Living in England

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Friday, March 17, 2006

British or English

Message taken from our forum:

Hi,Im from the U.s. and I was wondering what is the difference between Britain, England, and the UK. Second, what do ya'll call yourselves, British or English(...U.K.ish...LOL ;))?Please Help!


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  • At March 17, 2006 , Sally said...

    This is an easy question to answer. I am British and English although I will refer to myself as english first.

    I am english because I was born in England.

    I am British because I live in one of the countries which form Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)

    The United Kingdom official title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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  • At March 17, 2006 , Young Irelander said...

    To Tom

    "Presumably someone from Northern Ireland is British,because that is the term to refer to someone who is a United Kingdom citizen."

    Actually,under the Good Friday Agreement,people can classify themselves as Irish citizens or British citizens.
    As for the debate on nationality,there is more to an identity that legal technicalities.Last century,Britain told Irish people they were British ONLY but Irish people refused to listen to that and because of that Irish citizenship exists.It's called self-determination.

  • At March 17, 2006 , Stevie said...

    its not a hard question to answer IF YOUR BORN IN ENGLAND YOURE ENGLISH, not british, the scottish, irish, or welsh dont call themselves british.. there seems to be no recognition of the english male / female anymore, and if anyone calls us european

  • At March 17, 2006 , Scales said...

    I'm from Northern Ireland so I'm BRITISH ok lets make this easy for everyone


    AS WELL as being English, Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish
    if you met me and asked me my nationality i would say British but my regional Identity is Northern Irish like being an American and being from California that makes you a Californian as well as a American I'm British but I'm also Northern irish and proud of both I hate it when people tell me that I'm not British excuse me I have a British passport with the words "British Citizen " inside ! of course I'm British !!!

  • At April 11, 2006 , Anonymous said...

    I just want to add here something more for people from Poland, because they do have a problem. Although they say England they always mean GB,never think about Northern Ireland. I think they will tend to have this problem forever

  • At May 02, 2006 , Laurence said...

    Technically, the term 'British' doesn't exist anymore. So to anyone who would call themselves a British Citizen:
    You are a citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and have a UK Passport. You are also an EU citizen (whether you like it or not). Or you could describe yourself as English, Welsh, Scottish, or Northern Irish.
    The British were a Celtic tribe who were subjugated by the Romans and eventually conquered by the Angles, Jutes, Saxons, and Friesians in the 5th Century. I doubt very much if anyone could prove they have an unbroken line of British ancestry. :)

  • At August 29, 2006 , curtis said...

    Right - here we go...

    People from all the four countries in the UK are "from the UK" and also European.

    People from Wales, Scotland and England are that nationalities (eg. Scottish) and also British.

    And people from Northern Ireland can class themselves as Northern Irish and British OR Irish.

    BUT geographically the country of Northern Ireland isn't in Great Britain, its part of the Island of Ireland.

    People from The Isle of Man, The Channel Islands, and other British Crown dependencies fall into the same category as people from Wales, Scotland and England. For example, people from the Isle of Man are Manx, British, "from the UK" and European.


  • At September 26, 2006 , Anonymous said...

    Hello John,I don't just call myself Scottish, I AM Scottish. (Sorry, don't know how to make italic or bold letters)

    Scotland is only part of Britain, as is England.

    Our different kingdoms were united some time ago, hence the United Kingdom (U.K.).

    King James VI of Scotland became James I of England. Soon after becoming king of England he moved from Scotland to London in the south of England, where the centre of power in Britain still lies.

  • At November 09, 2006 , Anonymous said...

    I was born in British Guyana, South America. What nationality does that make me? All of my legal documents at that time says, British Guyana, S.A.

  • At November 15, 2006 , Anonymous said...

    I am Welsh, and tend to get a little upset when anyone says: Oh! You're English then.

  • At January 04, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I was born in Scotland and live in London: so I'm proud to describe myself as British!

  • At January 05, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I personally dont like being called "British", I am an "Englishman" because I was born and raised in England. My Granparents on my fathers side were Scottish, but because I was raised in England I consider myself as an Englishman... Although I do like the Scots.. they are good people and am proud to have their blood in me too.
    I personally dont like this whole "U.K" thing, lets get our identities back! and live in piece with it.. think of the Welsh... my great auntie was Welsh and was a proud woman because she was... the Welsh deserve to be recognised as a proud country too... people always forget them somehow, its not fair... Lets stop being a "U.K" and be proud.. but accept eachother... Feck the Fecking goverment that decides all in the capital of my country (England)... It's peoples choice... choose to be a nation by gathering and it will happen. God bless Wales, God bless Scotland, God bless Ireland, God bless England. Feck off U.K I say and Feck off Britishness.

  • At January 14, 2007 , danish said...

    I argree with scales.

    UK or britain is a country like the USA with states. A english and scotish are countrymen, and they must call themselves british, because there country is named britain. It is cool to be a british, and britain is a old country from year of 2000 bc or something like that, and not from 1707

  • At January 18, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    Unfortunately Danish, just for the record, its not quite as simple as that! The different parts of the UK you compare to North American States have a tad more national identity and history behind them than their comrades across the pond!

  • At March 07, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    My mother was born in England and my father was born in Scotland. I was born and raised in Scotland but although I have an English mother, I am proud to say that I am Scottish.

  • At March 21, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I was born in Scotland, i have always lived in Scotland and my both parents are the exact same. So that makes me Scottish. I am proud of my Scottish heritage but of course iam still British. But i will always be a Scotsman before i am British. For example: if i was on holiday and someone asked me where i was from i would say scotland. not Britain. Iam still proud to be British but when you usally say to a foreigner you are from britain they allways assume u are from England which I hate. I am not english i will never be and i never want to be.

  • At April 06, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    Although offically i am a citizen of the United Kingdom i do not class my self as British. I always say im Scottish and i've noticed many times with people from other countries like the United States, Germany, Poland ,Russia and other countries they tend to refer to all of the United Kingdom as 'England' ignoring the existance of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Personally i think that we should all be independant countries once again and slit up the UK.

  • At April 23, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    23.04.07. HAPPY ST. GEORGE'S DAY

    People, it's not as simple as that. English is an origin same as Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Jamaican, African etc. You cannot be English just because you were born in England. For example, if you were born in China, that would not ever make you Chinese as Chinese is a race! If your past ancestors, four hundred years or so, have all been born in England and are their ethnicity is English, then, if you are born in England, then you are English, but have British Nationality. If your parents all come from somewhere else, anywhere else, and you are born in England, then you are definitely not English. You may not even be British if your parents do not have British Citizenship. In that case, you had better check with the Nationality Office in Scotland. So you see everyone, it is not so simple as you would think. You are NOT English just because you are born here, anymore than you are African if you are born in Africa!

    Jan (English) from London

  • At May 10, 2007 , AlexCam82 said...

    I wish people would get it right, look at it in the big picture. The americans dont understand how britain works. As posted before Britain (short for Great Britain) is the make up of Scotland, England and Wales (although officially Wales is just a principallity- i.e There is a Queen of England and Scotland, but a Prince of Wales.) Of course then there is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. British Citizen is lazy term for "Citizen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". There is no such thing as a British Passport. It is a passport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (dont argue with me here, if u dont believe me then read the front cover on your passport). In short you are either English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh. Being British is a title you have if you are one of these nationalities. One last reminder for you Americans. England is NOT AN ISLAND. It is a country on the Island of Great Britain.

  • At May 10, 2007 , AlexCam82 said...

    ENGLAND IS NOT AN ISLAND. It is a country on an Island. The Island of Great Britain. Which when titled with Northern Island becomes the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Primarily though you are either English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh. British just means you come from one of these countries. Oh and there is no such thing as a british passport. It states clearly on the front cover that it is a passport of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It doesnot say British Passport.

  • At May 11, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    well i agree and disagree with someof the last comments to me is a bit more complicated. im ENGLISH and when i get forms and stuff that ask the question of nationalty they nver rele state the english option. but a scotish or irish or welsh on is more likey to be there and it angers me anyway bk to ur question to be english to me u need to not only hve english grandparents but be born in england. i h8 it when people from other countrys and live here and start calling hm selves english yeah britain is made up of ENGLAND. WALES, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRLAND so if someon says the are british ask them when there blood line lays and then ur no if they come from one of the 4 countrys that make up GREAT BRITAIN!


  • At May 26, 2007 , Arnold said...

    The strange thing is that the only people in the UK who call themselves British are those that live in Northern Ireland. We don't call ourselves "Northern Irish" but would say "I'm British, I come from Northern Ireland" or something along those lines.

    Of course, that's apart from those in Northern Ireland who would call themselves Irish. They definitely don't say they're British.

    See my little discussion on this at .

    There are also untold numbers of complications for people who are "British" in some fashion but may not necessarily have the right to live in the UK. The rules are different for those from places fairly close to the UK such as the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Gibraltar and there are other variations for those "British" who were born in places further afield such as the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, and various places in Africa, South America, the Atlantic and Pacific.

    Overseas though the default term for "British" is usually "English". I'm in France at the moment and almost always when I fill in "British" as nationality, it is "corrected" to "English" or, worse, "Irish" (which causes problems in areas of health care as they as for information from Ireland where there is, of course, nothing recorded about me).

  • At June 22, 2007 , English lad said...

    Personally i think that im english i was born in london and consider england as well a country on its own which is joined onto ireland scotland and wales it is only called britain for a name for all for it is just like calling all of france germany etc.... the e.u. But anyone that lives in englannd should NOT call them selves british because they are NOT.

  • At July 03, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    My parents are welsh but i was born in England and have lived in England all my life. But i consider myself as welsh because i have welsh blood in me and its your parents that make you which has nothing to do with where in the world you are born.

    you'll still be the same person where ever your born the only time you'll change is when you have diferent parents.

    At the end of the day if a dog is born in a stable it doesn't mean that its a horse does it?

  • At August 13, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I was born in Scotland and have always said my nationality was Scottish not British and certainly not European. I live in Northern Ireland at present but I will always be Scottish.

  • At September 03, 2007 , Anonymous said...

    I call myself British. I was born in Northern Ireland and lived there for a little while until my parents decided to move back to England. (they are both English) so I am a little confused as what to call myself. I also have an English accent but as we have moved around quite a lot (due to my Dad's job) it doesnt have an identity to it like my parents'. So I find it easier to call myself British. If this is wrong please correct me.

  • At September 12, 2007 , naoms said...

    can a black child born in the UK be english?i know they are british.


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