Wait, where are we?

Pop quiz: Are we in England, Great Britain, or the United Kingdom?
Answer: All of the above!

I know it’s confusing, but here is a simple diagram that explains the relationships between all these little countries (oh wait, my bad, you’re all big and powerful countries, and we’re terribly scared of you! Sorry!).

Thanks to http://qntm.org/uk for the following:

“The republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are the only two sovereign states in this image. They are shown in red. Ireland and Great Britain are both islands and are shown in green. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are constituent countries of the United Kingdom and are shown in orange. Here, the term ‘constituent country’ is not used in the same way that ‘country’ is usually used; England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are political entities within the UK, and it is the UK which appears in international bodies such as the United Nations and NATO. There are many other islands in the British Isles which are not shown here. Most of these are politically part of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the republic of Ireland, with the exceptions of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, which are British crown dependencies and not part of the UK (or ROI) at all.”

So basically the moral of the story is to be very careful about how you assign the terms “English” or “British”, because they are not inclusive. (And don’t expect a Scotsman to be rooting for the English football team in the World Cup!)


Posted on 14/06/2010, in Exploring the UK, Just a funny, Logistics, travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thanks, Astrid! I must admit that I’ve been confused about the distinction between Great Britain and and the United Kingdom. I thought that both terms referred to essentially the same thing. A Venn diagram is worth a thousand words!

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