I live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (of which Scotland forms a part). This is also known as the United Kingdom, or the UK. *

Yet I was under the impression that the ‘United Kingdom’ was not a country. I’m not sure why, possibly I picked up something erroneous at school, or I’ve just formed that view in my own head. So let’s just clarify things:

United (verb): to put together to form a single unit, to link by a legal or moral bond.
Kingdom (noun): a politically organized community or major territorial unit having a monarchical form of government headed by a king or queen.

“The United Kingdom includes: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland & The territorial sea extending 12 miles out from the shore-line are also part of the United Kingdom for tax purposes.” **

Well if that taxman said it, it must be true!

* Source: CIA World Factbook
** Source: Inland Revenue

(OK so this is all a thinly disguised attempt to offer a link to the fascinating, if a year out of date, CIA World Factbook)