Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Difference between UK, Great Britain, and England

Okay, my friends, today we are going to take a close look at this area of the world. Recognize it? I would have, but the next few questions I would have answered fairly poorly. Before you look at the rest of the text in this post, take a stab at identifying the following on this first map:

  • England

  • Scotland

  • Wales

  • Ireland

  • Northern Ireland

  • Britain

  • Great Britain

  • United Kingdom

Taken a guess? Good. Now read the rest of this post for the answers.

The country of England is shown on the map to the right.

Scotland is shown in red on this map.

This is the country of Wales.

Let's go the other other island. This is Ireland.

Here is Northern Ireland.

Most of us could have used process elimination to get the above correct, I think. But now the going gets rough...

Britain is a term that can mean several things. It can be used to reference just England and Wales (as shown to the right), or all of Great Britain, or the UK.

England, Scotland, and Wales together can be referred to as Great Britain.

Add Northern Ireland to Great Britain and you get the United Kingdom.

And finally, everything on all the related islands (shown in green) is referred to as the British Isles.

Now for extra, extra credit, pat yourself on the back if you knew that this little island between the two big islands is called the Isle of Man. I had heard the term before, but had no idea where it was on the globe.

And finally, the little islands to the north of Scotland are the Shetland Islands. Class dismissed.


Erik D. Slater said...

Your definition of "Britain" is wrong, while your definition of "Great Britain" is misleading.

Both "Britain" and "Great Britain" include England, Scotland and Wales. You do not get "Great Britain" by adding Scotland to the mix. Please correct this error.

Otherwise, quite decent :-)

J said...

Hi Erik,

Then somebody better tell Woodlands Jr High School in the UK that they have it wrong:

Apparently there is some disagreement on whether 'Britain' includes Scotland or not, as the site above states it is England and Wales while Wikipedia states "Britain" can refer to Great Britain or to the UK. That make three different definitions!

I'll make note in the writeup. Thanks for the heads up.

J said...

Apparently that URL was cut off by Blogger...the last part should be britain.htm

Anonymous said...

Those islands at the top of Scotland are the Orkneys. Shetland isn't on your map