England, Britain, UK 有甚麼不同? What’s the difference?

Since I started blogging, I’ve been using England, Britain and UK interchangeable. I started to question myself on the difference the other the day because as a Brit, I really should know. So I thought, I’d better find out.

從我開始這個部落,提到英國時,我通常都會很自然地用England,但 有時我又會用 Britain,而間中更會用 UK。其實三個名稱有甚麼不同?身為英籍,我當然要好好了解,現在就跟大家粗略地介紹一下。



Let’s start with England.  Well, England is where you’ll find Big Ben, Stonehenge, and that’s where Shakespeare died 400 years ago.  We call the London underground the Tube and we measure our body weight in stones where 1 stone equals 14 pounds or 6.35kg.

Next we have Scotland up north, where men sometimes wear a skirt called a kilt and rumour has it a monster called Nessie lives in one of the lakes which are called lochs in Scotland. The smallest whisky distillery, Edradour is located at a small town called Pitlochry.  They produce 90,000 litres of whisky every year but attracts 100,000 visitors!

Then we have Wales which has 3.1m population and 7 times the number of sheep.  The railway station with the longest name in the world (58 letters to be precise) can be found here.  It begins with Llanfair… which is pronounced “thlan vyre” and not “lan fair”.

Together England, Scotland and Wales are known as Great Britain or simply Britain or GB for short.

Northern Ireland is on the north east of the Ireland island and takes up about 1/6 of the island.  Its capital is Belfast where the Titanic was built in 1909, and there are about 25 million people of Northern Irish descent in  America and Canada . Great Britain together with Northern Ireland are known as The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or UK for short.

Well, there you have it, hopefully you will now know the difference between England, GB and the UK.  If you’re interested, next time and I’ll talk about the British Empire.


Before we go, remember I said Great Britain includes England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland?  With the Olympics due to start this week, we have our Team GB which actually includes Northern Ireland’s athletes. There have been calls to rename the team to Team UK so Northern Ireland aren’t left out, but Team GB has built up its brand image over the years, and particularly with its success in London 2012, any name change would be very unlikely.

Go Team GB!


先說England英格蘭。四百多年前大文豪莎士比亞的出生地,遠古的遺址有巨石陣Stonehenge,著名歷史建築有大笨鐘Big Ben。我們稱倫敦地鐵為 the Tube, 運在使用的獨有體重單位石頭 stone ,一 個stone相等於十四磅或六點三五公斤。 在英格蘭以北,我們有蘇格蘭Scotland。 這裡的男士傳統服裝是名為Kilt的短裙子,而傳說一隻叫尼斯Nessie的水怪生活在蘇格蘭被稱為loch而非lake 的湖泊中。蘇格蘭最小的威士忌釀酒廠Edradour位於小鎮Pitlochory上。他們每年出產九萬公升威士忌,但到訪釀酒廠卻有十萬人! 最後我們來到威爾士Wales。這裏有三百-十萬人口,但綿羊的數量卻有七倍之多,另外世上名稱最長的火車站 Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch就在這裡。

英格蘭,蘇格蘭和威爾士就統稱為大不列顛島Great Britain, 簡稱BritainGB

北愛爾蘭Northern Ireland位於愛爾蘭島東北部,大約佔這島面積的六份一。它的首都是貝爾法斯特Belfast,一九零九年泰坦尼克號Titanic就在這裏建造。按估計現時美國和加拿大有大約二千五百萬人有北部愛爾蘭血統。大不列顛島與北愛爾蘭一起就稱為大不列顛及北愛爾蘭聮合皇國United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland簡稱United KingdomUK

希望你現在已大概知道了England, Britain和UK這三個名稱的差異。如果你有興趣,下次我會談談大英帝國British Empire 為何物。

最後,還記得我上面說GB只包括英格蘭,蘇格蘭和威爾士,而沒有北愛爾蘭?本週奧運即將開始,英國國家隊Team GB將出征巴西,但隊裡其實包括北愛爾蘭的運動員。過去曾有人提議Team GB應改為Team UK較合適,但Team GB已建立了多年品牌形象,加上二零一二年倫敦奧運會空前成功,相信改名已經不可能了。

Team GB加油!




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