A unique term, and one must be careful when referring to someone as British. You’ll have people regardless of country that are proud to be British, and then you’ll run into Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and the English who only identify as their respective country and not as British. You’ll get an angry BRIT yelling at you in the pub ‘I’m (insert said country/ nationality here) not British’, during which you’ll do your best to remember not to kindly point out that they are in fact British. On top of that most definitely DO NOT call an Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish person English, unless you want to wake up in the hospital.
Speaking of THE hospital they (yes the Brits as a catch all) tend leave of ‘the’ if someone is going to the hospital they say ‘going to hospital’, when watching the Crown on Netflix they were talking about the cabinet and just refereed to it as cabinet. They tend to leave out the quite a bit, and they use ‘quite’, quite a bit. They describe everything as quite, it’s quite this its quite good, while in the states we would just say ‘it’s good.’ If you’re saying you like someone you’re smitten, and if if you’re really smitten you’re quite smitten. Quite is really used quite a lot.
And while we’re on British slang, lets talk about weird shit that they say. You may think that a fag is a derogatory term for someone who is LGBT but over yonder across the pond its a cigarette, so the first time someone asks you ‘bum a fag’ don’t go wide eyed as I did, someone is just asking if they can borrow a cigarette. That’s not even the strangest thing I’ve heard while here…. if you’re ‘taking a mick’ it doesn’t mean you’re stealing mickey mouse, it means the same thing as ‘taking a piss’ which does not mean going to the toilets, it means taking a joke at someones expense. On top of that the British can’t really be fussed. What does it mean to fussed it means to be bothered, if you’re not bothered you’re not fussed. A ‘quid’ is a pound its like our buck, a flat is an apartment, a lift is an elevator even though both their names only talk about going up and not down, and the loo is the bathroom or toilets, the boot is the trunk, and although they say they spell words like colour correctly, the ‘u’ isn’t pronounced so it’s really unnecessary. Speaking of colour Brits do a have a very colourful language, they love to use the word ‘cunt’, which is cring worthy, and twat, which is slightly more playful and less cringe worthy.
Never expect a British person to properly (that’s another term they love to use) explain something to you, instead they’ll just point to an example. Go on, ask any English person you meet to describe posh, I can almost 100% guarantee you that instead of explaining posh (which is a more extreme version of our preppy… the tend to sound like they swallowed a dictionary) they’ll just point to someone who is posh, and expect them to explain. Same if you ask them what a “scouse’ person is or really anything they just point and you all laugh, and after you leave their company you’ll realize you never got an explanation and you’re just as confused if not more than you were before you asked.
There are a lot of differences between GB and the states, for example a British hipster is different than an american hipster in that they’re a lot more free spirit, think Cochella, while as a British hipster is more grunge. My mates (friends) are perfect examples of that . In addition most of us Americans love the monarchy, however when it comes to them Brits they have mixed reviews about their monarchy. You’ll get the anti-monarchy, who think that they’re a waste of money, and hate them with a passion, so if you happen to bring up that you watched the royal wedding, you’ll either get people criticizing you or just as well watched it themselves. You’ll run into your die hard royalists, that love the monarchy no matter what, and you’ll run into a majority of people that couldn’t care less, and like them for entertainment purposes, rather than any real purpose (but the monarchy doesn’t have that much power anyways.)
Bill Bryson put it best in his Notes from a Small Island “the British have more heritage than is good for them.”
So just remember if a British brings up Trump or replies its nice to meet someone from the colonies, reply with Brexit and be on your way.
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