Is it just because of the colonial history of Britain?
Ptolemy referred to the larger island as great Britain (megale Britannia) and to Ireland as little Britain (mikra Brettania) in his work, Almagest (147–148 AD).
Later on it was called Brittanie Majore to distinguish it from Brittany in France, which was also mostly inhabited by Celts.
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protected by tchrist Jun 7 at 2:20
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