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To Our Isles Members

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Greetings to our members across the pond. Here's a question for you from someone who has roots in and ties to all five countries that comprise the British Isles. What are the real differences between English, Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh people? I'm referring to cultural, religious, genetic, physical, intranational, regional, socio-political characteristics, or, anything that comes to your mind that would be instructive to a mongrelized Yank like me. :yes:

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Greetings to our members across the pond. Here's a question for you from someone who has roots in and ties to all five countries that comprise the British Isles. What are the real differences between English, Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, and Welsh people? I'm referring to cultural, religious, genetic, physical, intranational, regional, socio-political characteristics, or, anything that comes to your mind that would be instructive to a mongrelized Yank like me. :yes:

Ireland...two countries? That should bring some interesting responses.

I think you'll find that most members of these 'Septic' Isles usually consider that the ruling class in London ignore the rest of us peasants that live elsewhere.

You could fill a book with the questions you want answering.

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I thought the main difference was Celtic as compared to Anglo-Saxon/Roman origins.

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I cannot believe you asked this question *flees in abject terror*

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Ireland...two countries? That should bring some interesting responses.

I think you'll find that most members of these 'Septic' Isles usually consider that the ruling class in London ignore the rest of us peasants that live elsewhere.

You could fill a book with the questions you want answering.

I'm all for a united Ireland. I have to deal with the facts and statistics at hand, though.

It sounds like you have the same governmental problems that we do. We now work for the government, which is the opposite of how it should be in a purported representative government.

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I thought the main difference was Celtic as compared to Anglo-Saxon/Roman origins.

Those are myths written by jingoistic historians. Both Celts and Saxons represented tiny parts of the whole population in comparison to the original pre-invasion inhabitants. The indigenous population was much larger than both groups, even though both groups were very influential. The Romans came before the bulk of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, etc., by the way.

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I cannot believe you asked this question *flees in abject terror*

So far, we've had no soccer riots. We've not even had a pub brawl.

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Can you distinguish an average Englishman from an average Irishman based on their physical appearance? Do people from certain regions have unique appearances? It's my understanding that people from Norfolk have lighter features while people from Wales have darker features. It would be interesting to learn if there's any basis for this.

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while people from Wales have darker features.

That's because they still can't get the coal dust out of their creases.

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Can you distinguish on appearance a Japanese from a Korean from a Chinese from a Vietnamese? If you got that, then distinguish a Mongolian or a Taiwanese or an Okinawan or a North vs. South Chinese or a Tibetan or a Laotian.

There are systematic differences that make rules-of-thumb possible, but there are also always individuals who break the rules.

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The English and the Irish are so fundamentally different that its a shame that the shared language confuses the English into thinking we are the same.

Unfortunately the Irish still have a victim culture carried over from Colonial times which makes it difficult for them to take responsibility for their own national character flaws and mistakes. The English are fairly straightforward people who tend to take you as you come without prejudging you. The Irish and the Welsh at least will prejudge you - place you in a little labelled box and never change their opinion of you from that day forward. Tradition is fairly much ignored in England but tends to be the defining quality of the Celtic fringes.

Just my observations from having lived as an English/Irish man in both England and Ireland.

Br Cornelius

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Posted (edited)

The English and the Irish are so fundamentally different that its a shame that the shared language confuses the English into thinking we are the same.

Since when do the English think the Irish are the same as them?

If anything, it's actually the other way round. Many Irish (and other so-called "Celts" of the British Isles, even though they are nothing of the sort) are now fond of telling the English that they are not Anglo-Saxon but are actually "Celtic" like them, even though genetic studies show otherwise.

Tradition is fairly much ignored in England but tends to be the defining quality of the Celtic fringes.

I think it's ludicrous to say that the English have no sense of tradition.

Edited by TheLastLazyGun

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Posted (edited)

Since when do the English think the Irish are the same as them?

If anything, it's actually the other way round. Many Irish (and other so-called "Celts" of the British Isles, even though they are nothing of the sort) are now fond of telling the English that they are not Anglo-Saxon but are actually "Celtic" like them, even though genetic studies show otherwise.

I think it's ludicrous to say that the English have no sense of tradition.

As a man who i doubt has actually ever lived in a Celtic nation I very much doubt you have any experience of what the Celtic fringes think or believe, and I doubt you really have any comprehension of how deeply the Celtic nations hold their traditions compared to the English.

Br Cornelius

Edited by Br Cornelius

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That's because they still can't get the coal dust out of their creases.

They also descend from darker-featured people. Lighter-featured people tend to live in the eastern regions while darker-featured people tend to live in the western regions.

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Can you distinguish on appearance a Japanese from a Korean from a Chinese from a Vietnamese? If you got that, then distinguish a Mongolian or a Taiwanese or an Okinawan or a North vs. South Chinese or a Tibetan or a Laotian.

There are systematic differences that make rules-of-thumb possible, but there are also always individuals who break the rules.

I sometimes can do that. It's relatively easy to notice disparities between northern Asians and southern Asians. Of course, Asian people notice differences that I likely will miss. The same kind of rule might apply to people who live in the British Isles.

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The English and the Irish are so fundamentally different that its a shame that the shared language confuses the English into thinking we are the same.

Unfortunately the Irish still have a victim culture carried over from Colonial times which makes it difficult for them to take responsibility for their own national character flaws and mistakes. The English are fairly straightforward people who tend to take you as you come without prejudging you. The Irish and the Welsh at least will prejudge you - place you in a little labelled box and never change their opinion of you from that day forward. Tradition is fairly much ignored in England but tends to be the defining quality of the Celtic fringes.

Just my observations from having lived as an English/Irish man in both England and Ireland.

Br Cornelius

Yet, you stereotyped Irish people and Welsh people. You should have thrown in the Highlanders too. ;) Seriously, I thought that you were psychic after I read your post. You mentioned something that I thought about today. I wondered if "Celts" tended to be more conservative and traditional than "Saxons". I guessed that they did. I somewhat based my guess on Americans with roots in Celtic countries/regions. I always doubted that PC nonsense would be tolerated in County Cork. It never went over big in South Boston or the Appalachians. I found your post to be fascinating for a couple reasons, and I also wondered about something else. Could you determine folks origins based on their physical characteristics?

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Many Irish (and other so-called "Celts" of the British Isles, even though they are nothing of the sort) are now fond of telling the English that they are not Anglo-Saxon but are actually "Celtic" like them, even though genetic studies show otherwise.

Relatively few continental Celts settled in the British Isles. They shared aspects of culture and language with contemperaneous British and Irish people, though. For instance, they all revered druids. They were a bit different in genetics, though (different types of R1b). The insular Celts shared genetic origins with contemporary Basques. "Celt" and "Saxon" largely are antiquated, Victorian conceits used to divide people at times. The Germanic tribes genetic legacy is limited to specific areas. As you know, its concentration is higher in the eastern regions than in the western regions, but it still impacts many modern English people.

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I sometimes can do that. It's relatively easy to notice disparities between northern Asians and southern Asians. Of course, Asian people notice differences that I likely will miss. The same kind of rule might apply to people who live in the British Isles.

Nah. We all look the same. It's only the accents that give us away and those are more regional than national.

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They also descend from darker-featured people. Lighter-featured people tend to live in the eastern regions while darker-featured people tend to live in the western regions.

Interesting theory. Can you back it up?

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The best way to specify someone is by their clothes, next by their gestures, then by their accent. Just looking at someone produces only generalities.

I can identify an overseas Vietnamese from a native pretty much only by clothes, but they are always a dead giveaway.

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Yet, you stereotyped Irish people and Welsh people. You should have thrown in the Highlanders too. ;) Seriously, I thought that you were psychic after I read your post. You mentioned something that I thought about today. I wondered if "Celts" tended to be more conservative and traditional than "Saxons". I guessed that they did. I somewhat based my guess on Americans with roots in Celtic countries/regions. I always doubted that PC nonsense would be tolerated in County Cork. It never went over big in South Boston or the Appalachians. I found your post to be fascinating for a couple reasons, and I also wondered about something else. Could you determine folks origins based on their physical characteristics?

The Irish and English look different. I could spot an Irish person about 60% of the time. There are some definate Irish types.

You have to remember that up until recently most Irish never travelled further than 50miles from where they were born, and that it was encouraged to marry close to the family to prevent dilution of property rights.

It often sounds like stereotyping until you have lived on both sides of the fence.

Br Cornelius

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Nah. We all look the same. It's only the accents that give us away and those are more regional than national.

That sounds like the straight scoop. British people and Irish people are both from northwest Europe. It stands to reason that they would look like each other. Some sources make them sound like unique races.

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Interesting theory. Can you back it up?

Look at genetic and settlement maps, as well as history. You find more descendants of Germanic tribes in the east. You find more descendants of aboriginal groups in the west. Then, we have the Danelaw region. Appearance corresponds with genetics if we go from east to west. That's not to say that there won't be exceptions to the rule. It's a general trend. Of course, people, who live and/or work in the British Isles, know *much* more about it than I do.

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The best way to specify someone is by their clothes, next by their gestures, then by their accent. Just looking at someone produces only generalities.

I can identify an overseas Vietnamese from a native pretty much only by clothes, but they are always a dead giveaway.

You made a good point about culture. I wondered about certain items that I read on historical and scientific web sites, though. They claimed that there was observable variation in the appearances of the "tribes" of the British Isles. I thought that this might have been overstated, but I also thought that it might have been based in reality to a certain extent.

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The Irish and English look different. I could spot an Irish person about 60% of the time. There are some definate Irish types.

You have to remember that up until recently most Irish never travelled further than 50miles from where they were born, and that it was encouraged to marry close to the family to prevent dilution of property rights.

It often sounds like stereotyping until you have lived on both sides of the fence.

Br Cornelius

Thanks for the information. I have roots in both countries, but I likely don't look like a native of either country. The stereotype of Irish and Scottish people is that many or most of them have red hair. We know that's a bit of a myth. It's my understanding that the majority of "Celts" have dark hair with light eyes whereas "Saxons" tend to have lighter hair. Is this close to the truth? If so, it reflects settling patterns, but I might be oversimplifying things. For example, Ireland has a multitude of phenotypes, from what I see.

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