Albion (Great Britain)

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by ampurdan, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. ampurdan

    ampurdan Senior Member

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    In a thread of the Spanish forum we came across the question of where came from the ancient name of Albion for Great Britain. We know that albus, alba, album means white in Latin, and someone says the flag of England is white with a red cross in it (actually, the Cross of Saint George) so maybe this has something to do. What do you foreros think about this matter?

    (I didn't know if this was the right place to post this question, but it's a cultural matter after all, isn't it?).
  2. Aupick

    Aupick Senior Member

    Strasbourg, France
    UK, English
    My story is that the white refers to the White Cliffs of Dover.
  3. kiro Senior Member

    UK / English
    Hi Alpurdan, I found this:

    "The name (Albion) is perhaps of Celtic origin or older, from the Proto-Indo-European root that denotes both "white" and "mountain", but the Romans took it as connected with albus (white), in reference to the chalk White Cliffs of Dover."

    The fact that England's national flag (the St.George's Cross) has a white background is totally unrelated to the above, as far as I know.
  4. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Several regions in Spain have St. George as its patron (namely, Aragon and Catalonia). Barcelona (Catalonia's capital) and Aragon have St George in its shield and all of them have a red cross on white.
  5. xarruc Senior Member

    Also one of the Nordic countries (Sweden I think) has some claim to good ol' George the dragonslayer. I think he must have been quite the professional.

    regarding Albion and its etymology
  6. ampurdan

    ampurdan Senior Member

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Thank you all for your answers.
  7. Amatus Member

    UK English
    Albion is said to come from the name of a tribe, the Albiones. It seems unlikely that the word has its origins in Latin albus/alba/album. I understand the Gaelic language has a similar-sounding name for England, and I doubt that the natives borrowed the word from the Romans. Of Celtic origin for sure.
  8. elpoderoso

    elpoderoso Senior Member

    I think you may be confusing this with the Gaelic name for Scotland, which is alba.

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