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What is the difference between Great Britain and UK?
Is Great Britain the same thing as the United Kingdom?
Is Britain and England the same thing?
Why is England or the UK sometimes called Britain?
The names Great Britain and United Kingdom are often used interchangeably. However, they are not actually synonymous. The reason for the two names, and the difference between them, has to do with the expansive history of the British Isles. The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwestern coast of Europe.
- The British Isles
- Britain and Great Britain
- The Major Belows
We'll start with the term with the broadest referent, that group of islands at the end of our traveler's journey. Known as the "British Isles", the island group comprises Great Britain (see below), Ireland (also see below), and smaller islands adjacent to those, including the Hebrides, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, the Isles of Scilly, ...
If our traveler were to head first to the westernmost part of the British Isles, Ireland would be the first stop. The term Ireland has both a solely geographical use in referring to the second largest of the islands of the British Isles, and two political uses: used solo, Ireland refers to what is also called (by some) the "Republic of Ireland," a ...
Traveling now to the largest of the islands in the British Isles, just east of the island of Ireland, we encounter another geographical designation: the island known as both "Britain" and as "Great Britain." (Both have other applications as well, which, uh, see below.) That big island has on it three countries: Scotland in the north; England in the...
Welcome to one of the major belows! The term The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a political designation and a bit of a mouthful. To make things easier on everybody, United Kingdom is also used with the identical meaning. To make things even easier, UK is used as an abbreviation of the whole thing. And what exactly is that w...
Jun 24, 2016 · In strict geographic terms, Great Britain (also known as “Britain”) is an island tucked between the North Sea and the English Channel, which at its narrowest point is about 20 miles away from...
- Matt Rosenberg
- Geography Expert
- The United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is an independent country off the northwestern coast of Europe. It consists of the entire island of Great Britain and a northern part of the island of Ireland.
- Great Britain. Great Britain is the name of the island northwest of France and east of Ireland. Much of the United Kingdom consists of the island of Great Britain.
- England. England is located in the southern part of the island of Great Britain, which is part of the country of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom includes the administrative regions of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
- Ireland. A final note on Ireland. The northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland is the administrative region of the United Kingdom known as Northern Ireland.
Jun 23, 2022 · In technical language, United Kingdom is a political term while Great Britain is a geographical one. However, these two terms overlap heavily in popular usage. Notably, the term Great Britain is popularly used as a synonym of United Kingdom, meaning Northern Ireland is included. Go Behind The Words!