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.