Characters From The UK: Part 1 {Introduction}

If, like me, you’re a fairly active roleplayer, you’ll probably know the joys of creating and perfecting characters. However, as time goes on, you’ll most likely grow away from characters that are clichéd and much like yourself and start to branch out to a more varied collection of characters. Sometimes, this doesn’t go well. I’m here to address those who slip up when deciding to make their characters varied by giving them a different nationality – specifically, one from the UK. Through this guide I plan to cover places, attitudes, accent, slang and culture in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Basic Geography

The UK – or United Kingdom – is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. While the official language is English, other regional languages are recognised. These are: Cornish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots and Welsh. Here is a handy map of the UK:

uk map 

GB – or Great Britain, or Britain – is simply England, Scotland and Wales. You’ll hopefully have noticed that Northern Ireland – only part of the UK, not Britain, remember – is there instead of just Ireland, the Republic of Ireland (ROI), Eire, etc. This is because Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are both parts of Ireland, but different parts. Northern Ireland is in the North East of Ireland. Here’s another handy map:

Don’t worry – both Northern Ireland and the ROI will be covered in greater detail later in the guide.

Capitals and Counties

The format for this section is boring, but is meant more as a reference than anything else.

England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have capital cities. These are, respectively, London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The English capital, London, is situated in the county of London. The other counties in England are: Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicester, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Rutland, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sussex, Warwickshire, Westmoorland, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire.

The Northern Irish capital, Belfast, is situated in both County Antrim and County Down. The other counties in Northern Ireland are: Armagh, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. (Note – All of Ireland is also divided into four provinces. Northern Ireland, as well as Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan, are part of Ulster.)

Scottish counties were abandoned in 1975 in favour of other systems of classification.

The Welsh capital, Cardiff, is in Glamorgan. The other Welsh counties are: Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarfornshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Merioneth, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Pembrokeshire and Radnorshire.

A note on the way to pronounce the -shire suffix: It is not pronounced “shy-er”, but more like “sheer”. For example, Leicestershire is pronounced “less-ter-sheer”.

 

 

next time: ENGLAND

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~ by Vermin Love on August 2, 2009.

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