GB vs UK

When it comes to stamps, why is the country who's capitol is London referred to as Great Britain? And not The United Kingdom?


  • 11 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Because that's the way it has always been. You know 1840 and all that stuff. (LOL).
  • John, I read somewhere that the new EU Rules forbid the "GB" Sticker on cars coming cross the channel and must have a "UK" Sticker.
  • That is definitely confusing kinda like how college kids call Robert's parking lot nick named Bob's but only they know so to drop of a order in that situation definitely makes it fun to figure out where Waldo is lol or that they say leave at my door without a dorm name or road name freshmen lol
  • edited December 2021 3 LikesVote Down
    Good question, John, as GB refers to the big island sans NI, while UK encompasses NI (which uses GB stamps).

    On another note: while searching the interwebular worldwide network for a logical explanation, I came upon a forum for UK merchants in which there was a question and resultant discussion about shipping costs between GB and NI.

    It seems that the propensity for postal clerks to be ignorant of postal rates and regulations is not exclusively an American phenomenon:

    “ i have two small packets to send to Northern Ireland, my local post office (in a shop) tried to charge me nearly £10 for each. they told me it was international postage once traveled through the sea, what a rubbish. explained to them, NI comes under mainland U.K postage rate, they didn't believe me. I do ebay a lot, know postage more than those people. I rung the customer service, told me if they have post code, postage will be the same as mainland (also it says on their leaflet). then she gave me a number to ring to complain, so I did. I went back to the post office, told them, still didn't let me send my parcels for second class rate. So now I need to go to the main post office in the town tomorrow morning. waste of time.”
  • Have you ever seen a license plate from New Mexico? They read "New Mexico USA." I ain't funning, either.
  • I went to the UPU website and checked their list of member countries. They list "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" but not "Great Britain".
  • Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
  • As the stamps are not inscribed Great Britain, and the Royal Mail website only mentions UK, I think the greatest offender in perpetrating this lingua erratum would have to be Stanley Gibbons, with their many decades of publishing their “Great Britain” catalogue.
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
  • Can't they settle for just Pretty Good Britain?
  • Ron is on a roll!
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