Open main menu

Wiktionary β



Wikipedia has articles on:

Alternative formsEdit


From Latin Brittania, presumably from Celtic. Compare Britain.


  This entry needs audio files. If you have a microphone, please record some and upload them. (For audio required quickly, visit WT:APR.)
Particularly: "UK"

Proper nounEdit


  1. A region in north-west France. [from 15th c.]
    • 1595, William Shakespeare, King Henry VI, part 3, First Folio 1623, Act II, Scene VI:
      First, will I see the Coronation, / And then to Britanny Ile crosse the Sea, / To effect this marriage, so it please my Lord.
  2. (obsolete, chiefly poetic) The British Isles. [15th-19th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.11:
      The noble Thamis […] seem'd to stoupe afore / With bowed backe, by reason of the lode / And auncient heavy burden which he bore / Of that faire City, wherein make abode / So many learned impes, that shoote abrode, / And with their braunches spred all Britany […].
  3. A female given name popular in the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s.
    • 1990 Alice Munro, Friend of My Youth, ISBN 0679729577, page 102:
      - - - No one has family names. These girls with rooster hair I see on the streets. They pick the names. They're the mothers." "I have a granddaughter named Brittany," Hazel said. " And I have heard of a little girl called Cappuccino." "Cappuccino! Is that true? Why don't they call one Cassaulet? Fettuccini? Alsace-Lorraine?"
    • 1999 Andrew Pyper, Lost Girls: Chapter Ten:
      Names of the times. Borrowed from soap opera characters of prominence fifteen years ago, who have since been replaced by spiffy new models: the social-climbing Brittany now an unscrupulous Burke, the generous Pamela a refitted, urbanized Parker.
  4. (prison slang) Coward
  5. (dogs) A breed of gun dog.

Related termsEdit


See alsoEdit