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While watching the World Cup game a few minutes ago, I was wondering what if the United Kingdom - and not England - had a National Team, with English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland players included. Is there a word we could use to refer to their nationality ? I'm not looking for the word "British". Instead I'm trying to find out whether there is a word derived from "United Kingdom".

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I'm trying to find out whether there is a word [for someone born in the UK] derived from "United Kingdom".

There is no single word for a native of the United Kingdom.

There is no word in common use that is derived linguistically from the words united and kingdom and which indicates a person or persons born within the corresponding political territory.

The most common word is certainly Briton. As you note it is derived from what is now the name of a geographic territory not from the name of a current political territory.

Briton means an inhabitant of the island named Great Britain. At least some people born in Northern Ireland might not consider themselves Britons. They'd be right geographically.

You can be an inhabitant (and therefore a Briton), or even a full citizen, without being born there.

Some might argue that "United Kingdom" is a contraction of "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" and that "Briton" is therefore derived from one part of that name. That would be incorrect I think.

If this imprecision makes you unhappy, You have to use a longer phrase to express what you want.

As for national team. I'm not sure that the people concerned would all consider the UK to be a nation anyway - the word is mostly used for nations such as England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and perhaps for subsets of at least the latter.

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  • "You can be an inhabitant (and therefore a Briton) ... without being born there." I'm not sure that's quite right: people from other countries living in Britain wouldn't normally be referred to as Britons, I don't think. To me it implies birth, citizenship, or both. Jun 15 '14 at 13:39
  • Sorry to be so disagreeable :-), but you say: "As for national team. I'm not sure that the people concerned would all consider the UK to be a nation anyway - the word is mostly used for nations such as England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland". The UK is the nation. The others are countries within it. That's my understanding of the legal status. Football is different, of course. Jun 15 '14 at 13:44
  • @Martin: Don't worry about disagreeing with me :-). The terms are somewhat poorly defined. Many would say the UK is a state, not a nation. Regarding legal status of UK as nation, is that Scottish law or the Law of England and Wales, or elsewhere? ;) Which acts of law define nation? Jun 15 '14 at 15:12
  • "and that "Briton" is therefore derived from one part of that name." Or, it could be derived from "Britain", which is a correct short form of the United Kingdom.
    – user102008
    Jun 17 '14 at 23:31
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British :

British citizens usually hold this status through a connection with the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man ("United Kingdom and Islands"). Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKCs) who possessed right of abode under the Immigration Act 1971 through a connection with the UK and Islands generally became British citizens on 1 January 1983. British citizenship is the most common type of British nationality, and the only one that automatically carries a right of abode in the UK.

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  • You are answering the question with the question itself? Jun 15 '14 at 5:27
  • @BlessedGeek The adjective is British, despite it being rejected in the question.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 15 '14 at 12:39
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The OED1 entry for Briton seems apposite:

A. sb. 1, A native of Britain : ... c. Since the union of England and Scotland: A native of Great Britain, or of the British Empire; much used in the 18th c.; now chiefly in poetic, rhetorical, or melodramatic use, and in phrases dating to the 'Rule Britannia' period...

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