Origin of AlbionClassical Latin from Celtic an unverified form Albio, genitive an unverified form Albionus (from source Irish Alba, genitive Albann, name for Scotland); understood as if from Classical Latin albus, white (see elf) because the cliffs of southern England are white, but thought by some scholars to be of non-IE origin, originally (see Alps)
- perfidious Albion
Ancient Gallo-Latin name for Britain, Albiōn (Middle Welsh Albbu, Old Irish Albu), is from Proto-Celtic *albiyū (“world”) (stem : *albiyon-), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂élbʰos, *álbʰos (“white”), whence also Latin albus (“white”) and Ancient Greek ἀλφός (alphos, “whiteness, white leprosy”). The primary meaning of Common Celtic word is "upper world" (as opposed to underworld), with semasiological development similar to e.g. Russian свет (svet, “world; light”).
It is often hypothesised that the Romans took it as connected with albus (“white”), in reference to the White cliffs of Dover.