One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(A name given to) a place considered to resemble or epitomize England on a small scale; a ‘colony’ or microcosm of England; a foreign place full of English people.
2Specifically. The English-speaking area of Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales. More fully "Little England beyond Wales".
3The island of Barbados in the Caribbean, which became a British colony in the 1630s and remained British until 1966.
4Chiefly depreciative. The inward-looking England supposedly advocated by Little Englanders.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in William Harrison (1535–1593), historian and topographer. From little + the name of England.
Little England/ˌlɪtl ˈɪŋɡlənd/
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