Britain/Great Britain

novice_81

Senior Member
German
Hi

Britain's geographical isolation meant that its ancient matrist culture remained undisturbed until around 2500 BC, when the Beaker People arrived from mainland Europe.

--- I'm just wondering if the word "Britain" in this sentence means the same as "Great Britain". My dictionary says that it's the same, but I'm not sure.
 
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Britain's geographical isolation meant that its ancient matrist culture remained undisturbed until around 2500 BC, when the Beaker People arrived from mainland Europe.

    --- I'm just wondering if the word "Britain" in this sentence means the same as "Great Britain". My dictionary says that it's the same, but I'm not sure.
    Yes, it's the same. :)
    I hate to disagree with a native BE speaker, but did Great Britain, either as a geo-political term, or as a physical entity, exist before 2500 BC?
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I hate to disagree with a native BE speaker, but did Great Britain, either as a geo-political term, or as a physical entity, exist before 2500 BC?
    May be we are answering different questions.

    sound shift is correct: a reference to Britain in 2500 BC means the land mass occupied by what is now called Great Britain. However, it would be wrong to talk about Beaker People arriving in Great Britain.

    Sometimes we need remind ourselves that "modern day" or "what is now" should often precede such references.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Right. So they arrived in what was called then Britan and later Great Britain.
    A few points:

    1. This forum is about English. To the best of my limited knowledge, the English language did not exist in 2500 BC or earlier. :D

    2. When you write "Britan", do you mean Britain?

    3. "what was called then Britan". Who is supposed to have been doing the calling, back in 2500 BC?
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    The "Great" was added by King James I (VI of Scotland) to help push his claim for a "united" realm, though its first use in English dates back to the 1400s.

    Back then the "Great" simply meant big. Therefore, Great Britain and Britain mean the same thing.
     
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