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Briton

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  • Briton is the most widely accepted term for people from Britain (which of course is not the same as England and the United Kingdom). Britisher had a brief heyday in the 20th century, but it was always only an American term and was never accepted by Britons themselves. Brit is not offensive, but it is informal.

     

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    Of these words, Brit appears most often because it serves as both a noun and an adjective, and probably also because it’s short and not a homophone with Britain. Briton is only a noun, and it only denotes people. Britain is always the correct spelling of the place name.

    Examples

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    Here are a few examples from both British and non-British publications:

    Sir Howard Stringer is the Briton who chose to serve in Vietnam so he could stay in the United States. [Guardian]

    An expatriate Briton, Hadley was a Roman Catholic convert who devoted his life to society’s casualties. [Montreal Gazette]

    In 2000, he became the first Briton to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator’s Award for services to children’s literature. [Financial Times]

    The 68-year-old Briton used to get so nervous before shoots that he’d vomit. [Forbes]

    He is also understood to be the youngest Briton to stand atop the Himalayan summit. [Evening Standard]

    “No he wasn’t,” the Briton scoffed. [Stuff.co.nz]

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