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Nachtengel
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 03:26 AM
I made a similar thread about Americans, and I'm curious who you would consider British. Do you embrace or reject the term? Why?

Ćmeric
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 04:54 AM
I would consider the term to apply to the indigenous/native peoples of Britain, the English, Scottish, Welsh. Though the children of some migrants could be considered British, like the Dutch or Danes. Is the Queen British? She is only 1/2 English (practically no Scottish blood in spite of the fact her maternal grandfather was a Scottish earl) with the remainder being 3/8 German & 1/8 Hungarian. Prince Philip is practically a fullblooded German, born a prince of Greece & Denmark, but he seems very English.

I don't think of British as a multicultural term. For myself it is an easy way of describing my ancestry which is mostly from Britain, some by way of Ulster. It is a convient genealogical term.

As far as British being a multicultural term it would depend on how it is being used. If it is used to describe any citizen of the United Kingdom regardless of racial &/or ethnic background - for example Afro-Caribbeans or naturalized Poles - then it is a multicultural term.

I think the English are the ones who are shortchanged by the term British. British or Britain is synonymous with English or England. Scotland, Ulster & Wales still have seperate identities.

Renwein
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Personally I try not to use it but sometimes it is difficult to avoid. Strictly so, it should apply to every native group from the UK but it tends to be applied to 'the English' (by Scots, Welsh and Irish nationalists), which is ironic because British originally it would have applied to pre-AS inhabitants. This causes support for big nationalist parties (NF, BNP) to be low in Wales and Scotland since they view them as 'English' nationalists. The term British is also a disaster for English identity/nationalism (since they identify with 'Britain' and not England; Scots, Irish and Welsh have done much better with safeguarding their identity by being contra-'British').

The two people who most promote the term (that I've seen) are people of mixed british isles ancestry (part english/irish/scots/whatever) who can't put themselves down as one easily, so it makes sense for them to identify as 'British'. Mostly this is colonials, and I find it irritating that some 'foreigners' should be telling us what our identity should be.
Again, this is another disaster for the English, because people who are half Irish/whatever tend to call themselves 'English' and get away with it, wheras someone half English would have a much harder time in Scotland or Ireland.

The other group is immigrants, I've heard first hand and also read polls which state immigrants feel themselves 'British' and not English/Scottish whatever. This makes some sense too, since 'british' doesn't apply to any one of the inhabitants here, so it's easier for an ethnic to use the term for themselves. Not being a 'nation state' is a problem too, for instance if I was German or Swedish etc. I could claim that the authority of the state 'Sweden' comes from the German or Swedish people's existance, but in a multi-ethnic state like Britain I can't do the same for English, and it also opens the door for ethnics to claim British as their own identity.

Méldmir
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 03:55 PM
I'm not British but in my view "British" is pretty weak if you see it as an ethnic label. The terms English, Scottish, Welsh are much stronger since the people have quite different backgrounds. Also, British has been so widespread around the world that many people might associate it with things like the British Empire, and for an Englishman who likes his local identity and his England, he may rather not have to be associated with things like the Empire and all things people think of when they hear "British".

Renwein: The English may have been in England long before the AS added to them, read this theory http://www.proto-english.org/ That theory is as good as any school book theory imo.

If that is what you meant when you said it was ironic ;)

Zimobog
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 04:06 PM
As an American I have the urge to use the term "British" when speaking of the Island Nation and her subjects.

However, English is not the same as Scottish or Welsh or Ulster Irish but I consider them all British. We Americans tend to speak of our own ancestors as Scotch-Irish or Scots or English or Hebridian or what have you and not as "Brits". The English to me only live south of the wall.

Renwein
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 04:22 PM
Renwein: The English may have been in England long before the AS added to them, read this theory http://www.proto-english.org/ That theory is as good as any school book theory imo.

If that is what you meant when you said it was ironic ;)

I'm aware of this theory, and I belive it could be described as being a 'fringe theory' at best ;)

Forum member 'weland' has also made an excellent post rebutting the idea that English was not just pre-AS but pre-roman (!) here (http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?p=911805#post911805).

by 'ironic' I had in mind that the term 'Briton' historically tends to applied to the people who fought against the AS invaders ('Arthur, King of the Britains' :D), those invaders being the ones who shaped what was to become 'England'. Now, the 'Celtic Fringe' around England are the ones shunning 'Britishness' ;)

Wodens Day
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 08:37 PM
I am English, not British. The British are the original inhabitants - the Scots, Welsh, and Irish on the 'Celtic' fringe. They are swarthy and come from Spain. They are the "Britons" in my book.

"Britain" is also a purely political designation encompassing all the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

White Africa
Friday, September 25th, 2009, 08:43 PM
It's difficult not to use the term, but the British are only the Celtic people of the Isles. Sometimes I even see articles calling the citizens of Britain "Britons". It's inappropriate to be used for the English.

CambridgeGreen
Saturday, September 26th, 2009, 07:10 PM
"British people" means all individuals with most of its ancestry being British. (i.e. English/Irish/Scottish), applies to all British inhabitants in the Commonwealth, and possibly most of the rest of the world. but excluding Canada due to the Quebec influence.

arthor
Sunday, October 4th, 2009, 08:37 PM
It is rather simplistic to hold that it is the 'Celtic fringe' who are the only true Britons. By the end of the Roman occupation, many Britons living in much of the country had effectively become Romano British. Between the time of the Romans and the settlement of the Angles and Saxons over most of the country, there was considerable movement as Vortigern and other rulers sought to impose himself. Much of North Wales was settled in force by peoples from northern England and what would become southern Scotland.
The names give clues. The modern Cymru for wales comes from fellow countrymen as the Britons called themselves. The name Wales comes from the English for foreigner. The name Saxon comes from the words that other people in the British Isles used to describe the invaders rather than a word in Old English.
The Britons were also largely displaced by the settlement of the Angles and Saxons. with many going into exile in France and remaining there. Some returned as part of Williams forces in 1066.
For centuries the islands were England, Ireland, Scotland (from the Scotti tribe who ousted the Picts in the 6th century) and Wales. I am not sure how the modern political construct that is Britain got its name, probably some sort of propaganda to get everyone to go along with it.
Britain as a modern political construct is how I view it. That way I can sleep at nights knowing of all the people our traitor leaders have allowed to call themselves British. They can be British but they will never be English or Welsh.

Reynard
Sunday, October 4th, 2009, 10:27 PM
I'm not British, I'm English.

British is anyone with a passport the stupid reigeme i live under decides to hand out to.

Kogen
Sunday, October 4th, 2009, 10:46 PM
I see British as a cultural thing more than a racial thing, but it is a culture exclusive to the races of the British Isles.

So basically, Germanics and Celts can be British, others cannot (I know it varies more than this in some places, like Wales).

Think of it like someone saying they were Roman, yet they are probably not from Italy (in 100AD or whatever).

Rightpath
Sunday, October 4th, 2009, 11:19 PM
Britannia was a name given by the Romans to their provinces on these shores not including Caledonia. I think the term Britain is pretty much the same as the United Kingdom as far as national identities go,, Both include Scotland and wales under its description.

I will agree Britain is more of a Geographic term, as The United Kingdom is political. But if and when the dissolution of the union comes then I think the term British will eventually become obsolete and purely geographical.

In my opinion the term British gets the best reception in Northern Ireland with loyalists, and the worst recption in Scotland who are leading the way to independance.

Eoppoyz
Monday, October 5th, 2009, 01:50 AM
I voted on the first option. But still it is only a politically term. There is no British people. English is English and Scottish is Scottish and Welsh is Welsh etc.

Winkelried
Monday, October 5th, 2009, 05:07 AM
I accidentally voted the wrong option. British is a political term, not an ethnicity per se, but it is not "politically correct" or resentful to me.

British is, to me, an acceptable term, which refers to the natives of Britain. It is acceptable, just like Swiss is, to refer to multiple ethnicities, although when one speaks about the Swiss, they also add the ancestry of the Swiss person in question: Swiss German, or French Swiss for example.

Blod og Jord
Monday, October 5th, 2009, 05:16 AM
I don't like the word British,
when someone says he's a Brit,
I don't like to wonder what he means,
whether he's English or Scottish or Northern Irish.
Why can't people just say English,
or Scottish?

Penda Seaxwulf
Monday, October 19th, 2009, 09:26 PM
Agree with Reynard here. I am English.

The Scots and Welsh for the most part see themselves as Scottish & Welsh. I see things in the same way. 'British' is just a state invention. On forms, where most English would tick 'White British', I tick other & write in 'English' ;)

Ćğele Wiğercwida
Monday, May 10th, 2010, 06:51 PM
I don't get the dislike of the name Britain. It's a perfectly acceptable term.


The name Britain is derived from the Latin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin) name Britannia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia) (earlier Brittannia), via Old French (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_French) Bretaigne (whence also Modern French (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_French) Bretagne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretagne)) and Middle English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_English) Bretayne, Breteyne. The French form replaced Old English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English) Breoton, Breoten, Bryten, Breten (also Breoton-lond, Breten-lond). The Latin term derives from the Greek forms Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally referred to a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion), the oldest known name for Great Britain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Britain) (see British Isles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles)). By the 1st century BC Britannia was often used to refer to Great Britain specifically. This transference was further solidified by the Roman conquest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_conquest_of_Britain) and the subsequent establishment of the Roman province of Britannia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain), which eventually came to encompass the part of the island south of Caledonia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonia) (roughly, Scotland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland)).

Latin Britannia is derived from the travel writings of the ancient Greek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greece) Pytheas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pytheas) around 320 BC, which describe various islands in the North Atlantic as far North as Thule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thule) (possibly Iceland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceland) or the Shetland Islands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shetland_Islands)).[1] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-0) The form with single -t-, Britannia, is secondary, but can be traced to the Roman period.[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-1)
Pytheas described Thule as the northernmost part of Πρεττανικη (Prettanike) or Βρεττανίαι (Brettaniai), his term for the entire group of islands in the far north-west.[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-2)[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-snyder-3)[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-ohi-4) In his Almagest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almagest), Ptolemy used the term Μικρὰ Βρεττανία (Mikra Brettania) for Ireland, although in his later work, the Geography (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_%28Ptolemy%29), he referred to Ireland as Ιουερνία (Iwernia).[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-5) Diodorus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diodorus) in the 1st century BC introduced the form Πρεττανια Prettania, and Strabo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strabo) (1.4.2) has Βρεττανία Brettania. Marcian of Heraclea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcian_of_Heraclea) in his Periplus maris exteri describes αἱ Πρεττανικαὶ νῆσοι "the Prettanic Isles". Stephanus of Byzantium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanus_of_Byzantium) glosses Ἀλβίων Albion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion) as νῆσος Πρεττανική, Μαρκιανὸς ἐν περίπλῳ αὐτῆς. τὸ ἐθνικὸν Ἀλβιώνιος ("the Pretannic island, according to Marcian in his periplus; the Albionian people" Ethnica 69.16).
The peoples of these islands of Prettanike were called the Πρεττανοι, Priteni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priteni) or Pretani.[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-snyder-3) These names led to the later term for peoples of southern Britain, the Britons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britons_%28historical%29). These names derived from a Celtic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_languages) name which is likely to have reached Pytheas from the Gauls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauls), who may have used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands.[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-ohi-4)[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-6) Priteni is the source of the Welsh language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language) term Prydain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prydain), Britain, which has the same source as the Goidelic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goidelic_languages) term Cruithne (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruithne_%28people%29) used to refer to the early Brythonic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brythonic_languages)-speaking inhabitants of Ireland and the north of Scotland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland).[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_%28name%29#cite_note-ohi-4) The latter were later called Picts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picts) or Caledonians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonians) by the Romans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Rome).
Brittia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittia) appears as a name for Great Britain in Procopius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procopius), reportedly used by the 6th-century population of the Netherlands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands). The Latin term (Bede (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bede) has Brittania) is loaned into Old English (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_English) by Alfred the Great (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_the_Great) as bryttania. The 9th-century Historia Brittonum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Brittonum) gives an origin myth (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_myth) involving Brutus of Troy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brutus_of_Troy).


As it refers to the location that we inhabit as indigenous peoples, then why should we not be called Brittish? Petty regionalism is pointless.

For me, Britain means a specific land and people, regardless of country.

It really winds me up when English Nationalists say they are "English, not British" as it is a matter of fact that one cannot be Englisg without being British. It is like a Norwiegen saying "I am Norwiegen, not Scandinavian". The Norwiegen IS Scandinavian.

Entwulf
Monday, May 10th, 2010, 07:05 PM
My distaste for the term 'British' stems from the context in which it is used and the manner by which it is applied today, rather than the etymology of the word or any historical references to such.

Today we see 'British' and 'Brit' being used as an all-inclusive and plural term emphasising the promotion of multiculturalism and it's values -- the term has lost, because of that and regardless of history, any genuine significance as a means of classification or identification of the self or others. Immigrants born the other side of the world, after moving to England (because that's where the mass majority of them move...), are described by the media, politics and the general public alike as 'Brits'.

It has been noted time and time again by a variety of sources (which I'll have to look for and edit the post with the attatchment of the link when I'm not as busy as I am right now) that immigrant populations do not see themselves as being 'English', only as being 'British-Someotherethnicity'.

I prefer English for a variety of reasons, most significantly because of the English embodying different cultural values, linguistic origins, and national heritage to the Welsh, Scottish or Irish. Regardless of whether or not the cultivation of that language, culture or identity took place on this island or on the continent.

Anyway, with disregard towards the means by which the term is actually used today, I do believe that it should be used only to describe the indigenous inhabitants of the British Isles, the English, the Scottish, the Welsh and to some degree, the Irish -- so for the purpose of the poll, that's the answer I will select.

xenio
Monday, May 10th, 2010, 07:08 PM
I don't like the word British,
when someone says he's a Brit,
I don't like to wonder what he means,
whether he's English or Scottish or Northern Irish.
Why can't people just say English,
or Scottish?

Well I think people who know exactly what they are would answer "English, Scottish, Northern Irish".
If they are not sure, because of an English grandmother, a Scottish grandfather, a Welsh grandmother and finally a Northern Irish grandfather they might say "British".

The same problem with yugoslavian people. If they are serbian, croatian, etc they will tell you - if they are mixed then they are just "south-east-slavian" people...

Méldmir
Monday, May 10th, 2010, 08:08 PM
I think Britain could be like the term Scandinavia, a cultural and geographic region. The reason many people oppose the term is because it is also political, which Scandinavia is not. That's why Scandinavians don't have a problem with the term. But if Norway and Sweden had a union and Scandinavian referred to this union, perhaps Norwegians would strongly oppose the term Scandinavian.

So, if the UK is broken up, you might find more people in Britain viewing the term "British" more positively in the future, since nowadays there are many separatist sentiments there.

Entwulf: You said only a part of the Irish are native to the isles, how come? Or did you mean only Great Britain?

Entwulf
Monday, May 10th, 2010, 08:20 PM
I think Britain could be like the term Scandinavia, a cultural and geographic region. The reason many people oppose the term is because it is also political, which Scandinavia is not. That's why Scandinavians don't have a problem with the term. But if Norway and Sweden had a union and Scandinavian referred to this union, perhaps Norwegians would strongly oppose the term Scandinavian.

So, if the UK is broken up, you might find more people in Britain viewing the term "British" more positively in the future, since nowadays there are many separatist sentiments there.

That's essentially what I was trying to get at, phrased in a much more efficient manner!


Entwulf: You said only a part of the Irish are native to the isles, how come? Or did you mean only Great Britain?

I meant Great Britain as an island within the British Isles and the United Kingdom as a state. The Irish are as native to the Isles as the English, if not more so - considering the variety of theories regarding the arrival of the English. I should probably double check my posts before posting them :D