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2002 discussion + one comment from 2004[edit]

Is there any reason not to make this a redirect to Great Britain?

not as far as I can see Tarquin
shouldn't it be a redirect to Britain? or maybe United Kingdom, since it's mostly used for citizens of that country?

Look at the links for this page the vast majority of them are using British to indicate a citizen of the UK. I think this page should be redirected to United Kingdom instead of Great Britain Mintguy 03:35 Dec 20, 2002 (UTC)

Agreed. Done. -- Tarquin
I disagree - I just cannot stand to see the UK and Britain conflated. It's probably true that the majority of links to British refer to a UK citizen - that's probably because someone who is British is necessarily a UK citizen. There's nothing wrong with that - they're British too. But what happens when somebody says that George I was a British king, and clicking on British takes us to United Kingdom, which didn't exist at that time? I mean, why should somebody who makes a link to British want it to go to United Kingdom? Honestly, this change seems very bizarre to me. I'm changing it back so the redirect goes to Great Britain - if people are making links incorrectly, it's the links that need to be changed, not this redirect. --Camembert
The article on Great Britain describes the island of Great Britain. The article that describes the state that was Great Britain resides at United Kingdom, for goodness sake look at the links to this page. This page should redirect to United Kingdom. Mintguy 13:59 Dec 28, 2002 (UTC)
I also disagree that this should be a redirect to the United Kingdom. Although I agree that the majority use of 'British' is 'of the United Kingdom', its use is confused enough to warrent something more. To be honest, I think that it needs some sort of new classification to describe what the article should be - a sort of 'extended disambiguation'.
I have looked at the links page, but I don't see why that means we should pretend that "British" means "of the United Kingdom", which is very clearly does not. I repeat from above: if people are making links incorrectly, it's the links that need to be changed, not this redirect. And I paraphrase myself from below: what's wrong with saying somebody is British and having the link go to Great Britain? --Camembert

My Red Dice, look at the links to this page. There's no need to disambiguate. Mintguy

Sorry, didn't see this discussion page (wasn't expecting to see one on a redirect page, duh) - reverted now. -MRD

I've just realised I've taken both positions up there. My, that makes me look flighty! Given that many, many writers (from all over the word, including the Brits) will misues this word, maybe we should have this page as a disambiguation, that briefly explains what "British" SHOULD actually be used for. -- Tarquin 13:35 Dec 28, 2002 (UTC)

Maybe, though I don't begrudge the person who'll have to fix all the links pointing here! And really, is it such a big problem? Saying that Michael Caine, for example, is British, and linking it to Great Britain (which is the sort of thing links pointing here do) isn't a misuse of "British" or a bad link, after all (I mean, he is from Great Britain). Saying somebody from Ireland is British would be bad, of course, but nobody seems to be doing that. So I guess I don't really see the problem with things as they now are. Maybe United Kingdom could be mentioned and linked a bit more prominently in the Great Britain article though (like in the first paragraph) - that might be an improvement. --Camembert
This is an interminable discussion: one round finishes and the redirection is set up in such a way, then a few months later someone will reopen the issue by changing it to how they think it should be. Personally I think British should redirect to Britain, since the two words are related. See Talk:Britain. See also America for how the issue is handled there.
Well, Britain redirects to Great Britain, so the current set up is how you suggest. --Camembert
It's not too bad, but Britain/British often refer to the UK, so making Britain a stub is logical.
The situation is now ludicrous. British redirects to Great Britain which is about the island and is completely wrong for the majority of the links. Mintguy
Why is it "completely wrong for the majority of the links"? As far as I can see, the majority (indeed, all) of the links are referring to something of the island (they're referring to something of the country as well, of course, but that doesn't make a link to the island wrong, does it?). --Camembert

Ok here's an example... Duke of Wellington? British? Yes of Course. Only he was born in Ireland. One more what about History of Guernsey - "The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II" - Only Guernsy isn't Great Britain or even the British Isles as such. Mintguy

As I've already said twice - if people are making links incorrectly, it's the links that need to be changed, not this redirect. And here's a counter example - people prior to 1801 might be described as "British" quite accurately - but making a link from them to "United Kingdom" wouldn't make much sense, because the UK didn't exist at that time. --Camembert
Well you would want to link such articles to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland perhaps? Mintguy
If the article was relevant to that time frame (which my example was not - I said prior to 1801, while that state was in existence between 1801 and the 1920s), then maybe. I don't want to get involved with that, though - my main point is simply that "British" means "of Britain" and so should redirect to Great Britain. --Camembert

Perhaps a dictionary or two will help here:

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913

British \Brit"ish\, n. pl.
  People of Great Britain.
British \Brit"ish\ (br[i^]t"[i^]sh), a. [AS. Brittisc,
  Of or pertaining to Great Britain or to its inhabitants; --
  sometimes restricted to the original inhabitants.

WordNet (r) 1.7

    adj : of or relating to or characteristic of Great Britain or its
          people or culture; "his wife is British" [syn: British]
    n : the people of Great Britain [syn: British, British people,
         the British, Brits]

I vote for Great Britain. This is what comes to mind for me. --mav 14:19 Dec 28, 2002 (UTC)

No disrepsect Mav, but for most Americans Britain/UK/England are synonymous, so your opinion on this hold little weight with me. Mintguy
Oh yeah, I forgot I am just a stupid American whose opinion doesn't matter at all. Thanks for reminding me. --mav
I'm sorry. As I said no disrespect intended. It's a generalisation but one which I encountered many times myself when working in the US.Mintguy
I've always thought of my fellow Wikipedians as some of the smartest people from their respective countries. Your statement, however, indicates that you don't share this view. --mav
I'm digging myself a hole here which is not something I was planning to do so I'll try to make my statement clearer. I do not think Americans are dumb, and I do not think that you are dumb and I do not think that Wikipedians in general are dumb. I was just pointing out that for a number of Americans (and in my limited experience) the difference between Britain, the British Isles, the United Kingdom, and England isn't clear as it might be to a native. Just as the difference between Kansas and Arkansas (or any other ambiguity for which I am unqualified to speak upon) might be to a native of my country. Mintguy
OK I'm sorry for being so defensive. --mav
Mintguy - I too am troubled by people who make no distinction between Britain and the UK - that's why it troubles me so much that you seem to be advocating that very lack of distinction. "Britain", as the above cited dictionaries say, means "of Great Britain". It doesn't mean "of the UK" (and I just checked a couple of British dictionaries which say the same thing, if that convinces you any further). In my view, the redirect should reflect this. --Camembert
Same as America -> United States then, not? Where would somebody want to go if they clicked on a British link? Probably to United Kingdom. But I think it would be no problem to send them to a Britain page that explains the various usages, since they are still only one click away from UK.
Yes, I can see your point there - I think the best way to deal with it, though, it to make the link to United Kingdom on the Great Britain page more prominent - that way, people who want the UK are still only a click away, and they (and everybody else) also gets some useful information without any extra clicks. I wouldn't object to a disambig page at Britain, it just seems to me that this is a more graceful way of acheiving the same thing. --Camembert
Please don't make a disambiguation block. Just state that the UK is located on the Island on the first line. --mav
Ironically (given the above discussion) that is wrong. The UK is (currently) Great Britain + Northern Ireland Rich Farmbrough
Oh yes, that's what I meant. And that, indeed, is what I've just done :) --Camembert

Well I just looked at French and German and they disambiguate, so maybe the disambiguation for British should be there after all. I don't agree bu the precendent for disambiguation seems to already exist. Mintguy

French and German are also languages in addition to nationalities (two fairly different things). British is an adjective or noun that refers to a geographic location. I would support disambiguation at British only if this word is also used to refer to people/things in the British Isles often enough to cause an ambiguity issue. If that is the case then perhaps an disambiguation article like American or virus is in order (then it wouldn't really be necessary to fix all the links). --mav
The precedent exists because French and German might mean the language as well as something of the countries. This isn't such an issue with "British" because the language is called "English" (which is indeed a disambiguation page). It's true that there's a distinction to be made twixt "British English" and "American English", but I think that's such an unusual use of the word "British" that it doesn't need disambiguating against - people will be careful enough to link it to British English directly, I should think. --Camembert

2003 discussion[edit]

I have reverted the page to Martin's disambiguation page of 25 Dec 2002. This is because the term is ambiguous. Is any other reason required to make a disambiguation page? When applied to living people, the term almost always refers to their nationality. My nationality is "British"; this means "of the United Kingdom", not "of Britain". However, in a historical context, especially when talking about times before there even was a United Kingdom, it often just means the island of Great Britain. -- Oliver P. 02:31 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

This isn't "historical times" - this is the present. Also, as a description of the people of all of the British Isles, the term applied not only to those from the island of Britain (as we know it today), but also from its sister island, Ireland, and the surrounding isles. The first ever written record of the name of the islands was in the Bible: the Isles of Elishas. The next recorded references were, for a very long time, the Pretanic Isles. This has since been corrupted to the current British Isles. --Mal 18:42, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I see... Britain is now a page which explains the differences in usage. Hmm, I'm not sure about this, though. "British" is the standard term for someone from the United Kingdom, and is not only used by people who call the United Kingdom "Britain". I think this page should probably contain a brief explanation of this, but I'm off to bed, so I'll leave it to somebody else... -- Oliver P. 02:38 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

In response to change commentary:

02:27 7 Jul 2003 . . Oliver Pereira (No, it doesn't just mean "of Britain", that's what I was trying to explain on the talk page...)

I don't get it. Surely it does just mean "of Britain", but implies different things, e.g. the land of Britain, the nation of Britian, the language of Britain? Not that it's a problem.

BTW, the on-line Websters says that (to Americans) "British" is a noun, meaning "the British language" (like "French"), so I dropped the description "adjective". Andy G 18:37 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Okay, the word "adjective" was a bit pointless there, so removing it is fine. And sorry for getting the wrong Act of Union! I must have got a bit confused there. As for the nationality thing, "British" means "of the nation of Britain" only if you call the United Kingdom "the nation of Britain". Which I don't think many people do! It does, after all, include Northern Ireland, which is not part of "Britain" by most people's definition, as far as I am aware. Maybe we should find some people from Northern Ireland and ask them whether they consider themselves (a) to be British, and (b) to come from Britain. If anyone answers "yes" to one but "no" to the other, that would prove that we can't just say that they are the same thing. -- Oliver P. 11:59 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Oliver, your suspicions were correct: I am from Northern Ireland. I am British, but I am not from the island of Britain. Andy, below me(!), is also correct in that the term Britain is often used as a shortened version - meaning UK. Even though some 'official' organisations use the term in this way, it is still incorrect. --Mal 18:48, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

"Britain" is used so variously that the word often does include NI (e.g. "Britain may join the Euro" is a commonplace phrase, even if arguably incorrect). But I guess you're right - the meaning of "British" isn't so much "of Britain" as "associated with Britain". After all, not all Irish bars are in Ireland. Andy G 18:29 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

So, who volunteers to fix all the redirects? ;-) Martin

Not me. Seriously, though, I think this is different from other redirect pages: "British" is inherrently ambiguous, whereas e.g. "Cowley" (London/Oxford/Wyoming) is a name that is used in a clear way for several separate places. If an article uses "Britain" where "UK" or "GB" are clearly meant, it should really be fixed regardless of what we do on this page. Andy G 17:12 27 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Britain (2004)[edit]

Read the article at Britain. It already incorporates the definition of British and is far more extensive than this. I will merge and redirect. --Jiang 23:32, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I just came to this page and found views that are at variance with the meanings, understandings and usages of the word that I and others who live in the various countries use the term. Yes, outside the wales/ireland/scotland/england area people use the titles as alternatives (and it is irrelevant in this instance what a US-based dictionary states) but in an 'internal' sense the terminology matters; a little to some and a great deal to others. I shall join in the hunt for links and disambiguations! --VampWillow 01:00, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)


I've removed the reference to language in the opening sentence of the article, since the British language doesn't exist. Figeac (talk) 18:19, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Summary and Question[edit]

This page could be (and probably has been) a redirect to:

  • United Kingdom - but that's wrong because it's only existed recently whereas Britishness has existed for a long time.
  • Great Britain - but that excludes Ireland, and possibly other territories not on the mainland.
  • Britain - which should be OK because it explains the usage of the word and points to all the other entities. In particular it points the the various United Kingdms that have existed, so a reference to British in the context of the Royal Navy would be cover the whole era.

Or we could leave it as a disambiguation, replicating the data on [[Britain]] , or of course make it into a full article about Britishness.

What do the team think this year? Rich Farmbrough 21:28, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It's not a true disambiguation page like most others i.e. a page redirecting people to other aritlces. It's a in itself description of the various meanining of the word British. It should remain as it is. Note that this is a different opinion to the one I had about 2 years ago above. Mintguy (T)
Should we then perhaps remove the diambig tag? Rich Farmbrough 23:25, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Note that I disambiguated British recently, there's already a load more links.... Rich Farmbrough 10:57, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
A British national identity is one of the competing Imagined communities within the UK and indeed beyond its borders and there is a role for a treatment at greater length of its ebb and flow, but it needs to be based on peer reviewed research to be useful.Dejvid 3 July 2005 19:04 (UTC)

I am British[edit]

I am British and love my country. It is better than stupid America. Europeans are better than Americans.

Americans love the USA too. Not everyone in Britain is a genius. Americans are less arrogant. Wallie 09:04, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm British, and I think that the American sterotype is more arrogant, especially when it comes to loudness and rudeness, because in the UK loudness and rudeness are considered impolite, and are not good manners. Yes, not everyone in America is an idiot. I'm afraid that's why its called a stereotype. BennelliottTalkContributions 18:50, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm American, and we don't think we are loud -- but we are. When I lived in Germany for a year, I remember sitting in a Bremen marketplace and noticing that you can see the Americans coming a mile away -- and that's mainly because they are LOUD. However, I would say Europeans are more rude than "most" Americans, but less rude than "most" New Englanders. Gotta love stereotypes :) - grubber 19:06, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Depends what you mean by rude. Americans tend to be rude in the sense that they have mannerisms that are considered rude by British (taking food from other people's plates for example), but if you mean Europeans are rude because we don't talk to random people on the bus for example, we're not trying to be rude, we're trying to be polite and leave everyone alone in their personal space. BennelliottTalkContributions

British: Britain, Northern Ireland[edit]

I am British. More specifically, I am English as well. During my 28 years of living in the UK, I have always understood the term "British" to mean "of the UK". The prominence of British meaning "of Great Britain" is, in my opinion, marked with too much prominence in this article and also the article on "British Isles" and what all of the terms mean that seem to get everyone so confused.

I am suggesting that both articles are slightly amended so that it is clear that the main contemporary understanding of British means "of the UK", and to relegate to a slightly lesser prominence the fact (I assume it's a fact, in reality I have no idea) that in formal English "British" actually refers to Great Britain only.

As an after note to the above comments, I also wonder if "Britain", in a formal geographical and historical sense, does in fact mean strictly "of Great Britain"...if strictness of definitions were to apply, then surely British would mean "of Britain", which in a strict sense means "of Great Britain and of Little Britain". And in a formal and strict sense, Little Britain is Brittany in France ( and not the TV series ). So therefore the strict sense doesn't make sense. Therefore, ny original point applies. If there is not too much random voicings against my views, then I will amend the articles in this respect sometime soon.

Thoughts all ?

Britain always mean England. It sometimes means other things too, like India, Falklands, Hong Kong and Scotland. I don't know any Scots, Irish or Welsh person referring to themselves as "British". Pretty much, only the English do. Wallie 09:07, 2 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm afraid Wallie, that you do not know the British peoples very well, nor do you know much about them if you believe what you have written above. The fact is that the majority of the people of the United Kingdom (and those of several other regions around the world) refer to themselves as British. The ones that don't are generally nationalists in the sense that they would prefer their region to be separate from the United Kingdom. Further to this, internally we usually refer to ourselves by the appropriate regional description: English, (Northern)/Irish, Scottish or Welsh - it is either taken for granted that we are British, or the correspondant is nationalist as I indicated previously. --Mal 18:35, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Wallie, I was a fervent Scot when I was young the worst type and blamed England for all the troubles in Scotland at the time. When I got to about 20, I saw a film on TV about the British Raj. It was about army of soldiers, made up of Scots, Irish, Welsh and English. They were camped in a round castle, dancing and having a laugh, which was hosted by this Indian Raj. Unknown to them, he had placed machine guns around the edge, and started killing the soldiers. What I watched was the English soldiers picking up the wounded Scots and I had an ephiphany and realised I was British. (scope_creep 21:44, 4 August 2006 (UTC))

I'm Welsh and British. I certainly never mean "England" when I say "Britain" (nor do I mean Hong Kong, oddly enough).

What utter tosh I'm from Northern Ireland and I regard myself as Both Equally British and Northern Irish as far as I'm concerned you are British if you are from the 4 UK home Nations and the channel islands and the isle of man and you can be English/Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish/Irish/Manx/ jerseyman/guernseyman/channel islander as well....I would always say I'm British when I'm abroad but people do equal being British with being English (as i had to explain to a American once I suppose thouse of us whom are from the 3 home nations of Scotland ,Wales and NI are "Non English Britons" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

"you can be English/Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish/Irish/Manx/ jerseyman/guernseyman/channel islander". There is Northern Irish and Irish?What pure and utter rubbish you and similar people spout about "Northern Irish".It is a pathetic attempt by such extremist individuals from Nothern Ireland to distant themselves from being Irish,Irish is what they are if they have this delusion of being this "Northern Irish",not Northern Irish even if they are from a region under the rule of the UK,what nonsense.In the North people consider themselves either British and Irish (and both),not Northern Irish,what a crock of shite.The "seperate nationality" Northern Irish,does not even exist.Sorry to burst you stupid,narrow minded and draconian bubble.Sheodred (talk) 13:25, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

sorry to burst YOUR bubble but the Identity Northern Irish does exist and I'm not narrowminded you have no right to tell people what they are and what they are not there very much is a Northern Irish Identity in Northern Ireland I know people whom hold Irish Passports and consider themselves Northern narrowminded afraid thats you...

When I was in Australia, a Scot said to me, "the Scots hate the British". When I replied, "that's odd, the Scots ARE British", she nearly fell off her chair. She didn't do very well in the subsequent discussion, but the fact remains that to many Americans and Aussies, English and "Brit" are coterminous. In fact, though, the English are ethnically the least British of the people of Great Britain. Bill Tegner 17:22, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Funnily enough Sheodred the inventor of the term "demonym", which essentially means a name for people from a place, lists Northern Irish as a demonym for Northern Ireland people. Also you foolishly claims that people in Northern Ireland don't call themselves Northern Irish but just British or Irish - what a crock of shite - 18% of respondants is still a considerable number and it is rising - it also shows how out of touch you are with what people in this country think. Geographically i am Irish as i'm from the island but geo-politically i am from Northern Ireland and thus i am Northern Irish, and my conunry is the UK so i am British - see how you can be all three? If your going to make such claims as to what people in a country think then provide sources to back it up. Mabuska (talk) 22:05, 18 August 2010 (UTC)


The page has been re-redirected to Britain. To be honest, I think the offense caused by the difference in uses, and indeed the changing historical uses of 'British' means it warrents a page of it own. Of note, the Britain page says:

"The word British generally means belonging to or associated with Britain in one of the first two senses above (i.e. the United Kingdom or the island of Great Britain). However, the term has a range of related usages (see British)."

There is little explanation of the use concernign the British Isles; for example, it does not explain that British would not be appropriate to something from the British Isles, a fact that many people who do not come from the islands would probably not appreciate.

That is not to say that the current British page could not be improved, or that the two pages could not be merged, but that to redirect from here to there is, at the moment, wrong Robdurbar 13:34, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this here. Mintguy had several discussions with me about this topic. I don't think he is here anymore. You can see my talk archive (User_talk:Bobblewik/United_Kingdom) for some of what was said.
I agree that the various terms are inconsistently and incorrectly used around the world (and even within the UK) to an extent greater than other terms. However, I think that confusion about 'British' ambiguity is an inherent consequence of the confusion about UK, GB etc. I agree with you that the British Isles article should clarify that it doesn't define the area of British people. But I would recommend improvements to primary articles rather than creating a secondary one. I consider that the various articles are almost as confusing and duplicating as the primary problem they are trying to solve.
I would support further attempts to improve the primary problem, but I am reluctant to support an additional article for 'British' because I think it adds more permutations to the confusion. What do you think? Bobblewik 14:39, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
In fact, one solution that has many advantages would be a merge of the GB and UK articles. I have not dared mention it so far, but perhaps you might be able to cope without falling off your chair. Bobblewik 14:47, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Well I agree with you that this British page could redirect into Britain if the info in the two articles were merged; at the moment, however, I think the Britain article is substandard. I would inivite any contributour to do this, though will do it myself later in the weekend, if its not done by then.

As for the UK/GB aricles; I don't agree, to be honest. Though they are often used as synonyms, there are fundamental differences, namely that Great Britain is both a political entity and a geographical feature - an island - and that the United Kingdom is only political entity. In particular, you would get unionist members of Northern Ireland irate by doing that redirect.

A long term solution to these various articles would be to limit the descriptions of how each term is used in each article, instead putting links into the British Isles (terminolgy) page. Similarly, a greater degree of standardization between the use of terminology on the following pages would be useful:

  • Great Britain
  • Britain
  • United Kingdom
  • British Isles
  • England/Scotland/Northern Ireland/Wales
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Ireland
  • Any other possibly relevant pages such as Irish Sea/Rockall/Isle of Man/Channel Islands etc...

I would base the standardization around that on the terminology page too. If this was done, I think it would end the tendancy for people to find a need for pages such as Britain, and it would srengthen arguments against people wanting to place POV interpretations of the words in Wikipedia Robdurbar 17:11, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

If there is a single destination for 'Britain' and 'British', I think that would be a good thing.
I know that GB is both a geographical and a political entity and an island. However, that is not unique. There are many entities of which this can be said.
I am aware of the political and geographical distinctions between GB and UK. I also know that unionists in NI are in favour of political union with GB. They use the terms GB and UK correctly and I am not aware of any of the content in either article as being contentious. Was there something in particular that makes you say that they would be irate about such a redirect?
It is not just unionists that care, other people care too. That is my point. The geographical and political arrangement is not really very complicated. Nor is the correct terminology under dispute. It is just that there are several error permutations to link to and explain. The explanation of GB v UK error permutations could be simply contained within one article, but we currently spread it across multiple repetitious articles. Bobblewik 18:12, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I definitely support your top-down approach to the articles. So keep up the good work. If you get a chance, please read the quotes from the British Embassy, Number 10, and alt-usage-english in my talk page (link given previously). I am not suggesting that you are not aware of the message they convey, I am merely inviting you to compare how much succinct they are compared with Wikipedia articles. Bobblewik 18:23, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
Made the merge; agreed that those pages are much more succint; and really, I think the introductions to the Wikipedia pages should read like them, with the info expanded upon below Robdurbar 11:21, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

A merge to reduce the permutations of articles[edit]

There is a discussion about merging United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland into United Kingdom. If you would like to contribute, please do so at: Talk:United_Kingdom. Regards Bobblewik 16:56, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

"British" is not a geographical location - it is a description[edit]

The word British does not imply a geographical location. It is the national description of the people of a country. Directing the word British to an article about an island, however inclusive the article is in respect of including the nationality of the people of the United Kingdom, is not accurate.

It is much more appropriate, and useful, to direct a search for the word British to the article that already exists concerning British nationality: British nationality law. This article explains the definition of British very well. For more information regarding the political and geographic entities, there are, I believe, links in the British nationality law for the user to click on.

To that end, I am going to revert this page, again, to the more useful page. --Mal 19:07, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I think that this page is less helpful than directing to Britain. The article on Britain is not about an island, it is about the country the UK, for which Britain is also a synonym. The article on Britain contains all the inforamtion that was on the 'British' page; the legal page is more unhelpful than helpful I think - when somewhat clicks on British, they want to know what that means, not the details of British nationality law Robdurbar 00:18, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I understand your reasoning to an extent. But note what I had said at the start of this section: "Directing the word British to an article about an island, however inclusive the article is in respect of including the nationality of the people of the United Kingdom, is not accurate." If I had entered the word 'French' into a search engine or looked it up in an encylopedia, I would expect to find information on both the language and the nationality. In such an article, I would expect to find a detail of what constitutes a French citizen - but not a discussion on geographical nominclature. If I wanted to explore that more thoroughly, I would have search for 'France' instead. One is a description of a groups of peoples, and the other is a description of geographical terms. That is what the words mean, and this encyclopedia should reflect that. --Mal 01:34, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

If we compare what French, Australian, Italian, Irish, South African, Austrian, Belgian and others redirect to, it would seem logical that people would most probably want to be redirected, if not to a page concerning the country, then to a page disambiguating the articles pertaining to that country's culture, language, etc. Britain does that; British nationality law does not. The number of people who would find that the most pertinent link, I would imagine, would be vanishingly small; whereas I suspect the greatest number would wish to end up at United Kingdom - the utilitarian Britain aims at providing the greates good to the greatest number. Can that be said of the redirect to British nationality law? I suggest, though, that the best solution is that British returns to being a disambig. Man vyi 06:39, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I have suggested that people who want to look up information on nationality would use the keyword 'British'. Those who would wish to look up information on the country (ie: Britain, UK, United Kingdom, Great Britain or even the British Isles) would type in those particular words. Again I suggest that those who wish to look up information regarding the nationality 'British' would be best served by getting to an article which describes the implications and definitions of that nationality. British nationality law does just that.

I also note that there is no consistancy amongst the articles you have listed. Of them, French, Italian and Irish are all currently disamiguation pages, whereas Australian, South African, Austrian and Belgian all redirect to pages about the country (as opposed to pages specifically about the different nationalities). A couple of the disambiguation pages in your list contain additional information, as well as just links to other relevant articles. --Mal 07:11, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

What we're talking about is links. People are, as you contend, generally not looking up British - they are clicking on wikilinks in articles where British has been linked. As you point out, the examples I cited are not consistent - I never claimed they were, but chose them as representative examples of the solutions employed. French, Italian and Irish are frequently linked in the linguistic sense; therefore a disambig is a solution to enable people to proceed to either the language or the country or some other meaning. The others were chosen as examples of gentilés not generally used as names of languages - these redirect to the country concerned. Which category does British best fit in? Man vyi 07:43, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Indeed there is inconsistancy. It was with this in mind that I changed the link to better reflect the usage of the word in the first place. British fits best into any article describing the nationality of a people. The island of Britain is not the be-all and end-all of the term 'British'. Surely I have explained all this already? --Mal 11:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Firstly, I think the Britain page is more than an etymology. It could probably be overhauled to do its British/Britian job better, but it does have much more content in there

The Britain page could probably be overhauled to do its British/Britain job better? I do not see an article entitled British/Britain. --Mal 11:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Secondly, British does not just refer to people of British nationality. 'Sebastian Coe broke the British record]; 'Oliver Cromwell sent troops to Irleand, at the time owned by the British crown'. The previous two setnences show cases where a redirect to this page is totally useless and misleading even.

In your first example, Seb Coe is a British person - a person of British nationality. The British records which he broke were records held by other British people - not those set by an island! From what I recall, Britain is slipping away from continental Europe at the rate of a couple of centimetres per year. Seb Coe can *still* run much faster than that!

In the second example, Ireland was indeed governed by the British Crown - that being the Monarchy of the British people.. the British people being those who were, at the time, British subjects.

For both examples, had the reader wondered what was British about Sebastian Coe, then all would be revealed by reading the relevant article and understanding what the term British actually means. The article has links to the (various) articles on the United Kingdom, if the reader wishes to read further. --Mal 11:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Thirdly, I object to the fact that a redirect has been made without editing the conflcit to conform to this
Now as I solution I see three possibilities -
  • Improve the Britain article to reflect the British/Britain thing in greater detail, and relegate the extended etymology down the page
  • Create a British disambiguation page. However, I think that this has been the case before and the content of the 'Britain' page was largely replicated
  • Redirect Britain to the nationality law page or the UK page and edit them to explain the whole British use; but this would invovle editing these pages beyond their current scope
I prefer the first option of these, but think that the second could worlRobdurbar 09:06, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Are you trying to say that it is beyond the scope of an article about British nationality law to describe the nationality of the British people..? But isn't the whole point of an article concerning British nationality to describe .. British nationality? --Mal 11:47, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

But British nationality law does not currently explain the concepts of British nationality and identity. It describes how British citizenship is defined by law. In any case, I've added a dablink to send people wending on their merry way to where they probably wanted to go in the first place. Man vyi 11:52, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Considering the definition of British nationality is created in British law, by British people, then it most certainly explains the concept of British nationality. Perhaps you are thinking more along the lines of British culture, and the history of the British peoples.

You cannot suggest that anywhere is "where they probably wanted to go in the first place". I am only after explaining to you that I, for one, would expect to find information regarding nationality when I search for a particular nationality in an encyclopedia. Is it realy that hard to follow logic? In saying that, the dablink at the beginning of the article was what I had suggested earlier, and seems quite all-encompassing. --Mal 13:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I think thats a suitable alternative for now.Mal - this article is not about British nationality - its about British nationality law, an important difference. If an article linked to 'murder', I would not expect or want to read about 'murder law'.
You constantly refer to 'Britain' as an article about an island. Its not. (by Robdurbar)

So, you're telling me that Britain is not an island..? --Mal 13:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

The article about an island is Great Britain. Britain is an acceptable - if slighlty misleading - synonym for the UK. The reason that British does not redirect straight to the UK article is because it could be referring to historical versions of the UK, to the British Isles or to someone from the island of Great Britain. (by Robdurbar)

An acceptable name for the United Kingdom already exists: The United Kingdom. the reason that British does not redirect straight to Britain is because British is the description of a nationality of people. --Mal 13:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Baisically, I'm heading towards a British disambiguation page as a more suitable solution - it would be far better than this one. I feel that directing to a nationality law page simply mis-understands the needs and interests of people who search for or click on the word 'British'. Robdurbar 12:06, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I have created a possible version of this disambiguation page in my sandbox here. Robdurbar 12:19, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Robdurbar. Either seems acceptable to me (dablink or disambiguation). The previous state of affairs was definately not, considering it did not offer the reader a choice of looking up the nationality British versus the culture of the geographical locations.

My own preference would be to simplify all of the articles and merge together as many as possible, and then to explain concepts such as the misuse of the terms Britain, Great Britain, English, etc etc in one article, with links in the other to it. At the minute there seems to be no logic and definitive structure for the articles, and consistancy is lacking.

In my own opinion, I think there should be one article called 'British', which deals with the nationality, points to the law page and deals with the abundance of incorrect terminology; Britain and Great Britain should really be no more than stubs (I'm not sure if that is the correct concept... short articles is what I mean anyway); British Isles should be a short article simply explaining the geographical concept, with appropriate links; United Kingdom should be the main entry; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should of course remain as they are. That's my immediate thoughts on the matter anyway.

-:I think British Isles (terminology) aims to do this Robdurbar 13:58, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I have often found that foreigners do not understand the wealth of concepts easily. As residents, most of us grow up with it and understand it better. An encyclopedia should deal, first and foremost, with the correct terms, and then go on to explain the hows and whys of other, inaccurate and incorrect terms. --Mal 13:27, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I notice, incidentally, that Belgian does not redirect to Belgian nationality law, and neither is that the case with other articles in Category:Nationality law. Why should British be different? And if you think British Isles is ever going to be a short, simple article, you've never hung around the various British-related articles and their concomitant controversies as long as some of the rest of us have! Man vyi 13:56, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Indeed - why should Belgian/Belgium, Australian/Australia or French/France be different. Yet they are. That's part of my point - there is no consistancy. I redirected to British nationality law because it seemed the most appropriate article to read about British nationality, as I disussed above. As for British Isles never being a short and concise article - that's what users/editors are for. I realise there would be a lot of work involved and, frankly, I'd be inclined to rip them all out and start again tbh! But I'm happy with the suggestion you made and that Robdurbar has now put in place, for the time being. --Mal 14:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Well I've made this into disambig page - I think this keeps the article simple, and I feel that the notes at tops of pages are not well read, paticularly by newer users. Robdurbar 14:03, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Cheers Robdurbar. --Mal 14:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

No longer a dab page[edit]

This doesn't appear to be a disambiguation page to me, and I have removed the {{disambig}}. It's an article discussing a word.--Commander Keane 11:19, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

american usage[edit]

are americans the only ones who use the term british because ive never heard it used outside the u.s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Doriandixon (talkcontribs)

No; its the offical name of a citizen of the United Kingdom. --Robdurbar 10:54, 28 May 2006 (UTC)


This disambiguation page should be cleaned up a little to conform with the MOS. Isopropyl 17:44, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

British should redirect Britain. Most of the content should merged into there; much is already duplicated there. Then British (disambiguation) can be a proper dab for things like British language (Celtic), British English, etc. jnestorius(talk) 07:48, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Contentious British Isles[edit]

Visitors to British Isles will know that the meaning attributed to the term is a contentious issue. However, the actual words themselves are not contentious — no-one disputes that the phrase exists and is in use. Marking the usage contentious in the introduction is fine, but the stand-alone marking is not; nor is it necessary to repeat said description every time it appears. Bazza 15:36, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

He he he he the almighty named the British isles and they were so and so the Irish and the British are one and the same and all was made right again.

3678 links to dab page[edit]

This page take 1st place with 3678 links to a dab page. But this page is mostly non-dab in nature, and there's no obvious place to move all the links to British people. Simon12 03:45, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Why not move all those links to Briton? Molimo 05:46, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
Is that the most appropriate action to everyone? If it says "Bob is a British sandwich artist" you would pipeline those links to Briton? Metros232 03:43, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
I think most cases should probably point to Britain, unless there's specific reference to someone's racial origin (in the case that their is a British race). Highly dubious. Soo 21:51, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
So you think that all of the biographies of British people should point to Britain instead of Briton? Like Dennis Brain which says "Dennis Brain (19211957) was a very distinguished British horn player"'d suggest making it [[Britain|British]] instead of [[Briton|British]]? Metros232 22:02, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
For British people in the modern era the link should point to United Kingdom and nothing else! Jooler 03:21, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Links that don't belong here[edit]

Recent edits introduced a set of "Professional societies" that really don't belong on a disambig page for the word British. Also, I am tempted to remove the countries that start with the word "British" at the end of the article. Does anyone have any objections? - grubber 23:57, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

This is not a DAb page (i.e. a page that links to other pages which may share word usage). It is a page that itself explains usage of the word in various contexts, similar to British Isles (terminology). Someone only added the DAB template in June here. Jooler 14:40, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
A dab page is a page that resolves confusion. It is a dab page just like "German", "Italian", "Frech", etc. "British" has even more ambiguity than those pages, and that is why this page dis-ambiguates the term. It's a page that should never be linked to, and many have worked to link away from this page. The dab template should be restored, in my opinion. - grubber 15:55, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally, I've corrected about 250 links to this page, but I've still got 3000 to go. This page really is abiguous and needs to be a DAB page as long as there are ambiguous links to it. --Draicone (talk) 22:39, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I see absolutly no reasons whatsoever apart from bureaucracy to turn this into a standard DAB page. The Britishness of this that and the other is a highly contentious issue and deserves discussion. And this page had performed that role better than any of the other incarnations that it has existed under, such as a redirect to Great Britain [1], a redirect to Britain [2], a redirect to United Kingdom [3] or a disambiguation page [4] it performs a similar role to British Isles (terminology) and works very well. This page is also mentioned at the head of Britain stating that it discusses the terminology. Why destroy that? Jooler 03:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
The term "British" certainly has a lot more confusion attached to it than "German" or any other like term, and I think discussion about that confusion is warranted. But, it appears that discussion is the topic of British Isles (terminology). I couldn't find anything in the British page that is not discussed in that terminology page. - grubber 06:46, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Some of the things on that page should be moved here. British can mean an awful lot more than "of Britian". Jooler 17:14, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
I think an article about the word "British" is warranted, then. I don't think this is the place to do it tho. As Draicone mentioned, there are thousands of links to this page, most of which should point to United Kingdom or the appropriate historic entity. I think it is important to classify British as a disambig page (so that we can get people to the right pages quickly) and offer an alternate page on the use of the word "British" for those that are interested in that. Therefore, I propose that British be a dab page and that you (or someone) should create a new page (maybe British (term) or something similar). Keeping the page as a dab page will help maintain the rest of WP as well. What do you think? - grubber 17:49, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Personally I think this should be a standard dabpage, with a link on it to another article which explains all the confusion. Thanks/wangi 18:02, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, I'm not sure what to do here. I think that what this page ought to be is an 'extended disambiuation' page; but Wikipedia does not have sort a thing (unless we could create the first one ad hoc here??). Though 'British' is certainly used to mean 'of the United Kingdom' most of the time, there are the historical United Kingdoms etc. Some of the links on here are fairly tenuous e.g. the British Armed forces. No-one would ever use the word 'British' to mean just the army, would they? They'd link to British Navy or RAF etc.
In all honesty, if we were to follow the Manual of Style to the letter, then this would either redirect to the United Kingdom with a note at the top, or be a 'normal' disambiguation page. I don't see the problem with keeping the article as it is (though maybe losing a couple of links) and tagging it as a disambiguation (even if it isn't one - does that actually matter if its role is as a disambiguation page?) Remeber that the guideline on disambiguation pages is just that - a guideline which can be broken if circumstances, such as this, make it common sense to do so. Robdurbar 19:12, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
This version is much easier to read and follow, in my opinion. I'm not sure why we need anything more than a simple dab page for this term, relegating the extra discussion to a separate article. (The version I just linked still has too many links, in my opinion) - grubber 21:02, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
No mention of the usase for forces under the control of the British that are not "of Britain". I.e. "The British are coming" as 5,000 Hessians come over the hill. Most of the troops under the command of Welligton at the Battle of Waterloo were not from the British Isles. And nor were the majority of the forces of the British East India Company and the other colonial forces. Etc etc.. Jooler 22:44, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
If it's something that someone would be looking for when they type the word "British", or soething that would be mis-linked in an article as british, then it belongs in the page. - grubber 01:27, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
That is only true - if it is a DAB page. Jooler 07:21, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
I think it is a dab page. - grubber 13:35, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
It isnt but you're trying to massage it into one. Jooler 19:42, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
OK, apologies, didn't think of that. --Robdurbar 06:18, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

'Disambiguation pages are solely intended to allow users to choose among several Wikipedia articles, usually when a user searches for an ambiguous term.' - that's what this page does ergo it is a disambiguation page. --Robdurbar 20:06, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Jooler, we both agree that "British" is a confusing and ambiguous term. There are over 3000 pages that link to British, and almost all of those articles do not mean to link to a discussion of the history of the term "British." An article discussing the subtleties is useful, but the massive confusion of this term merits a page to disambiguate its uses. I would enjoy reading more about the use of the term, but I don't think British is the place for that discourse. - grubber 21:13, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Links that shouldn't be repaired[edit]

There are articles that point to this page that should point to this page (at least arguably). But, because it is marked as a disambiguation page, people come through and "repair" the links to some particular article, even if it is one of the articles that should be left pointing here. In many cases, it is better to link to here and give the reader an appreciation of the various usages of the term, from which the reader can explore further. This is especially true if the term is being used in an historical context. Robert A.West (Talk) 04:44, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Back here again[edit]

I just saqw this page come up on Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents. I rue the day that this page became merely a DAB page. I still say that it should explain what British means in all of its contexts. Like Football for example. Jooler

Of course it should, to be honest. I really don't give a monkey's if there are disambiguation standards - the page at the moment does the job better than a normal article would, or than a standard disambig page would --Robdurbar 22:21, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Football is not marked as a dab page tho. This one is. - grubber 19:07, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

British is the whole of both islands[edit]

British refers to all 4 ethnicities, the English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh.

The Irish are genetically, linguistically, culturally and architecturally in exactly the same boat as the others.

Linguistically they're closer to the English than are the Welsh.

I'm not sure of the latest DNA results, but genetically they were at one stage considered closer to the English than were the Welsh. (Travel to Ireland by ship was or may have been easier than travel to Wales by land).

It must be pretty obvious that "the British Isles" refers to both islands (or all 800 islands, depending on how you count them). And the word "British" covers exactly the same land-mass.

Tomrawlinson 23:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Please note that it also refers to the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, which are not part of the UK, but are constitutionally linked to it as Crown Dependencies (see British Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands etc). Countersubject 15:59, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Using the term British to refer to all four nations (in fact five including Manx, six including Cornish, and seven including Channel Islanders) is relatively new - circa. 17th century onwards, first including the Scottish, then expanding outwards - remember, at one time all citizens of the British Empire could call themselves British.
Linguistically Irish is a Goidelic language like Scottish Gaelic and Manx (Scottish Gaelic is pretty much understandable to an Irish speaker). Welsh, Briton and Cornish are Brythonic languages and incomprehensible to and Irish speaker.
Regarding culture, for sure, again, we share much in common - proximity alone, not even counting a shared political history for the best part of 800 years and a common insular European experience, would ensure that - but this cannot be so easily be classified as a British culture, due first to problems in nomenclature then think for example of the popularity of Gaelic games in Ireland and cricket in England and Wales.
Clearly, we are all genetically related - common sense would tell you this - but the maps on this page may help a little to show that there are still stark differences between the islands. But, in the end, this kind of stuff though is plain nonsense: DNA does not define identity, culture, nationality, etc., to say they do is just plain Nazi talk. --sony-youthtalk 14:44, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
DNA would reflect aspects of all those things, it just wouldn't be the full determinator. --Aldis 90 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aldis90 (talkcontribs) 18:18, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
As a side note to the linguistic bit, the Irish for English (the language) is Béarla. This is the shortened form of Sacs-Béarla, literally meaning "Saxon gobbledygook". Only the "gobbledygook" (béarla) element is left in normal usage, so that Béarla today only means the English language, despite literally meaning gobbledygook, and the original meaning has passed into history. --sony-youthtalk 14:56, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Honestly, the Irish are not British. If you came to Ireland with the express intention of calling someone British you could probably end up getting shot in the North (well things may be a bit better now, but the tensions are still there. Generally the only people who call themselves British are Northern Loyalists, who still try to cling onto the last part of Great Britain's empire. Otherwise, calling an Irishman British rubs on a tender spot still left over from "disagreements" between the two islands. The term British is Geographically incorrect, as Ireland is the island of Ireland, and England, Scotland and Wales are the Island of Great Britain. The term British Isles was not used until the act of Union in 1707 (British Isles#Names of the islands through the ages). As for linguistics, DNA and culture, you might as well call all Europeans British if one calls the Irish British. That's my two pence (or Euro cents if you prefer :-) ), Pulsar 19:59, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
"The term British is Geographically incorrect, as Ireland is the island of Ireland, and England, Scotland and Wales are the Island of Great Britain. The term British Isles was not used until the act of Union in 1707" Actually, that's not true. According to the British Isles article, "The first English use of the term Brytish Iles was in 1577". But even so this is largely irrelevant. The term, "British Isles", as used to describe the islands of Ireland, Great Britain, and all the rest, is geographically accurate and has been established common usage for hundreds of years. When people say, "the British Isles", in a geographical context, everyone knows that Ireland is included in that description. That's all that matters and it would be a very poor encyclopedic choice to attempt to change that. -- Hux (talk) 06:24, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


This articles talks about Briton as a term that is given collectively to a person from the British isles, but doesn't mention that it is also an ethnic term for an indigenous person of Great Britain. Should this not be reflected as well? Enzedbrit 07:43, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Second-last bullet point:
--sony-youthtalk 10:58, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Oddly enough, this source has Tacitus c. AD 83 referring to the people from northern Scotland as Britons, also referring to a tribal group as Caledonians: Picts is a later term.... dave souza, talk 11:14, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Not very surprising. The Picts and Caledonians were only later distinguished as different from the Britons (as that term contracted to mean the area under Roman rule). This was also was long before Gaelic Scotland. --sony-youthtalk 08:39, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Dare we allow a reference?[edit]

Long ago, we had arguments about what the word "British" means and relentless editing of the definition by the opponents. Then we had a sourced definition that came from the OED, and the arguments stopped. Then the source got removed, and people started messing with the definition again. Today, I put the source back, but as of these two edits, we have an unsourced definition again. Including a reference on a disambiguation page does violate this guideline. Could this be one of those times when we're wise to override a guideline to address the unique needs of a unique page? —Ben Kovitz (talk) 00:48, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

I don't see why the reference is needed or even helpful for the purpose of disambiguation. For disambiguation, the relevant question is whether a particular usage is ambiguous for a non-fringe reader. I've no attachment to any particular language in the opening sentence. Your edit removes United Kingdom as a possible use. Is there agreement that British is not used to refer to the UK? If so, then remove it; if not, then leave it in. olderwiser 12:27, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

Application of 'British' to occupations?[edit]

If the above discussion has settled to what nation(s) the term 'British' refers, can I ask for clarification to what occupations or in what circumstances 'British' should apply? Looking on the days of the month lists of births and deaths, I am confused by the variation in use between 'English/Scottish/Welsh' and British when describing people. The term used is not even consistent between the daily list and the subject's Wikipedia page. For example, the births list might list someone as 'English writer' when their page lists them as 'British writer'. Can I please ask that terms of use be agreed?

Clearly where a monarch is referred to post-Act of Union they should be a 'British' king, queen, prince or princess. Before that king of Scotland, England Wales, etc. Likewise, where someone is or was a member of the armed forces defending the United Kingdom they should be referred to as a 'British general/admiral/soldier'. In contrast I think a Member of the British Parliament might be referred to as Scottish, Welsh or Irish particularly if they represent a part of that area or are from a nationalist party but the Prime Minister would be the British Prime Minister regardless of nationality.

What though of engineers, scientists, musicians, writers and actors? Does the use of British require that they represent Britain or that they be born there? With other countries they would be described as 'American scientist', 'German writer', etc. So should such professions also be listed as 'British explorer, writer, engineer, scientist or comedian' as a default? Whichever is chosen, please can we be consistent in use? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robata (talkcontribs) 20:25, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Britons (Celtic people) or Britons[edit]

user:Cuchullain, on MOS:DAB it says 'When the link is part of the description, rather than the actual entry name, piping can be used'. The entry name is 'Britons' with the description in brackets to reduce confusion with British People. Britons are not called 'Britons (Celtic people)', they are called 'Britons', that is the entry name. Regards, Rob (talk) 22:04, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

  • British, or Britons, ancient Celtic inhabitants of the island of Great Britain south of the Firth of Forth

Personally, I think it is clearer in this case to not pipe the link. olderwiser 22:34, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Isn't the topic position of the entry, a description of the entry? The entry is currently being described twice, once in the topic position, and once in the dab description, which is pointless. Regards, Rob (talk) 22:59, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
Bkonrad is correct, the name of the article is Britons (Celtic people); the link is "part of the actual entry name". The description is "ancient Celtic inhabitants of the island of Great Britain south of the Firth of Forth" and there's no link there since, well, the actual entry name is the link.--Cúchullain t/c 23:58, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
(after ec) No, "(Celtic people)" is a disambiguating phrase in the article title. The description is an optional part of the entry following the term. It's a formal matter of the terms position. The form for disambiguation entries is "Topic, description", with the description being optional. In general, the topic is a blue-linked term that is ambiguous with the subject of the disambiguation page. In some cases, the link can be shifted to the description. Links in the topic position shouldn't be piped, except for formatting, as with book, film, song or album titles. olderwiser 00:00, 30 August 2013 (UTC)

Splitting geo and political[edit]

The problem with this dab is that it's an adjective. We could try splitting geo and political. Widefox; talk 14:50, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

The problem? What problem? Rob (talk | contribs) 15:37, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
The split version may be useful...More than one link per line, and not having the intro linked, per WP:MOSDAB. We don't want dict defs on dabs, they're for wikt links. That's the problem when we have an adjective dab. Widefox; talk 21:50, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I understand what you mean. But I don't think we need the headings. See edit. Rob (talk | contribs) 23:49, 24 August 2014 (UTC)
I will redo without the headings. It may be a case for smaller list style too. Widefox; talk 22:38, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Revisiting, I think it's more clear splitting into sections. Widefox; talk 11:57, 25 November 2015 (UTC)

British referring only to Great Britain?[edit]

The word British never refers to ONLY the island of Great Britain. This is factually inaccurate. An encyclopedia should report facts.

What people think when they think of 'British' is of no consequence to the facts. After all, some people think that only English people are British and that the only British people are English, apparently.

Someone removed the previous tag (possibly because it was a large and unwieldy one). I've put an inline one back up instead. -- (talk) 05:36, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

The British state has only existed since 1707. So what exactly was the British Iron Age for example? In a historical context, "British" definitely can be used to refer to Great Britain, excluding all of Ireland. Rob984 (talk) 08:45, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Format of page[edit]

Widefox, I reverted the changes you made in November, back to when it stated that "British" is an adjective referring to the UK or Great Britain. MOS:DAB does state "Include exactly one navigable (blue) link to efficiently guide readers to the most relevant article for that use of the ambiguous term". However MOS:DAB also states "Usefulness to the reader is their principal goal", and "there may be pages in which a good reason exists to use another way; so ignore these guidelines if doing so will be more helpful to readers than following them". I am struggling to see how following those guidelines in helpful. The page is far more straight forward to understand as it is right now (as of 09:39, 6 May 2016‎ [10:07, 6 May 2016‎]).

And concerning whoever added them: the inclusion historical British states is certainly unhelpful. No reader is going to search "British" looking for those articles.

Rob984 (talk) 08:54, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

Dabs aren't articles - they are just for navigation, so what looks like a defining sentence isn't the purpose here (and is counterproductive). That's handled by the wiktionary links. Here we have no scope for creating prose, as anything more that a concise list may be open to dispute, and WP:OR claims (and tagging as currently) ie content disputes. Invoking WP:IAR would have weight if there's a consensus (say on this page). Is there? The issue of this dab being an adjective won't go away and will require a compromise but I prefer my sectioned version [5] to the current (disputed) mess [6]. Probably the most important is to have one link per entry, which this current version fails. As readers have switched to mobile platforms (small screens), a single link at the front is more important than ever, and sections are also important on the mobile for longer lists, so I will mark this dab as needing cleanup, and revert unless there's consensus here to IAR, which seems to just fly in the face of the consensus at WP:MOSDAB. There's no need when both links can be put on separate lines. Of course, more opinions are welcome and may be useful. As for Kingdom of Great Britain or "Great Britain" to me (at least) that's a useful disambiguation for writers (and readers) as those links should be used in historical context (although they may or may not be WP:DABMENTIONed) it seems common sense to me that they'll be useful as subs (but not as unindented items due to dabmention). Be mindful of WP:RECENTISM as this is a loosely defined adjective. ps. See also Britain. Regards Widefox; talk 09:33, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
I found Rob's revisions to be a step backwards and have reverted most of them. olderwiser 11:04, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Okay. The only thing I can really add is that "British" doesn't directly refer to those topics. You don't search "British" looking for the United Kingdom or Great Britain, so those links aren't actually important (and even less so, the historical states). I agree however that it is defining the phrase, which like you say is not the purpose of a dab page. As for section headings, I agree, but I don't think the amount of entries here warrants them. Given the majority of entries are under one heading, a mobile reader is simply presented with two collapsed headings rather than a list of 10 entries which would quite easily be viewed. As for Britain, I largely cleaned up that page, as well as a number of other ones related to adjectives and names for England and Britain. Anyway, I accept if I want a change in the way we handle adjectives on dab pages, I should look for wider consensus. Rob984 (talk) 11:49, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
OK. The question is only what article(s) does the reader/writer want when they put in "British". It's not going to be a beautiful result mapping adjectives to noun phrases but if we focus on utility it does its job. Wiktionary is for definitions. I'm guessing that generally redirecting adjectives to the noun (phrase) dabs is not as useful ie. we shouldn't do British -redirect-> Britain. MOSDAB isn't explicit on adjectives so the default would be to treat them the same. I consider the big problem with adjective dabs is that the dabs fill with WP:PTMs e.g. British Isles.
I favour using sections slightly more than other dab editors, and generally as long as there's three or more entries I see if sections will work on a dab (there's exceptions when two entries in a section seem appropriate but never one apart from catch-alls like Other uses and See also). The mobile client (both stable and beta on Android) use the section headings on this dab to create its own small floating TOC (even though on desktop a TOC isn't created), adding additional choice for the mobile reader not there without. It also adds a "Read More" with "Wales" etc which isn't too useful IMHO. Don't think I've mentioned this before at the dab project, but I think this is useful now we have so much mobile traffic, and the small list format ("In X...Thingamajig") should be deprecated in MOSDAB. I convert all I come across nowadays. Thoughts older? Widefox; talk 11:53, 7 May 2016 (UTC)