[Grammar] British or Britisher

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bhaisahab

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I am not a good reader, but I do not think that any British person answered this question from two fellow members:

Is it OK to refer to people as "Britons"?

I also have another serious question. Would the "average" British person get angry if someone referred (in a friendly way) to

him/her as a "L _ _ _ _"? (I am referring to that fruit that was used in the British Navy for nutritional purposes.)

Of course, I know better than to ever visit Wales or Scotland and say something like "I like you English people"!

I think it was only Americans who called us "limeys". It's extremely dated and I don't think many young English people would have ever heard it.
As for "Britons", I don't object to it.
 

5jj

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I don't think anybody objects to 'Briton(s)'; it's jist that the word is rarely used apart from in news reports. especially headlines.
 

bhaisahab

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I just asked my 17 year old daughter about "Limey", she said "I've never heard it. What does it mean?"
 

Barb_D

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I just asked my 17 year old daughter about "Limey", she said "I've never heard it. What does it mean?"

Blimey! She needs to know her nautical history! :)
 

TheParser

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What a coincidence! (or is it?!)

I have just opened the latest issue of Time magazine, and on page 13 is a photograph with these words:


"Royal-wedding fever may have passed, but many Britons -- including this crowd at Leicester station -- still can't

get enough of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge." [My boldfaced emphasis]
 

5jj

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"Royal-wedding fever may have passed, but many Britons -- including this crowd at Leicester station -- still can't get enough of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge."
Almost certainly written by an American (i.e., not a British person). ;-)
 

Tdol

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I didn't know, as Tdol mentioned, it is also used in SE Asia

I haven't heard it used in SE Asia, but have heard it used by various South Asian Speakers.
 

BobK

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I am not a good reader, but I do not think that any British person answered this question* from two fellow members:

Is it OK to refer to people as "Britons"?

I also have another serious question. Would the "average" British person get angry if someone referred (in a friendly way) to

him/her as a "L _ _ _ _"? (I am referring to that fruit that was used in the British Navy for nutritional purposes.)

Of course, I know better than to ever visit Wales or Scotland and say something like "I like you English people"!

*I think they did. Someone said it was best not to use it. (I didn't agree, but let it ride! I think context makes the Celtic ambiguity perfectly clear: in 'When Christian missionaries arrived in England at the end of the fifth century, the Britons were....' it obviously has that historico-ethnological meaning. But I am quite happy to be called a Briton (and manage to avoid reaching for the woad when I am. ;-))

And I'm not bothered about being called a Limey (and I don't feel we need be prissy about the spelling; it's just not offensive - but thanks for considering that possibility that we might refer to it as 'the L-word'!) TP probably knows, but this etymological link
may interest some people.

b
 

emsr2d2

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I'm a Brit. I have no problem with being called "a Brit", "British" or a "limey". I really don't care. Quite honestly, if the person means to be offensive, then they'll probably sound/seem offensive no matter what they say.

I have to admit that I've never really considered, when I've used "Yank", whether or not it might be construed as offensive. Having said that, I probably wouldn't say to someone's face "So you're a Yank?", I'd say "So you're American?". To a third party, non-American, I would probably then say "I met a Yank last night. Lovely bloke" etc. Maybe my non-use of it directly to an American person means that I am subconsciously aware of some potential offence. I really don't know.
 

TheParser

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if the person means to be offensive, then they'll probably sound offensive no matter what they say.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****


Exactly


"Oh, you're English, are you!"

Those words could be pronounced in different ways to mean either "I am so delighted to meet an English person" or "Do you think that

you're better than anyone else just because you're English?!"
 

bhaisahab

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Blimey! She needs to know her nautical history! :)

To be fair to her, she has only been in education in England for the last two years. Before that she was at schools in Ireland, India and France.
 

5jj

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31 posts and still going strong. I'll just summarise for those who may have got lost.

I am British. - That's how native speakers refer to themselves, unless they prefer to be English, Scottish or Welsh.
I am a British. - Wrong.

I met a British person on the tram last night. Natural enough, though many of us would be more likely to say an English/Scottish/Welsh man/woman, in my opinion.

I met a Britisher on the tram last night. That is just incorrect in BrE.

I met a Briton on the tram last night. Technically corrrect, but I have never met a native speaker who would say that. As I noted before, Briton tends to be used only in news reports.

I met a Brit on the tram last night. This seems acceptable to many young people, but some olders Brits (;-)) seem to dislike it.

I doubt if anyone under about 30 would know what 'limey' meant, unless they watched old films.
 

Rover_KE

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I would not be offended by any of the above words, and without giving offence, you can also call me a pom, anglo, gringo, rosbif and englander.

Rover
 

SoothingDave

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I never quite understood why eating roast beef is supposed to be a point of derision.
 

Tdol

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I thought it was because we turn red and burn in the sun rather than our diet.
 

TheParser

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I would not be offended by any of the above words

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

To be very serious (and to post this before this thread is closed, something that I suspect is coming soon), may I say that maybe

most English people are not really offended by these words because they are very secure. They know that almost the whole world

admires their reputation for good manners, stable government, and fair play. And, of course, their language is the language of the

world.
 

Esredux

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Once I came across a suggestion that it stems from the imperial mindset not to take offence whatsoever.
 

BobK

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To be fair to her, she has only been in education in England for the last two years. Before that she was at schools in Ireland, India and France.
You may be over-estimating English education!! ;-)

b
 

5jj

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There's a word for that. It escapes me at the moment, but you can use it for 'military intelligence' or 'honest politician'.

;-)
 

BobSmith

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