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Plaque to Paul Mellon, an anglophile, within St George's, Bloomsbury

An Anglophile is a person who admires England, its people, and its culture.[1] Its antonym is Anglophobe.[2] The word's roots come from the Latin Angli "the English", and Ancient Greek φίλος - philos, "friend."

The word Anglophile was first published in 1864 by Charles Dickens in All the Year Round, when he described the Revue des Deux Mondes as "an advanced and somewhat 'Anglophile' publication."[3]


The James, an English-style pub in Münster, Germany, sporting the British flag and the sign of James II
A German telephone box in Bielefeld run by German Telekom which is an homage to traditional English design.

In some cases, the term Anglophilia represents an individual's appreciation of English history and traditional English culture (e.g. William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Samuel Johnson, Gilbert and Sullivan). Anglophilia might also be characterized by fondness for the British monarchy and the English system of government (e.g. Westminster system of parliament), institutions (e.g. Royal Mail), as well as nostalgia for the former British Empire and the English class system. Anglophiles may enjoy English actors, films, TV shows, radio shows, comedy, musicians, books, magazines, fashion designers, cars, traditions (e.g. English Christmas dinner) or subcultures.[4]

In the 1930s, a New York Times feature writer stated; "Three unique and valuable institutions the British have that we in America have not. Magna Carta, the Tower Bridge and Alfred Hitchcock, the greatest director of screen melodramas in the world."[5] Waves of Anglophilia were seen in the US during the British Invasion in the 1960s and the Second British Invasion during the 1980s when British music and other aspects of British culture became extremely popular.[6][7]

Anglophiles may use English spellings instead of American spellings, such as 'colour' instead of 'color', 'centre' rather than 'center', or 'traveller' rather than 'traveler'. The use of British-English expressions in casual conversation and news reportage has recently increased in the United States.[8][9][10] The trend, misunderstanding, and misuse of these expressions by Americans has become a topic of media interest in both the United States and England.[8][9][10] University of Delaware English professor Ben Yagoda claims that the use of British English has "established itself as this linguistic phenomenon that shows no sign of abating."[8][9][10] Lynne Murphy, a linguist at the University of Sussex, notes the trend is more pronounced in the Northeastern United States.[9]

Though Anglophile is often used as above to refer to an affinity for the things, people, places and culture of England, it is sometimes used to refer to an affinity for the same attributes of the British Isles more generally (though Britophile is technically a more accurate term for this). Madonna is an example of an Anglophile.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anglophile". The American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Anglophobe". The American Heritage Dictionary 5th ed. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  3. ^ "All the Year Round". 1864-12-03. p. 3. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  4. ^ "Holiday Traditions of England "Merry Christmas". Holiday Traditions. Retrieved November 6, 2013
  5. ^ Leff, Leonard J.: Hitchcock and Selznick. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999. p. 16.
  6. ^ Cateforis, Theo "Are We Not New Wave Modern Pop at the Turn of the 1980s", p. 53. The University of Michican Press 2011
  7. ^ Ira A. Robbins. "British Invasion (music) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c Britishisms and the Britishisation of American English BBC magazine September 26, 2012
  9. ^ a b c d Separated by a common language blog by University of Sussex linguist Lynne Murphy
  10. ^ a b c Americans Are Barmy Over Britishisms New York Times October 10, 2012
  11. ^ "'There are lots of things about England I love, but my husband isn't one of them,' says Madonna". Daily Mail. Retrieved September 2, 2012


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