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By far the most probable derivation of this word is that given by Bochart, from the Phœnician Baratanic (country of tin), contracted into Bʹratanʹ. The Greek Cassiterʹides (tin islands) is a translation of Baratanic, once applied to the whole known group, but now restricted to the Scilly Isles. Aristotle, who lived some 350 years before the Christian era, calls the island Britannic, which is so close to Bʹratanic that the suggestion of Bochart can scarcely admit of a doubt. (De Mundo, sec. 3.)

Pliny says, “Opposite to Celtiberia are a number of islands which the Greeks called ‘Cassiteridēsʹ” (evidently he means the British group). Strabo says the Cassiteridēs are situated about the same latitude as Britain.

Great Britain consists of “Britannia prima” (England), “Britannia secunda” (Wales), and “North Britain” (Scotland), united under one sway.

Greater Britain. The whole British empire.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Brisk as a Bee
Bristol Board
Bristol Boy (The)
Bristol Diamonds
Bristol Fashion (In)
Bristol Milk
Bristol Waters
British Lion (The)
Britomart [sweet maid]
Briton (Like a)
Broad as Long
Broad Arrow
Broad Bottom Ministry (1744)