General Question

silverfly's avatar

What's the difference between England, United Kingdom, Britain, and the British Columbia?

Asked by silverfly (4045points) May 4th, 2010

Are these names referring to one place or is there a difference?

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18 Answers

Dr_C's avatar

The United Kingdom consists of England and Scotland among other protectorates. Brittain is another name for the UK.

Brittis Columbia is in Canada and is not part of the UK.

Also, RH is a brit… he could explain better I think

Sarcasm's avatar

Britist Columbia is part of Canada.
United Kingdom is England + Scotland + North Ireland + Wales.
Britain is England + Scotland + Wales.
England is England.

richardhenry's avatar

Great Britain is the larger island on the right, comprising England, Scotland and Wales. The smaller island on the left is Ireland.

richardhenry's avatar

The Commonwealth is a collection of countries that used to belong to the British Empire. There’s a bunch more information on Wikipedia.

silverfly's avatar

Awesome, thanks guys. I could’ve looked this up on Google, I know… but you provide better answers!

tragiclikebowie's avatar

The name Britain is either derived from or gave it’s namesake to the native tribe of the larger island (mainly in current day England), the Britons.

And the Latin name for the island after the Roman conquest in 43AD is Britanni or Brittanni.

Bugabear's avatar

England is a country, The UK is a group of countries and BC is a province (state) of Canada. It was under British rule for a while which is why it’s called British Columbia. Funny thing to note is England can fit into BC seven times.

MrItty's avatar

The UK is a sovereign nation comprising four distinct countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. It’s official name is actually “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”

Great Britain is a geographic location – it is an island off the Northwest coast of Europe. On it reside three countries – England, Scotland, and Wales.

“Ireland” is ambiguous. It could refer to either the geographic location – the island to the west of Great Britain. Or it could refer to either of the countries on the island – the Republic of Ireland, or Northern Ireland (the latter of which is part of the UK).

British Columbia is one of the provinces of Canada, and has nothing to do with anything previously mentioned. other than the fact that Canada itself is still part of the British Commonwealth, which is sort of a loose affiliation of former British territories

sliceswiththings's avatar

Hm, I recently was sick in a bed for a week and spent this time memorizing the countries of the world, their flags, and their capitals.

Only “United Kingdom” is used as a country on a few online learning sites (Sheppard Software and Sporcle), and only it counts in the current country count of 195. Similarly, only the UK flag and London are used in world flag and world capital databases.

So are England, Scotland, and Wales not countries then?

richardhenry's avatar

@sliceswiththings The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is what “the UK” refers to, and that’s what this flag represents. The UK comprises England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

While these are countries, they are countries that are part of the United Kingdom (which is itself a country). It’s a little bit complicated.

The Republic of Ireland (the rest of Ireland below Northern Ireland) is recognised as an independent country, with this flag.

If you’re interested in why Ireland is split up into two different countries, read about The Troubles.

Also, props to you for learning countries, flags and capitals. That’s an awesome thing to do while you’re sick.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@richardhenry Aha! Complicated, but it makes sense.

Thanks! I decided to learn flags, then realized just how ignorant I was about the world since there were so many countries I hadn’t heard of. This information has already proven useful, and I feel like a more-cultured person now. Maybe if more Americans did this we’d improve our image overseas:)

richardhenry's avatar

@sliceswiththings Oh, and the UK flag is sort of a combination of the English and Scottish flags, with a hint of the Welsh flag thrown in (sort of!). Northern Ireland doesn’t have it’s own flag.

The_Idler's avatar

England, Scotland and Wales are countries.
Constiuent countries of the nation: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The ambiguity comes from many English speakers (British included) using “country” and “nation” interchangeably. A country is a place, a nation is a sovereign entity. The two tend to correlate these days.

The flag is a combination of the English and Scottish flags, a result of the Act of Union 1707, which permanently combined the thrones of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain.
Wales is not represented in the flag, as it had already been incorporated into the Kingdom of England, as a Principality.
As a result of the Act of Union 1801, which permanently combined the thrones of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland, the cross of St. Patrick was incorporated into the Union Flag. This wasn’t really very much associated with Ireland at the time, but it looks cool.

So the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the union of three Kingdoms, the English, Scottish and Irish, and so the flag is a representation of that union.

Nobody cares about the Welsh.

Another funny one is the acronym for the “England and Wales Cricket Board”: ECB

The_Idler's avatar

Oh and Columbia is the name of the North-West corner of habitable (I mean, come on, Alaska is not habitable) North America.

It was once all British, but it got split when the border between British and US America was formalised at some parallel with some treaty, cutting Columbia into “British Columbia” and “Oregon Territory”, which was actually Oregon and Washington and a bit more.

mattbrowne's avatar

England is sometimes used as a synonym for the UK. Like Holland and the Netherlands. Like America for the United States.

MrItty's avatar

@mattbrowne go up to a Scottish person and tell him he’s from England. See what happens.

Dr_C's avatar

@MrItty or for that matter someone in Belfast…

mattbrowne's avatar

@MrItty – Same problem in every country, I guess. Some Germans from the north can’t tell Bavarians and Swabians apart.

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