Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to the Angles, England, the English people or the English language, such as in the term Anglo-Saxon language. It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of British Isles descent in the Americas, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. It is also used, both in English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries, to refer to Anglophone people of other European origins.
Anglo is a Late Latin prefix used to denote English- in conjunction with another toponym or demonym. The word is derived from Anglia, the Latin name for England and still used in the modern name for its eastern region, East Anglia. Anglia and England both mean land of the Angles, a Germanic people originating in the north German peninsula of Angeln, that is, the region of today's Lower Saxony that joins the Jutland Peninsula and thus forms an angle, so the Romans named it "Angulus".
It is also often used incorrectly to refer to British in historical and other contexts after the Acts of Union 1707, for example such as in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, where in later years agreement was between the British government and the Dutch, not an English government. Typical examples of this use are also shown below, where non-English people from the British Isles are described as being Anglo.
Anglo is not an easily defined term. For traditionalists, there are linguistic problems with using the word as an adjective or noun on its own. For example, the purpose of the -o ending is to enable the formation of a compound term (for example Anglo-Saxon meaning of Angle and Saxon origin), so there is only an apparent parallelism between, for example, Latino and Anglo. However, a semantic change has taken place in many English-speaking regions so that in informal usage the meanings listed below are common. The definition is changed in each region which defines how it is identified.
The term Anglo-African has been used historically to self-identify by people of mixed British and African ancestry born in the United States and in Africa.The Anglo-African and The Weekly Anglo-African were the names of newspapers published by African American abolitionist Robert Hamilton (1819-1870) in New York during the American Civil War era.The Anglo-African was also the name of a newspaper published in Lagos (now part of Nigeria) from 1863 to 1865. It was founded and edited by Robert Campbell (1829-1884), a Jamaican born son of a Scottish father and Mulatto mother. The term has also been used historically to describe people living in the British Empire in Africa.The Anglo-African Who's Who and Biographical Sketch-Book published in London in 1905 includes details of prominent British and Afrikaner people in Africa at that time.
In Canada, and especially in Canadian French, the terms Anglophone, Anglo-Canadian or simply Anglo, are widely used to designate someone whose mother tongue is English, as opposed to Francophone, which describes someone whose mother tongue is French, and to Allophone, which describes someone whose mother tongue is a language other than English or French. (In Quebec, the word Anglophone or Anglo refers to English-speaking Quebecers in both English and French.) Anglo-Metis is also sometimes used to refer to a historical ethnic group.
Immigrants from English-speaking countries are sometimes referred to as Anglos.
In Scotland the term Anglo-Scot, often shortened to Anglos, is used to refer to people born in Scotland with English ancestry.
The term Anglo-Scot is more often used to describe Scottish sports players who are based in England or playing for English teams, or vice versa. This usage is especially used in football and notably in rugby union, where the Anglo Scots were a Scottish non-native select provincial District side that competed in the Scottish Inter-District Championship.
In many parts of the United States, especially those with high Hispanic populations, "Anglo-American" is shortened to "Anglo" and applied to white Americans who are not of Hispanic or Latino origin and sometimes to those who are not of French origin, but the latter criterion is based on specific linguistic considerations and limited to Louisiana and parts of Texas.
In the Southwest United States, "Anglo", short for "Anglo American", is used as a synonym for non-Hispanic Whites; that is European Americans (except people who speak Latin languages), most of whom speak the English language, even those who are not necessarily of English or British descent. Some non-Hispanic whites in the United States who speak English but are not of English or British ancestry do not identify with the term Anglo and find the term offensive. For instance, some Cajuns in south Louisiana use the term to refer to area whites who do not have Francophone backgrounds. Irish Americans, the second largest self-identified ethnic group in the United States following German-Americans, also sometimes take umbrage at being called "Anglo".
A startling feature in the rhetoric of black institutional leadership on the eve of the Civil War was the popularity of the term, 'Anglo-African.' ... By 1900, 'Anglo-African' had been replaced by 'Afro-American' and such variants as 'Euro-African', and 'Negro-Saxon'.
The festival was to be given at Gloucester with Coleridge-Taylor himself conducting the three choirs. As it was advertised that the conductor was an Anglo-African, the audience expected a white man. What was its surprise to see instead a dark-skinned Negro, quick-moving, slight of build, with an enormous head of high, thick, frizzly hair, broad nostrils, flashing white teeth, and a winning smile.
Because the area had only been colonised in the 1890s, the Anglo-African community of Nyasaland during the 1930s, for the most part, consisted of first-generation persons of 'mixed' racial descent. This is reflected in their preference of the term 'Anglo-African' over 'coloured' and 'half-caste'. Although all three were used, 'Anglo-African' had the advantage of emphasising their partial descent from colonists.
At different historical junctures in Northern Rhodesia's racialized landscape, persons of mixed descent were categorized accordingly: 'half-caste,' 'Anglo-African,' 'Indo-African,' 'Euro-African, 'Eurafrican,' and 'Coloured.'
'I do see a time when the South African colonies may be brought together into one great Anglo-African people.'
Sir Harry Johnston, the former Governor General of Central British Africa said after the conquest of German East Africa in the 'Daily News': ... Another well known Anglo-African and Colonial politician E. D. Morel in an article in the 'Labour Leader' entitled 'The Way Out' writes as follows: ...'Harry Johnston (1858-1927) and E. D. Morel (1873-1924) are referred to as Anglo-Africans in this publication.
But we may perhaps claim that, incomplete as it is, it contains many records of Anglo-Africans which are not readily available in any similar work of reference, and it is only necessary to add that we hope to remedy its sins of omission and commission in future editions.