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Great Britain

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On Wed 31 Jul at 8:45am Nevillman wrote:
A poster recently talked about putting the great back in Britain. Leaving aside what this means to the poster I want to point out that this is a misuse of the term great in this context. Great Britain is a geographical term referring to the largest island in the British isles archipelago ie the mainland. As far as I can ascertain it derived from the fact that it is the greatest in size of the 1000 or so islands in the British isles and not from any other meaning of the term great. It is used often incorrectly to mean the whole country but that should be the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This is generally accepted as then including all the small islands as well. It is all a bit confused but Wikipedia goes into it in more detail.
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On Wed 31 Jul at 11:32am Blatant Liar wrote:
I really think you’ve got too much time on yours hands …
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On Wed 31 Jul at 11:56am Basil wrote:
'As far as I can ascertain...' What, Nevillman, you did an enormous amount of rigorous research into something most people already know? Couldn't you count sheep or something to pass the time?
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On Wed 31 Jul at 12:34pm Nevillman wrote:
I don't think they do know that basil. I didn't until it was pointed out to me comparatively recently. Most English people seem to use England, Britain, great Britain, British isles and United Kingdom interchangeably. People wouldn't use expressions like put the great back in Britain if they did fully understand. You could be right blatant liar.
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On Wed 31 Jul at 3:09pm David Stanley wrote:
Excellent, can you expostulate about the Glorious Revolution and the Peace of Westphalia next please?
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On Wed 31 Jul at 8:15pm Nevillman wrote:
I would do David but I don't want to upset basil again by explaining things he already knows all about.
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On Wed 31 Jul at 10:22pm Tom Pain wrote:
I'm with you on this one Nev, the meaning of words is often not what we think it is. The French think of Britain as Big Brittany because a lot of the ancients came from Brittany,the Bretons. I'm sure the word comes from that. We have so many words from the French due to the Norman invasion. It's very telling how beef come s from the French boef but cow and cattle come from the Saxon. The conquerors had the meat and the Saxons looked after the cattle.
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On Sat 3 Aug at 4:27pm Basil wrote:
Reading some of the comments that followed yours Nevillman, I'm beginning to think you're right.


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