Old English Engla land, literally "the land of the Angles" (see English (n.1)), used alongside Angelcynn "the English race," which, with other forms, shows Anglo-Saxon persistence in thinking in terms of tribes rather than place. By late Old English times both words had come to be used with a clear sense of place, not people; a Dane, Canute, is first to call himself "King of England." By the 14c. the name was being used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain and to the land of the Celtic Britons before the Anglo-Saxon conquest. The loss of one of the duplicate syllables is a case of haplology.
updated on October 10, 2017