Some years ago I was asked, by someone over the Internet trying to find out my location, "an English county in what state?" This, needless to say, means nothing to me. I recall other evidence that the term "English county" has a meaning of its own to an American, but I can't for the life of me remember where, and I've no idea at the moment of what that meaning would be. Neither OneLook nor Google have revealed any answers as yet.
Here in Britain, it has an unambiguous and literal meaning of a county in England.
So, what do you Americans understand by "English county"?

Stewart.

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Stewart Gordon wrote on 15 Jun 2004:
Some years ago I was asked, by someone over the Internet trying to find out my location, "an English county ... has an unambiguous and literal meaning of a county in England. So, what do you Americans understand by "English county"?

Devonshire, for example.

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Some years ago I was asked, by someone over the Internet trying to find out my location, "an English county ... has an unambiguous and literal meaning of a county in England. So, what do you Americans understand by "English county"?

This American hasn't encountered the phrase in American English. In Nova Scotia people sometimes go to great lengths to distinguish Acadian regions from English/Scot regions. I have heard "English County" used there with some frequency.
http://www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/muns/info/mapping/counties.asp

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Some years ago I was asked, by someone over the Internet trying to find out my location, "an English county ... to me. I recall other evidence that the term "English county" has a meaning of its own to an American,

As far as I know, Americans that are at all familiar with England use the same definition of an English county that you do. There are Americans that don't understand that the English county is not a subdivision of a state or province, but there are English who don't understand our range, township, county, state system.

Every country seems to have some different way to divide itself up. It's rather arrogant to think that people not from your country should always know your system. Americans would be arrogant to think that you should know ours.
So, what do you Americans understand by "English county"?

All it suggests to this American (CUE PATRIOTIC MUSIC) is "a county in England".
Most US states are divided administratively into 'counties', though I believe Louisiana calls the equivalent 'parishes' and, IIRC, Alaska calls them 'boroughs'.
Some years ago I was asked, by someone over the Internet trying to find out my location, "an English county ... has an unambiguous and literal meaning of a county in England. So, what do you Americans understand by "English county"?

Nothing special. Just a county in England. What you probably encountered was somebody who hadn't fully internalized that in some countries there may not be a political division larger than a county and smaller than a nation. Or it's possible that they were thinking of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland as your "states".

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Most US states are divided administratively into 'counties', though I believe Louisiana calls the equivalent 'parishes' and, IIRC, Alaska calls them 'boroughs'.

These are three different levels of division over here.

A county is divided into districts/boroughs - I'm not sure of the distinction here. It typically covers one or a few towns along with surrounding villages, though some districts cover areas several times that of the central/eponymous town.
There are two definitions of 'parish' - civil parish (typically a village or group thereof, a division of a district/borough) and ecclesiastical parish (a division of a diocese).
Stewart.

My e-mail is valid but not my primary mailbox, aside from its being the unfortunate victim of intensive mail-bombing at the moment. Please keep replies on the 'group where everyone may benefit.
"Stewart Gordon" schrieb im Newsbeitrag

Most US states are divided administratively into 'counties', though I believe Louisiana calls the equivalent 'parishes' and, IIRC, Alaskacalls them 'boroughs'.

These are three different levels of division over here. A county is divided into districts/boroughs - I'm not sure of the distinction here.

Boroughs are what there were before there were districts I think the change happened in 1974, when they rearranged all the counties. What used to be the Borough of Glastonbury, for example, is now part of Mendip District.
Districts can call themselves Boroughs if they like - it is purely a matter of choice. The more urbanised ones tend to use "Borough".

Don Aitken
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