One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A poetic or literary term for Britain or England (often used in referring to ancient or historical times).
- ‘For Iraqis of all political persuasions, Kuwait had been stolen from the motherland by perfidious Albion - Great Britain, the former colonial power.’
- ‘It all begins in the fabled land of Albion, where our young hero must notch up three good deeds to raise money to buy his sister a birthday gift.’
- ‘The very name Albion attests to the complex nature of the origins of the peoples and the cultures of the islands we inhabit.’
Old English, from Latin, probably of Celtic origin and related to Latin albus ‘white’ (in allusion to the white cliffs of Dover). The phrase perfidious Albion (mid 19th century) translates the French la perfide Albion, alluding to alleged treachery to other nations.
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