Ayup bruv, yawright? Wa’s gwanin’ on this fine morn, chuck? If you didn’t understand any of that, then fear not. It’s purely a mish-mash of British slang that some can translate, and others are baffled by. There are many British stereotypes, words, traditions, and traits that need decoding when viewed by someone who’s not native to the country. Even some UK citizens have been known to struggle with some!
I have spent most of my life living all over the UK, but I was born in the magnificent southern city of London. One of the most culturally diverse cities, in a country that gave the world amazing fashion, phenomenal music, spectacular acting talent, dark humor, and polished etiquette. But as proud as I am, there are still a lot of speculations and misconceptions about the great land they call Britain.
10 British stereotypes: Spot on or dead wrong?
To an outsider, there are plenty of British stereotypes. As much as I hate to admit it, many are true and based on quirks and lifestyles the Brits just came to accept.
That being said, a fair few are completely untrue and a weird concoction of chinese-whispers, misunderstanding, and presumption. I say all this, sitting here with my umbrella, in my bowler hat, holding my bulldog, and eating a crumpet. And you know what? It’s bloody spiffing, if you ask me.
#1 We’re all best pals with the Queen. Believe it or not, we aren’t all friends with Ma’am. Sadly, we aren’t on first name terms with her corgis, and we haven’t been to Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty generally doesn’t interact with us “common folk” that often.
#2 We’re incredibly sarcastic. Brits can be cynical and dry-humored and, some might say, have an almost intellectual darkness to our humor. But this doesn’t mean we’re all doom and gloom. We’re just slightly more realistic. Although, we do have wit as sharp as a razor, so make sure not to get into a war of words with us—you won’t win.
#3 Our teeth are terrible. Anyone who’s seen Austin Powers will be aware of this stereotype, but it simply isn’t true. Some have dental work that still needs to be attended to, but that’s no different to other countries that don’t have that stereotype attached to them. Our teeth are just fine the way they are.
#4 We love a good cup o’ tea. This one… happens to be completely and utterly spot on. Almost all Brits love their tea and are very specific about how they like it made. If you ever visit a British household and they don’t have stacks and stacks of tea bags in their cupboard then leave immediately. They’re either imposters or demons.
#5 We’re obsessed with talking about the weather. Brits have been known to talk, or mostly complain, a lot about the weather. The main reason we do this is because we get about two weeks of sun a year. The rest of the time it’s just rain or clouds. Sorry if we complain about it too much, but we just can’t help ourselves.
#6 British cuisine is gross or weird. A scotch egg, yorkshire pudding, or a chip butty with mushy peas may sound disgusting to you, but to us, it’s absolutely to die for. Maybe it’s an acquired taste, or maybe it’s just how we’re raised. Either way until you’ve had the chance to enjoy most British food, you’re missing out.
#7 Apparently, we all live in castles or cottages. If anyone says we all live in palaces, then show them my apartment *or my “flat”*. It barely qualifies as a house, let alone a castle, so this stereotype is totally made up.
Sure, if you take a stroll through somewhere like Kensington or Mayfair you’ll see folks living in fancy houses. The majority of the population live like regular people.
#8 We’re mean and rude. Like anywhere in the world, certain parts of the country have people who are friendlier than others. But the majority of Britain is filled with absolutely welcoming, lovely folk. Unless you go to London during rush hour–you won’t do well if you like making eye contact with strangers or don’t like being pushed out the way when trying to get on a bus. And DON’T stand on the wrong side of the escalators.
#9 We drink a lot of alcohol. The Brits are known for their drinking abilities. This stereotype is incredibly accurate.
There is a pub on every corner of every street, and each time there’s a party, BBQ, or event, you can guarantee there will be pints of booze there. We drink most people under the table, so don’t challenge us to any drinking competitions.
#10 It’s like it is in the movies. A lot of people who aren’t from Britain seem to think that we’re straight out of Mary Poppins, but oddly enough the streets aren’t filled with delightful nannies and chimney sweeps. Equally, we don’t have to often worry about James Bond holding up traffic as he speeds after villains on the M25 motorway.