ethnic group native to England
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The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn ("family of the Angles"). Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD.
- Of all the races in the Galaxy, only the English could possibly revive the memory of the most horrific wars ever to sunder the Universe and transform it into into what I'm afraid is generally regarded as an incomprehensibly dull and pointless game.
- Douglas Adams, Life the Universe and Everything (1982)
- No man had once a greater veneration for Englishmen than I entertained. They were dear to me as branches of the same parental trunk, and partakers of the same religion and laws.
- Samuel Adams, speech at the State House in Philadelphia (1 August 1776)
- He was an Englishman of Englishmen, of the old school of charming manners, flavoured by occasional downrightness of speech.
- Alfred Austin, The Poet's Diary (London: Macmillan and Co., 1904), p. 171
- An Englishman is the unfittest person on Earth to argue another Englishman into slavery.
- Edmund Burke, as quoted in Paul Revere's Ride (1995), by David Hackett Fischer, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 30
- What is the problem with you English? You killed millions of Indians and Africans, and yet you go nuts about the circumstances of the death of a single Serbian pigeon. I am touched you hold the lives of Serbian birds so dear, but you are crazy. I will never understand how your minds work.
- Emir Kusturica, in an interview in The Guardian (4 March 2005) about a British censor demanding that a shot of a cat pouncing on a pigeon be cut from his film Life is a Miracle
- The English take their pleasures sadly after the fashion of their country.
- Maximillian, Duc de Sully, (1559-1641), Memoirs
- To be an Englishman is to belong to the most exclusive club there is.
- Ogden Nash, England Expects
- [T]he English intelligentsia are Europeanized. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always anti-British. It is questionable how much effect this had, but it certainly had some. If the English people suffered for several years a real weakening of morale, so that the Fascist nations judged that they were ‘decadent’ and that it was safe to plunge into war, the intellectual sabotage from the Left was partly responsible. Both the New Statesman and the News Chronicle cried out against the Munich settlement, but even they had done something to make it possible. Ten years of systematic Blimp-baiting affected even the Blimps themselves and made it harder than it had been before to get intelligent young men to enter the armed forces. Given the stagnation of the Empire, the military middle class must have decayed in any case, but the spread of a shallow Leftism hastened the process.
- The expression "as right as rain" must have been invented by an Englishman.
- An Englishman is self-assured, as being a citizen of the best-organized state in the world, and therefore as an Englishman always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct.
- Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, Book IX, Chapter Ten
- The home life of the English seems to me to be about as perfect as anything can be. Everything moves like clockwork. I was impressed, too, with the deference that the servants show to their "masters" and "mistresses" ... The English servant expects, as a rule, to be nothing but a servant, and so he perfects himself in the art...
- Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery, "Chapter XVI: Europe"
- Encyclopedic article on English people on Wikipedia