Tuesday 14 October 2014

This ends all world confusion - well, about the British Isles at least

I've often wondered about which label was the correct one when describing various countries or groups of countries in the British Isles, and thanks to the Grammar Girl Facebook page there's an easy to follow diagram.

In a nutshell:

The Channel Islands are Guernsey and Jersey.
The Crown Dependencies are the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands (above).
Great Britain is a combination of England, Scotland and Wales.
The United Kingdom is Great Britain plus Northern Ireland.
The British Islands are the United Kingdom plus the Crown Dependencies.
Ireland consists of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The British Isles is all of the above!

Source: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/whats-the-difference-between-england-great-britain-and-the-uk

The British Government were a busy lot when you also add in their British Overseas Territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands. On top of that they also have the 53 Commonwealth of Nations countries (usually ex-territories), which includes Australia and Botswana among many others.

So in case you were wondering...................now you know!


  1. G'day, I enjoyed this post which I have included in GeniAus' Gems this week at http://geniaus.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/gags-geniaus-gems-17-october-2014.html

  2. I love this article it helps to clarify how to sort the British Isles out now, but I always struggle when putting the correct address in for my ancestors as I would like that then to reflect the correct addresses that would have been relevant for locating them when they were alive, so now I'm the hunt for a hunt for a time line to go with the diagram!!

    1. Thanks Sandra. I think all these names of land groups would change over time. Good luck with that search! If you do find anything, let us know :)