Re: The term Brit

Torgrim Hoff (torgrim.hoff@IMA.UIO.NO)
Mon, 6 Nov 1995 18:30:13 +0100

Donncha Kavanagh wrote 03-11-95:
>I've just had a quick chat with a colleague in our Irish Department about
>the term Brit and he tells me that its roots are much deeper than the
>1970s. For instance, an English character appears in a 12th Century Irish
>manuscript with the monicker Beinne Britt.
>Not many people know that.

As Daniel Defoe say in "The true-born Englishman" :

Thus from a Mixture of all kinds began,
That Het=B4rogeneous Thing, An Englishman:
In eager Rapes, and furious Lust begot,
Betwixt a Painted Britton and a Scot:
Whose gend=B4ring Offspring quickly learnt to bow,
And yoke their Heifers to the Roman Plough:
=46rom whence a Mongrel half-bred Race there came,
With neither Name nor Nation, Speech or Fame.
In whose hot Veins now Mixtures quickly ran,
Infus=B4d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane
While their Rank Daughters, to their Parents just,
Receiv=B4d all Nations with Promiscuous Lust.
This Nauseous Brood directly contain
The well-extracted Blood of Englishmen...

(Also used in the intro of Benedict Anderson=B4s "Imagined Communities")

What is a Brit really then?

:) Torgrim Hoff
Institute and Museum of Anthropology
University of Oslo, Norway