View Poll Results: Who is British in your opinion?

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  • Only the indigenous/native people of Britain (English, Scottish, Welsh..)

    36 53.73%
  • Only the natives and/or Germanic immigrants (like Danes, or Afrikaners)

    6 8.96%
  • Only the natives and/or European immigrants (including Poles for example)

    1 1.49%
  • Anyone living in Britain, including non-European immigrants (like Indians or Pakistani)

    2 2.99%
  • I don't like this term because it is artificial/multicultural/politically correct

    18 26.87%
  • Other

    4 5.97%
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Thread: What Does the Term "British" Mean to You?

  1. #1
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    What Does the Term "British" Mean to You?

    I made a similar thread about Americans, and I'm curious who you would consider British. Do you embrace or reject the term? Why?

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Méldmir View Post
    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.

    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' ), those invaders being the ones who shaped what was to become 'England'. Now, the 'Celtic Fringe' around England are the ones shunning 'Britishness'

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    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.

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    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.

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    "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.

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    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.

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