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Albion

[al-bee-uh n] /ˈæl bi ən/
noun
1.
2.
a city in S Michigan.
3.
Literary. Britain.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Albion

Albion

/ˈælbɪən/
noun
1.
(archaic or poetic) Britain or England
Word Origin
C13: from Latin, of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for Albion

ancient name of England, Old English, from Latin, sometimes said to be from the non-Indo-European base *alb "mountain," which also is suggested as the source of Latin Alpes "Alps," Albania, and Alba, an Irish name for "Scotland." But more likely from Latin 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 French 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 supposedly treacherous policies of Britain when dealing with foreign powers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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