Briton vs Britain

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A Briton is someone who lives in the United Kingdom, someone who was born in the United Kingdom but now lives elsewhere, someone descended from people born in the United Kingdom. Briton also refers to ancient people of Celtic origin who lived in the area of the United Kingdom before and during Roman times. The term Briton comes from the Celtic word for British inhabitants, Britt-os. Note that Briton is capitalized.

Britain is another term for the United Kingdom, which consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Today, the term Great Britain is most often used to describe the United Kingdom, and Britain is usually used to describe the same general geographic area in historic times. Britain is derived from the same Celtic word, Britt-os. Note that Britain is also capitalized.


Jack Letts, dubbed “Jihadi Jack”, was suspected of being the first white Briton to join the terror group after he left his Oxford home and travelled to the war-ravaged country last year. (The Telegraph)

A Briton who hurled abuse and threatened police officers after being found carrying methadone prior to boarding a flight to the UK was given a suspended jail term and fined €800 by a court. (The Times of Malta)

Contrast that scenario with this week as the 25-year-old Briton prepares for the start of this year’s French Open on Sunday. (The Independent)

Labour helped make modern Britain into a mostly middle-class, generally temperate nation impervious to exotic politics. (The Washington Post)

The Industrial Revolution was triggered in Britain first, explain today’s historians, because of its unique openness to the best of European ideas. (The Guardian)

Head office staff and regional managers were informed of the closure, but many staff at its 164 shops across Britain learnt of the news from the media. (The New Zealand Herald)