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What do the Irish call the British Isles

EBarnacle1 16 Oct 02 - 01:28 PM
weepiper 16 Oct 02 - 01:30 PM
Amos 16 Oct 02 - 01:32 PM
MMario 16 Oct 02 - 01:36 PM
weepiper 16 Oct 02 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Boring Guest 16 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,JTT 16 Oct 02 - 02:12 PM
weerover 16 Oct 02 - 02:13 PM
Uncle_DaveO 16 Oct 02 - 02:15 PM
HuwG 16 Oct 02 - 02:22 PM
RolyH 16 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 02 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 16 Oct 02 - 05:20 PM
Gareth 16 Oct 02 - 06:50 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Oct 02 - 07:12 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Oct 02 - 07:39 PM
smallpiper 16 Oct 02 - 07:46 PM
Snuffy 16 Oct 02 - 07:48 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 02 - 08:17 PM
diesel 16 Oct 02 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,Popular Front of the Palestinian Liberation 16 Oct 02 - 09:02 PM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Oct 02 - 09:18 PM
Brían 16 Oct 02 - 11:19 PM
Big Tim 16 Oct 02 - 11:25 PM
The Pooka 17 Oct 02 - 12:00 AM
Liz the Squeak 17 Oct 02 - 03:14 AM
Fibula Mattock 17 Oct 02 - 03:26 AM
Wolfgang 17 Oct 02 - 04:20 AM
Gurney 17 Oct 02 - 04:48 AM
GUEST 17 Oct 02 - 05:19 AM
Hrothgar 17 Oct 02 - 05:46 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM
GUEST,JTT 17 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Oct 02 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,GerMan 17 Oct 02 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 17 Oct 02 - 06:51 AM
GUEST 17 Oct 02 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 17 Oct 02 - 07:03 AM
Declan 17 Oct 02 - 07:21 AM
Gareth 17 Oct 02 - 07:38 AM
Pied Piper 17 Oct 02 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,GerMan 17 Oct 02 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Mikey joe 17 Oct 02 - 08:37 AM
Mr Red 17 Oct 02 - 08:38 AM
Wolfgang 17 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM
Fiolar 17 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,GerMan 17 Oct 02 - 10:15 AM
GUEST 17 Oct 02 - 10:47 AM
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Subject: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:28 PM

Considering the issues of ethnic identity and nationalism we have been discussing lately, what do the Irish, Scots, Welsh, etc. call what we call the British Isles?


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: weepiper
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:30 PM

Depends what you mean by British Isles. Ireland is a republic not part of Britain, except for Northern Ireland. I'm Scottish and I generally call the rest of it (Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland) the UK or Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Amos
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:32 PM

Or, sometimes, those flaming limey bastids...depending on your temperament! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: MMario
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:36 PM

I think the question was - the island cluster off the coast of Europe which include that geographical feature on which England, Scotland, etc reside PLUS Ireland - PLUS numerous other small islands; are usually designated as "The British Isles".

Is there another name by which it is known in Scotland and/or Ireland?


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: weepiper
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:51 PM

Erm. I don't ever remember referring to the whole lot as anything... 'The British Isles' as a concept doesn't usually come up in conversation here.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Boring Guest
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM

One of the problems is that there are a number of different concepts that get confused. As a Scot living in the USA it is amusing and frustrating to hear what many "Americans" think they are.

Basically, the split is as follows:

British Isles - Geographical term referring to all the islands sitting immediately off the coast of Europe, excluding Faeros, Iceland (and a couple of others) and including Ireland (Republic and Northern) and the Orkneys and Shetlands. Not one that is used vrey much anymore anyway - regardless of where in the British Isles you come from.

Great Britain and Britain - This is the island containing only Scotland, Wales and England and again is a geographic term.

United Kingdom - this is more of a geo-political entity. The full name is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (before 1921 it was "and Ireland". Sometimes it is said to be the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as Wales was a principality under England rather than a kingdom that entered into the Union (technically only Scotland entered into the Union although you have to rememebr that we were "Bought and sold for English gold").

Finally, if you are from the island that is Great Britain, you would be British (some of the people in Northern Ireland might refer to themselves as British as well which based on the British Isles is correct although tenuous, I would say) and if you come from the island that is "Ireland" you would be Irish.

A similar situation exists in North America - you have people who reside in Canada, Mexico or the USA, and refer to themselves as Canadians, Mexicans or Americans respectively. However, technically they are all "Americans" as they are from the continent of North America. This is further confused as "native Americans" may reside in any of these countries.....

Nuff said!


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:12 PM

I think the *correct* geographical term is something like the "North Atlantic Islands".

What Irish people call them depends on political orientation. Unionists and southern West Brits call them the British Isles; republicans and liberals both tend to say "these islands".


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: weerover
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:13 PM

Can't speak for all Scots, but I don't often think of "The British Isles" as a concept either. I generally think of each of its constituents separately; is asked for my nationality I generally say "Scottish" even though that currently doesn't have status as a nationality for international purposes. In the course of time, though...


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:15 PM

And then again, I was born and raised in Minnesota, of 100% German ancestry. I am a native American. (as opposed to Native American)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: HuwG
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:22 PM

Welsh terms:

Cymru - Wales
Lloegr - England
Yr Alban - Scotland
Iwerddon - Ireland / Eire
(Iwerddon Gogledd = Northern Ireland)
Prydein - Britain / The British Isles


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: RolyH
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:38 PM

When they tour every four years or so the Lions rugby union team go under the title 'British Isles'.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:43 PM

Now no one's mentioned the Isle of Man, which isn't part of either of the big islands, and isn't part of the United Kingdom either, but is part of the British Isles, or whatever you call them. Actually since the Isle of Man sits slap bang in the middle, maybe a good name for the whole shebang would be "The Isles of Man".

Historically Great Britain means exactly the same as Britain, and refers to the island with England Scotland and Wales on it, which was been called Britannia by the Romans. The French refer to it as Grande Bretagne to distinguish it from Bretagne, Brittany, and Great Britain is just a translation. The use of the term "Britain" to refer to the United Kingdom seems pretty recent and dubious. I doubt if anyone ever referred to Ireland as a whole as being part of "Britain" before Partition.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 05:20 PM

The answer is to get an Irish atlas and see what it says at the head of the page that shows the entire island group.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Gareth
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 06:50 PM

British Isles - No ! British Lions is wot they tour under,

which reminds me of the South Wales joke.

Where did the Welsh first beat the All Blacks on a neutral Ground ?

Roukes Drift - oops un PC.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:12 PM

It's usually unprintable in a decent forum...

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:39 PM

It's a purely geographical term, as explained earlier by "Boring Guest". No value judgements attached; no political agendas, though seriously misunderstood by people who haven't bothered to think it through. Maybe the people Liz knows who have a problem with it would also prefer not to be considered part of Europe.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: smallpiper
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:46 PM

Since the term Britain is Roman, I think most people call them the British Isles. Its nowt to do with ethnicity at all, and since most of us are mongerals anyway - I am Irish and can trace my ancestry back to elizabeth the first of englands time (I stress this as most people dont realise that the current queen liz is queen liz the 1st of scotland)- so the islands are names by some roman git an dunless some one can come up with the pre roman name then thats what we are stuck with. So shall we settle on blaming the romans for all our troubles.

Yours extremely inebriated
John


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:48 PM

"The British Isles" is a purely geographical expression, like "the American Continent"

The United Kingdom is part of the British Isles, like the United States is part of the American Continent.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM

When making reference to the nation currently under the political union of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland, I use the term UK. If I am referring to the geographical island which contains the political states known as England, Scotland & Wales, I say Britain. If I am referring to the geographic island which encompasses Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, I say Ireland. If I am referring to both geographic islands, I say Britain and Ireland.

I never say "British Isles" because it isn't an accurate description of the geographic or geopolitical realities of the region. I would also suggest that most others in Britain and Ireland generally follow this same usage. There are many euphemisms and colloquial terms used by people in different regions, but those I've listed are the ones you would most likely hear used by British and Irish citizens, both at home and abroad.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM

Well said, John. Bloody Romans! That'll do me.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:17 PM

When the Scots get their independence that should solve the problem.

The term Britain and British Isles will revert to being purely geographical expressions, and noone will have any excuse for thinking the contain an implied divisive political meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: diesel
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:19 PM

I am born and bred Dublin, our school atlas when growing up showed Ireland to be an Island of the British Isles and most people I know wouldn't bat an eyelid to hear or use the term 'British isles'in the context of the initial question.
Some object for Republican and anti-everything-British sentiment.One I know also never lets you finish a sentance if you say 'the Queen' in it - before she asks which Queen ? Of Englan or the Netherlands
?
Now calling us British is a totally different argument - But lets not go there.

A humoruos story - well it was at the time - I was in a pottery shop in Malahide (kind of posh Dublin suburb - West-Brit and all that) when I over heard an elderly lady ask the sales person 'Do you have any British or is it all foreign ?) I couldn't resist I just had to interject - 'I'm sorry ! I thought British was foreign....? )

Oh for the look on that ones face ....

rgds

Diesel


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Popular Front of the Palestinian Liberation
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:02 PM

What have the Romans ever given us anyway? Other than the bagpipes...


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:18 PM

Roads, some placenames, some domestic archaeology. If they gave us the bagpipes, nobody seems to have noticed for the best part of seven hundred years.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Brían
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:19 PM

They also made our language intelligible...

Brían


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:25 PM

My father called it/them "across the sheugh".


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: The Pooka
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 12:00 AM

Greater Ireland.

:)


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 03:14 AM

But I thought Dublin was Danish?

(grinning madly and reaching for the door.....)

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 03:26 AM

Norse, LtS, Norse! The Danes settled in England, the Norse in Ireland!
;)


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 04:20 AM

I know I was not asked to respond, for I am not Irish, but...

I googled to find out the relative frequency of the terms used in English and German and the result came out to a big surprise for me, for in both cases I would have made the opposite prediction:

'Great Britain and Ireland' is less common than 'British Isles', but 'Großbritannien und Irland' is much more common than 'Britische Inseln'. The last term being used mostly in geography.

As for queens, it is easy in German though not very consistent. We say 'die Königin von...' and insert the country, except when we speak about the English (and some other parts of the world) monarch. Then we say not only colloquially but even in the evening news 'die Queen' (pron.: kveen). Seems natural to us.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Gurney
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 04:48 AM

Read a historical novel recently, set in the time when the Saxons, the 'English,' were coming down the Rhine and settling in 'Britain.' The 'Britons,' of Celtic stock, didn't like them much and were moving out, between battles, toward Wales and Scotland. The titles are the authors', not mine.
And I always thought the Scots were an Irish tribe who settled in the lands of the Picts.
If this is all true, I suppose it only matters to pedants what you call them/us. Just call in good time for dinner.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:19 AM

The Protestant-Unionists refer to England as " The Mainland", and also from the troubles of the past thirty years, now use LondonDerry all of the time, previously it was Derry.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:46 AM

Last time the rugby team came here, they were billed as the "British and Irish Lions."

We beat 'em, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM

Guest- Are you the Peoples Front of Judea?


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 05:57 AM

Rugby isn't exactly a nationalist sport in Ireland, by the way.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 06:01 AM

'Großbritannien und Irland' - leaving out the Isle of Man once again. (But I don't imagine the Manx are too worried about that.)


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 06:05 AM

A colleague of mine said she hadn't been abroad this year but had been to Ireland 3 times!!!!

I would suggest this is how the majority of British (Scots, Welsh & English but probably not those in Ulster) view our neighbour.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 06:51 AM

What do the British call "The Irish Sea"? Do they get upset about it? Jeez....


Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:00 AM

Strangely enough we call it the Irish Sea.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:03 AM

Quite.....


Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Declan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:21 AM

The term British Isles is a fairly well accepted Geographic term, although when we're talking about them here we tend to say these islands. To be honest it is not something that comes up in everyday conversation here, because a lot of people don't regard the islands as a single entity and therefore in most contexts don't find a need for a collective name.

The use of the term 'mainland' to describe the island which contains England, Scotland and Wales is misleading in most cases, but it depends on the context - if you're on an offshore island off the coast of Ireland then the Island of Ireland is referred to correctly as the mainland. I have a friend who delights in referring to Britain as the intervening (as opposed to the interfering) island.

Where the term British Isles gets a lot of our hackles up is when someone from the UK comes out with the statement in the company of Irish people that "we're all British aren't we". When challenged on this (which they surely will be by the Irsih person) the usual response will be - I mean we're all from the British Isles. This has long been an irritant to a lot of Irish people and is very prevelant among British sports commentators. It's also noticable that when a sportsperson from Ireland is competing internationally that (at least according to the BBC/ITV commetators) they are British if they win but Irish when they lose.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Gareth
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:38 AM

It may be the "Irish Sea" but it's also contains the "St George's Channel"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Pied Piper
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:13 AM

What's all this shouting? We'll have no trouble here.
   This flaming limey bast(i)d, is a little confused with the use of the phrase "southern West Brits". Surely you could not be referring to the Cornish and Devonians.
   I think that you actually mean the "Brits" from the south EAST (London and surrounding area).
   Here in the UK we have things called Maps, ingenious devices that show the location and shape of landmasses in an easily accessible way. They also show the orientation of said landmasses in relation to the points of the compass.
   I think you Have these in the US but they clearly only show America and Ireland.
   In the future please make use of a Map, to ensure accuracy when pontificating about events and attitudes in other peoples countries.
   Have a nice day.PP


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:17 AM

I find the the constant fawning towards Ireland by the British media mystifying especially when the feeling isn't reciprocated. I get annoyed when British people support Ireland at football because "thier our nearest neighbours". The majority of people in England (if not Britain) were probably born nearer to France than Ireland yet there's a general attitude of loathing towards France for some reason. I'd imagine this is just as annoying for the Irish (as Declan suggests above) especially all the stereotypes that are trotted out ad nauseum - "the plucky Irish" etc. etc.

Are there any other countries where this happens?


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,Mikey joe
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:37 AM

Pied piper


South Western Brits refers to people from the Republic of Ireland who reside in that part of the island known as West Britain (viz. The Pale aka the counties on the eastern seaboard) which tends to be more anglecised than the rest of the country. By this I take into account various factors like number of tea rooms per head of population and other important factors


Is mise le meas


Mj


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:38 AM

Well I'm with the pedantic semantics on this one not the romantic sychophantics.

Geographically Ireland is part of the British Isles, ideologically there is no logic - only opinions, bigotry and not a little institutionalised propaganda. But that is only my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM

Yes, GerMan, I think it is a more general phenomenon.
Take Germany and Austria, one big and one small country, close to each other geographically.
Germans feel closer to Austria than to, for instance, France though both border to Germany. Germans in their feelings are kind of inclusive (in sports: if none of us can win, we shout for the Austrian) and somewhat paternalistic. It just doesn't feel like going abroad when going to Austria. The feeling is: yes, we know in principle you have your own country but admit you are half Germans.

Austrians, on the other hand don't reciprocate these feelings of closeness. They want to demonstrate their independence by being explicitely anti-German. So in sports, seeing a German loose is nearly as good as seeing an Austrian win.

Do I exaggerate. Yes, of course, and for many individuals on both sides of the border it is different. But what you describe about Britain/Ireland reminds me in some aspects of Germany/Austria. I think the big/small country difference with an in parts common history can explain a lot.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: Fiolar
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:31 AM

In passing the Irish differentiated between the Danes and the Norwegians. The Danes were called "Dubh-Gall" and the Norwegians "Fionn-Gall." (Black Foreigners and Fair Foreigners). For a greater explanation see "The Story of the Irish Race", by Seumas MacManus. (Chapter 30; The Vikings in Ireland). Regarding the use of the word "mainland", I understand that the word was first used by Margaret Thatcher in order to give the impression that Ireland was nothing more than an extension of Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST,GerMan
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:15 AM

What puzzles me is why the English (in particular) have this attitude towards Ireland but not Scotland & Wales.

English tend to rejoice in the Scottish being not very good at football (although some claim this is because "they don't like us so we don't like them") rather than adopting the paternal attitude they have towards the Irish football team.

Having lived in both England & Scotland I wish we could all just get along!

Interesting to hear your ideas on Germany & Austria though. Maybe it will change as Europe becomes more integrated (we can livein hope!) & we'll all club together to gang up on the Americans!

Thread creep here but I regard myself as European first, then British, then from the county I live in, then the town etc. (I think I'm in a minority though).


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Subject: RE: BS: What do the Irish call the British Isles
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 10:47 AM

GerMan--we fought harder and longer to get rid of them, is why. And still they won't bugger off.


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