, Dutch second. As such I absolutely hate it when people say I'm from Holland, as that's like calling england Britain, France Europe, Texas the USA, or the USA America. Holland is simply the largest part of the Netherlands.

Ask a Texan if Texas is the United States, and you might get a yes. There is a phrase about Texas "Everythnig is bigger in Texas" while I cannot confirm that everything is bigger in Texas, I can tell you that egos definatly are.

But, the inhabitants of the United Staters of America call it "America" more often than "the USA" "The US" or any other combination.

And besides lack of education on the matter, The Netherlands are probably refered to as "Holland" because it has fewer sylables, and sounds easier to say.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-07, 06:32 PM
The British Isles refers to The Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

So naive! Eire would most definately dispute that. The British Isles comprises Great Britain plus the other smaller islands already mentioned, but not Eire or Northern Island.


Hope that clears things up.

Not at all, since the original question was about the difference between the demonyms "English" and "British".

Flakey
2007-08-07, 06:45 PM
So naive! Eire would most definately dispute that. The British Isles comprises Great Britain plus the other smaller islands already mentioned, but not Eire or Northern Island.

The British Isles is a geographical not political designation. No matter what the thinking of an ordinary person in Ireland thinks, it is part of the British Isles. What Ireland is not is part of The United Kingdom, Great Britain, or any other political definition of this. So please do not call him naive for spelling out a geographical term thats correct, no matter how much you would like to say otherwise.

Rare Pink Leech
2007-08-07, 08:07 PM
It is strange, however, that most English people (at least the ones I've met) denote themselves by where they live (i.e. South/North Londoner (do not get them confused...there is a world of difference), Mancunian, Brummie, or whatever), whereas most Scottish and Welsh people denote themselves by nationality...I've always wondered why, but never come up with an answer.:smallconfused:

I can attest to this. My dad's cousin's husband has lived in London his whole life, and he is fiercly proud to be a Londoner. I believe, though I could be wrong, that he identifies himself as a Londoner before being English/British (I am not sure which he would consider himself).

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-08, 04:00 AM
The British Isles is a geographical not political designation. No matter what the thinking of an ordinary person in Ireland thinks, it is part of the British Isles. What Ireland is not is part of The United Kingdom, Great Britain, or any other political definition of this. So please do not call him naive for spelling out a geographical term thats correct, no matter how much you would like to say otherwise.

The Bolded sentence is a troublesome political point. Despite calling it a geographical designation, it was named by a political body.
Are you saying that natives don't get to name their own lands? The British Isles has a definite sense of ownership in the name that is unacceptable to the sovereign nation of Eire. Where incidentally you call the country Ireland, where the natives call it Eire.

EDIT: I should emphasise that it was correct to call the group of islands described the British Isles. I don't doubt the original definition, only the current usage and applicability.

Flakey
2007-08-08, 12:51 PM
Are you saying that natives don't get to name their own lands? The British Isles has a definite sense of ownership in the name that is unacceptable to the sovereign nation of Eire.

I don't doubt the original definition, only the current usage and applicability.

Hmmm interesting question. In terms of Ireland going to Eire you are correct, and its probably getting more common to refer it as the latter, everywhere.

The British Isles thing is more complicated. It may not be politically correct in Eire to say British Isles, but it still a geographical convience used, despite part of it not belonging to Britain. It is easier than saying "those bunch of islands to the northwest of France"

Eldpollard
2007-08-08, 01:23 PM
As I said ROI is part of the British Isles but not part of Britain. In all fairness I would usually refer to it as Ireland as opposed to part of the British Isles, but I was technically correct.

bosssmiley
2007-08-08, 01:50 PM
Maybe we should Adopt the Tribal Names of Iron age Brythons.

I am Icini :D

Which tribe are you?

Brigantes here (we have the best bits...and Lancashire :smallconfused: ). Although technically my family was imported from Hibernia...
(Tyneside Irish. Don't stand too close, the sheer awesome of that combination can be lethal)

As for the whole "Eire is/isn't British" thing. Of course Eire is part of the British Isles, it's right there on the map along with Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Isle of Wight. I find it kinda ironic that Irish people complain about having the whole archipelago (even the English bits) named after their culture. Brytho-Celts, Brehon law - both Irish. :smallamused:

The Prince of Cats
2007-08-08, 04:42 PM
Where incidentally you call the country Ireland, where the natives call it Eire.
Really? My grandparents always called it Ireland (though they are both from Belfast in the North, so that might explain it) and even my friend from Cork said Ireland. I see Eire on all the official stuff, but I know of nobody Irish who actually says 'Eire' more often than 'Ireland'.

nagora
2007-08-09, 08:12 AM
Really? My grandparents always called it Ireland (though they are both from Belfast in the North, so that might explain it) and even my friend from Cork said Ireland. I see Eire on all the official stuff, but I know of nobody Irish who actually says 'Eire' more often than 'Ireland'.

I'm just back from two weeks down south (ie, the Republic of Ireland) and never met a soul who called it Eire. It is used a bit in print and in company names but not in conversation carried out in English. The few Gaelic speakers of course use the Gaelic name but I'm not sure what that actually is.

Timberwolf
2007-08-09, 10:31 AM
Honestly, what is the difference, if any, between "English" and "British?"

This has bothered me for some time, and some members of the Royal Air Force seem to get offended if I use one or the other to describe them.

yep. british is the whole shebang, that strangely shaped island as well as Northern Ireland. England is the southern half of the mainland aside from the vaguely round bit sticking out to the west which is Wales.

Generally only the Scots and the Welsh will get upset if you call them English, it's like accusing a New Yorker of being from California. Stick to British, it includes us all.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-09, 12:14 PM
I'm just back from two weeks down south (ie, the Republic of Ireland) and never met a soul who called it Eire. It is used a bit in print and in company names but not in conversation carried out in English. The few Gaelic speakers of course use the Gaelic name but I'm not sure what that actually is.

The Irish Government strongly objects to any reference to the British Isles including the Republic.

Eire is the Gaelic name, if they are speaking to you in English, is it any wonder that they use the English word?!
Convention does not mean proper.

This is becoming too political, I'll have to restrain myself from saying any more, despite having a very British viewpoint and trying to explain the Irish point of view.

nagora
2007-08-10, 09:47 AM
T
Eire is the Gaelic name, if they are speaking to you in English, is it any wonder that they use the English word?!


Part of the point I was making is that almost no one in ROI can or does speak Gaelic. Even though we were in the west in actual Gaeltach areas English was spoken everywhere by people talking to eachother, not just to us foreigners. There's no particular reason to not say "Eire" even when speaking English, and in written English the Irish do often use the name in logos, company names and the like. But when speaking they use "Ireland" almost exclusively.

nagora
2007-08-10, 09:50 AM
Generally only the Scots and the Welsh will get upset if you call them English, it's like accusing a New Yorker of being from California. Stick to British, it includes us all.

Health and safety notice: if you are in Belfast or Dublin and call the locals "English" and they have had enough to drink, or you're just in a bad area, you may end up in hospital. I'm not joking.

It's not just the Scots and Welsh.

Gygaxphobia
2007-08-10, 11:32 AM
But you call some people British in Belfast and you'll end up the same way or worse.

nagora
2007-08-10, 11:39 AM
But you call some people British in Belfast and you'll end up the same way or worse.

No argument there, but "English" will wind even more people up on both sides of the political divide.

Put it this way: both "traditions" here will, in my experience, support Ireland against England in football. Even moreso in rugby because the Irish rugby team is all-Ireland, while football is divided between north and south.

bosssmiley
2007-08-10, 11:40 AM
Health and safety notice: if you are in Belfast or Dublin and call the locals "English" and they have had enough to drink, or you're just in a bad area, you may end up in hospital. I'm not joking.

It's not just the Scots and Welsh.

Well, that's entirely fair. Both Dublin & Belfast are on a different island than the one the English (yes, and the Scots and Welsh too) live on. Anyone making a faux pas that HUGE is just asking for trouble.

Ditto being careful about *London*derry when you're talking to an Ulsterman. Saw one guy get it wrong (called it just plain old 'Derry'); quickest flare-up to a fight I've ever seen. :smalleek:

Don't let that put you off visiting though. We're a friendly enough bunch here in the British Isles. And remember: we all hate each other more than any of us dislike visitors. :smallwink:

nagora
2007-08-10, 11:43 AM
Ditto being careful about *London*derry when you're talking to an Ulsterman. Saw one guy get it wrong (called it just plain old 'Derry'); quickest flare-up to a fight I've ever seen. :smalleek:


I just call it Foyle City now. It's not worth the bother of second guessing the other person's reaction.