Albion

Collins
World English Dictionary
Albion (ˈælbɪən)
 
n
archaic, poetic or Britain or England
 
[C13: from Latin, of Celtic origin]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Albion
ancient name of England, O.E., from L., sometimes said to be from the non-I.E. base *alb "mountain," which also is suggested as the source of L. Alpes "Alps," Albania, and Alba, an Ir. name for "Scotland." But more likely from L. albus "white" (see alb), which would be an apt
description of the chalk cliffs of the island's southern coast.
"Breoton is garsecges ealond, ðæt wæs iu geara Albion haten." [translation of Bede's "Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum," c.900 C.E.]
Perfidious Albion translates Fr. rhetorical phrase la perfide Albion, said to have been in use since 16c., but popularized by Napoleon I in the recruiting drive of 1813, a reference to the treacherous policies of Britain in dealing with foreign powers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

albion

the earliest-known name for the island of Britain. It was used by ancient Greek geographers from the 4th century BC and even earlier, who distinguished "Albion" from Ierne (Ireland) and from smaller members of the British Isles. The Greeks and Romans probably received the name from the Gauls or the Celts. The name Albion has been translated as "white land"; and the Romans explained it as referring to the chalk cliffs at Dover (Latin albus, "white").

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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