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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Isles_%28terminology%29

Great Britain

Great Britain refers to the largest of the British Isles. The word "Great" simply means "larger" (no connection with "greatness" in other senses is intended) in contrast to Brittany, a historical term for a peninsula in modern France that largely corresponds with the present day French province of Bretagne. That region was settled by many British immigrants during the period of Anglo-Saxon migration into Britain, and named "Little Britain" by them. The French term "Bretagne" now refers to the French "Little Britain", not to the British "Great Britain", which in French is called Grande-Bretagne.