General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Are Scotland and Ireland technically England?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635points) March 28th, 2012

I understand that the three together these days are noted as the U.K.

But is it incorrect to say, “Oh yes I’ve been to Glasgow. England sure is beautiful.”

Or do they work exactly as seperate states/countries unified by one government?


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29 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

No. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are seperate countries with in the United Kingdom. UK and England are not interchangeble terms. Great Britain is the island made up of England, scotland and wales.
Ireland is an entirely seperate country from the UK with different currency and everything.

DominicX's avatar

No. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are constituent countries within the sovereign nation of the United Kingdom.

Ireland is a separate sovereign nation (though at one point Ireland was joined with Great Britain as one country).

downtide's avatar

Hell, no. England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are part of the UK though. Think of the UK as like a mini USA, with these four individual “States”.

Ireland (The Republic of) is now a totally separate country, connected only by language. Think of that one as a state that seceeded from the union and went independent.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
bongo's avatar

NO they are not the same. This youtube video explains it very thoroughly, very quickly.

whitecarnations's avatar

@bongo Phew! That was like smashing an atom and putting it back together.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with the answers above. Although, what I do find a little odd is all four are Great Britain, but only the English are called British.

fundevogel's avatar

Problem solved.

Next question: Will a horde of Vikings descend on me if I say “Scandinavian” when I should have used “Nordic”?

flutherother's avatar

No, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not England and each has its own assembly or parliament. Scotland is a quite different country to England with its own history and legal system. In the autumn of 2014 the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum on whether to leave the United Kingdom completely.

Trillian's avatar

No more than the US, Canada and Mexico are the same.

dappled_leaves's avatar

^ Actually, good point. I’m sure Scots are as annoyed when people call them “British” (though they live in Britain) as Canadians or Mexicans would be to be called “American” (though we all reside in North America).

MrItty's avatar

@JLeslie not quite. Great Britain does not include Northern Ireland. Great Britain is a geographic location – specifically, the bigger of the two islands. Northern Ireland is the country that shares the island of Ireland with the Republic of Ireland. Northern Ireland is one of the four countries in the UK, but it is not part of Great Britain.

JLeslie's avatar

@MrItty That is my mistake to say all four, but Scotland and whales are both part of Great Britain as far as I know, and I don’t think any Scotsman would identify as a being British? While a Mexican would not deny being called North American, although the term is never used. At least not in the Americas. When my SIL went to finishing school in Switzerland and also married an Italian, and at times they called her the American, even though she was Mexican.

MrItty's avatar

@JLeslie I agree, when we say ‘British’, we almost always mean ‘English’, but according to the official definition, it refers to any citizen of the UK. <shrug>

bongo's avatar

@MrItty @JLeslie and @dappled_leaves Generally people call themselves British when they are either not fussed about their nationality or would like to include the fact that they have family from Scotland and Wales too. The Scots and the Welsh tend to call themselves Scottish and Welsh not British because they tend to be more proud of their nationality and independence from England with their own Parliament or Assembly. It tends to be safer to say that someone is British (as long as they are not Irish but the Irish accent is pretty unmistakable), all Welsh and Scottish people I know would not get offended if you called them British. Welsh. Scottish, Irish and Northern Irish people can get offended if you call them English. I would be a bit confused if someone called me Scottish or Irish etc due to my very english accent, but not offended.
I would usually call myself British if I travel overseas, however now that I live in Wales I call myself English as I am technically from a different country. It doesnt make much of a difference really apart from when it comes to sports and politics…

Aethelflaed's avatar

Here is a nice picture that explains it all. I use it all the time when I’m too busy to watch C.G.P. Gray’s video.

JLeslie's avatar

@bongo Well, my Scotish BIL is sure to say he is not British. Not because he has any dislike for the English, only because he does not identify as British. I kind of think it is like a person from India in America would not be identified as Asian, even though he is from the Asian continent, because in America we use Asian to signify people from the orient/east Asia. Same with being Middle Eastern, technically they would be Asian also.

fundevogel's avatar

What about “Briton”? Which group of people does that encompass?

Lightlyseared's avatar

I’m English and identify myself as English except on official forms at border controls where if you use terms different to what is says on your passport it tends to confuse and upset people (often people with guns and no sense of humour).

@fundevogel “Britons” were an ancient people from the island of Great Britain

Trillian's avatar

“The Britons? Ooo are the Britons?”
“We’re all Britons, and I’m your king!”
“Well I didn’t vote for you.”

robmandu's avatar

They’re all just a bunch of limey bastards. ;-P

fundevogel's avatar

@robmandu Except for the potato-eating micks.

bongo's avatar

@JLeslie so he is offended if someone were to call him British? But if he is Scottish he is British?! No, calling someone Asian is like calling a Brit European I would say. Brits do not tend to get called European because we do not live on the continent.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@bongo Hah. In my experience, continental Europeans’ feathers are ruffled when anyone calls visiting Britain “visiting Europe”.

JLeslie's avatar

@bongo I did not get the impression he is offended, just that he does not identify as British so he correct it. I have never known him to speak badly about any nationality, culture, race or religion, so I can’t imagine he is offended.

As far as my Asian example, I just mean how we use and define the word in America. Americans use the term Asian to describe people from east Asia. I am not sure how middle eastern and Indian people for example feel about using Asian to describe themselves. I think many many Americans have no idea part of Russia is in Asia for example, and we tend to use Europe for western and northern Europe, but not for Russia. At least in the media that is how it is done, how we divide up regions. Mexico is North America, but America is more likely to categorize it with Latin America.

mattbrowne's avatar

No, but this is a common problem for many countries, like Holland being only a part of the Netherlands. Many Americans think of Bavaria when discussing Germany. And many Brits think of continental Europe as Europe. The term UK has a problem when referring to people. It’s strange to talk about Youkayers, but easier to talk about Scots or Englishmen or Englishwomen (bit long, though). Scots do have the word Englisher.

flutherother's avatar

@mattbrowne We have the word ‘Sassenach’. I don’t agree with everything James Kelman, the Scottish writer, says about independence but he makes some interesting points in an article published yesterday.

Bent's avatar

I’m Welsh, but I don’t get offended if someone calls me British. Logically I suppose I should consider myself British as Wales is part of Great Britain, but it’s not something that I would think to say to someone.

MellisaTurner's avatar

Scotland is its own country and has its own sovereignty. However, it falls under the parliament of Great Britain not England. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all part of Great Britain.

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