20/10/2018

“UK” or “Britain” or … ?

The UK, Great Britain, the British Isles, England… these are not just different names for the same landmass! The differences are illustrated below:-

  • The British Isles refers to all of the islands, including the country of Ireland.
  • The United Kingdom‘s full name is ‘the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ and its abbreviation is ‘the UK’.
  • Great Britain comprises England, Wales and Scotland (not Northern Ireland) and ‘Great’ is often omitted informally.
  • England is the largest by size and population of the four constituent nations of the UK.

If this seems confusing for you non-Brits, be assured that even many of those born and raised here are not entirely sure of their own geography! Sad but true.