View Full Version : Trying to explain about the British

G&T ice n slice
19th Apr 2012, 13:44
I have been trying to explain to non-british colleagues about the British,
is this about right?
(sorry, I hate to bother you with this, I know you've got more important things to think about, so don;t trouble yourself with this if you've not got the time)

Sometimes I use expressions that may not be exactly clear to everyone for example:
(note CAPITAL LETTERS indicate the very, very slightest of extra emphasis when speaking those words)

(1) you are expecting a delivery of something today (eg Monday) and it doesn't arrive:
Americans say
would say : The *****ing ****ers ***ing haven't ***ing delivered I'm going to tear them a new *****ole

British people say : I was expecting this today and it hasn't arrived and it IS a LITTLE bit EMBARASSING
____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

(2) The delivery you were expecting yesterday is now supposed to arrive today, but... it doesn't
Americans say:
****** ***** ******* **ers **** ing *** well **** delivered ****** I expect **** to ***ing well deliver the ***** item tomorrow or I'll **** your *** and tear your ***** and jam it up your ****** ****

Briish people say:
Umm, I hate to be difficult about this situation, ummm but you did say it would be delivered today errr, it is just a TRIFLE annoying, I hate to push but would it be possible that it could be delivered tomorrow please?
____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

(3) The delivery you were expecting but didn't arrive, then STILL hasn't arrived ...
Americans say: ***** **** **** delivery **** **** *** ***ing ****ers ***** tomorrow or I'll **** you and and your kids as well

British people say: Now look, I really DO hate to make a fuss but you DID assure me that it would be delivered today and I must admit to being a bit put out by all this, could we PLEASE ensure that I receive it tomorrow, thank you.
____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________
(4) It is now Thursday (4th day) and it doesn't arrive
Americans say: ******** your CEO is a ***** and you personally are going to get ******ing ******ed with ***** and ***** and it better arrive Friday or I;ll **** and **** and your whole ****** family

British people say: I am a BIT CROSS, you DID promise me delivery today and it hasn't arrived. Can you PLEASE make sure I receive it tomorrow, thank you.
____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________
(5) It is Friday and it isn't delivered
Americas say : ************** ************** delivery ************** ************** ON MONDAY you ************** ************** **************

British people say : I must advise you that I am MORE than a LITTLE bit ANGRY about this. I must INSIST that you deliver on MONDAY
____________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________
(6) It's Monday & the item is delivered
Americans say to the delivery driver : ahhh your ***** company sucks and I'll never use you bunch of ****ing ****ers and I'll be suing your ***ing **** off in court.

British people say : Thank you SO much, I was getting just a LITTLE bit concerned, I actually needed this last week, but at least it has arrived safely and all's well that ends well!! Jolly good, well see you next time.

Hope this clerifies things a bit

19th Apr 2012, 14:20
You know they're British when they apologise to the person who walked into them because the person wasn't looking where they were going.

You know they're British when they ignore the couple doing "it" on the train seat opposite but complain when he lights a cigarette afterwards.

19th Apr 2012, 14:28
And you know they're American when the person who just walked into you, due to not paying attention and with their head firmly embedded up their ass, becomes the recipient of a fusillade of curses, swears, threats and other unpleasantnesses.

G&T ice n slice
19th Apr 2012, 14:30
Oh my! you must think me SO vulgar, I've realised that I should have started correctly

at stage (1) it should be the "could you confirm that you've got the correct address, these things sometimes go wrong in the paperwork dont't they"

at stage (2) it should be the "It can be a bit difficult to find the entrance/driveway/street/town (delete as appropriate) perhaps you could note a few tips to help the driver"

at stage (3) it is the "LITTLE bit EMBARASSING" ploy
at stage (4) it is the "TRIFLE annoying" ploy
at stage (5) it is the "DO hate to make a fuss" ploy
at stage (6) it is the "a BIT CROSS" ploy
at stage (7) it is the "It has now become a little tedious" ploy (I forgot all about that)
and of course the " MORE than a LITTLE bit ANGRY" is virtually never, ever, used - reserved for only in times of war

19th Apr 2012, 14:32
British :
"If you good gentlemen wouldn't mind awfully, perhaps we could just briefly review that statement, as I'm not entirely sure that I would be inclined to agree with it in its entirety."

Australian/South African/US American :
"That's utter bullshit."

Gertrude the Wombat
19th Apr 2012, 15:56
"If you good gentlemen wouldn't mind awfully, perhaps we could just briefly review that statement, as I'm not entirely sure that I would be inclined to agree with it in its entirety."
But not all British understand this!!

A couple of days ago I responded to a blog about some political decision I'm involved in with something like "so far, I'm not entirely convinced that this [opposition proposal] would be a good idea".

Meaning, of course, as any fule kno, "this is utter bollocks and will be thrown out at the council meeting, we're just deciding exactly how we're going to destroy it".

But at least one person didn't get this and posting something about "typical politician, sitting on the fence, can't make his mind up".

19th Apr 2012, 16:24
I've just read the OP and realised I am American, not British as I previously thought.


19th Apr 2012, 16:32
British people do not have to explain themselves. :=

19th Apr 2012, 17:01
For Americans read Germans.

19th Apr 2012, 17:02
British people, when speaking to other nationalities, only have to raise their voices to be understood.....;)

Ancient Observer
19th Apr 2012, 18:05
Er, I'm not sure that a real English gent would even bother to stop to explain the differences.

He wouldn't want to draw that amount of attention to himself.....

19th Apr 2012, 18:15
Yes, drawing attention to oneself. The many times I visited Britain I always noticed that staring is not taken to very lightly. (Rightfully so.) I came to assume that to stare at someone is considered rude, am I correct? (Staring at a female's tits doesn't count.)

19th Apr 2012, 18:24
"You know they're British"


You know they're Scottish when they unleash a barrage of abuse at the idiot who, since he/she wasn't looking where he/she was going, bumps into them and then either says something or looks "down their nose" at you for daring to be within 10 feet of the space they thought they were actually in..........

As you can guess, I was brought up knowing what manners are. If you don't show me the same respect I show you, you'll soon hear about it, or others will see my reaction.

(And, in all honesty, I've seen more politeness from Americans when I have been there than I've seen from Brits. If "Manners maketh the man" then there's a hell of a lot of pussies in the UK. Present company on this forum excluded)

Lon More
19th Apr 2012, 18:48
there's a hell of a lot of pussies in the UK

Yes, the British are a nation of cat lovers

19th Apr 2012, 18:51
Whatever faults US Americans may have, they are not generally rude. Brash they may be, lacking in culture sometimes, but not rude in the aggressive foul-mouthed threatening way that a lot of British people can be.

19th Apr 2012, 18:55
In the following repartee from the 1960s young Davaar was, one must confess, "Mr Brit"; and an old man from Lockheed was "Mr American".

Mr American, pointing at Copy No 1 (0001) of the giant C5-A Galaxie: "Eh-un a month we gonna open thet hangar door an' roll aout thet airplane
'Thu-ree Balls Wohn' eh-un a semai-circle raht pehst LBJ".

Mr Brit: "Ummm..... Don't see how you'll do that! With that wing-span it will crash into that mountain there........?"

Mr American: "Son! We gonna move thet mountain".

19th Apr 2012, 19:02

What you wrote may very well be true of many Americans.
Obviously, though, you have never visited the state of Connecticut, where rudeness rules the roost and is exhibited on a daily basis.

19th Apr 2012, 22:26
To explain the British ( although these days what constitutes " the British " is open to question...) suggest to anyone who visits to...

Observe the state of the country ( how clean it is.............:yuk: )

The number of signs and instructions everywhere that assume you are a total fcukwit..........

Travel on a train............

Use a toilet in a freeway gas station............

Try to achieve a simple task that requires interaction with a human.............that doesn't make you want to choke the living $hit out of them........

Forget to lock your car and see what contents ( if you have left anything out ) are left upon return, actually, even if you do lock it, .......... because you ignored the helpful sign...... " Thieves operate in this area "

And then have them read these .............




Krystal n chips
20th Apr 2012, 05:22
To explain the British ( although these days what constitutes " the British " is open to question...) suggest to anyone who visits to...

That would be any citizen of the UK then....

Observe the state of the country ( how clean it is............. )

Compared to where for example ?

The number of signs and instructions everywhere that assume you are a total fcukwit..........

Ah, the classical British trait of self-deprecation would appear to be still ingrained then.....

Travel on a train............

People do, for various reasons ( strangely )

Use a toilet in a freeway gas station............

You may recall the definition is....Motorway...and it depends entirely on the services in question.

Try to achieve a simple task that requires interaction with a human.............that doesn't make you want to choke the living $hit out of them........

I can understand why this may be problematic for you when vsiting the UK..although whilst we are tolerant overall, sometimes throughts do turn towards reciprocation of the above....

Forget to lock your car and see what contents ( if you have left anything out ) are left upon return, actually, even if you do lock it, .......... because you ignored the helpful sign...... " Thieves operate in this area "

If you are daft / stupid enough to to leave your car unlocled once you have exited the vehicle, then possibly you shouldn'r be driving in the first place...and car theft never happens elsewhere in the world then?

The above comments are another British trait....known as keeping a balanced perspective.....:E

20th Apr 2012, 05:33
Whatever faults US Americans may have, they are not generally rude.

Never been to New York then?

20th Apr 2012, 06:20
New York has always been the desired destination of those who might most diplomatically be referred to as Ellis Island flotsam and sometimes, no doubt even more unfortunately, jetsam. The Shamrock, for example, is a pretty little weed which has featured significantly in the lore of a certain demographic population shift now found in New York. This root could possible account for the peculiarity of many of those who live in the city to be offensive in a manner of speaking which is often either inarticulate or incomprehensible to those who drive yellow cabs for a living but who nonetheless seem rather fond of the same colour as the aforementioned clover.

Lon More
20th Apr 2012, 08:02
use a toilet in a freeway gas station I think I'll wait.


20th Apr 2012, 08:19
Never been to New York then?

Having heard so much of the legendary rudeness of New Yorkers, I stayed away from the place by choice, apart from a couple of transit stops, until the ripe old age of 53. Perhaps because I was expecting the worst, I was pleasantly surprised by everything and everybody and enjoyed the few days we spent there. I don't even find Parisians ruder than the French in general, just pretty direct. I prefer that to the 'smile at your face - stab you in the back' attitude of a lot of other people.

20th Apr 2012, 10:15
I don't even find Parisians ruder than the French in general, just pretty direct.

I've generally found them far too busy massaging their own egos and admiring their reflections in a mirror to be bothered to be rude to a mere Englishmen!

20th Apr 2012, 11:35
Going back a few years, IAS Cargo Airlines had a servicing
agreement with a firm at CDG. Union des Transportes Aerean,(UTA).
for the DC 8s. They were excellent. And, generally, a nice crowd
of people. There were the odd exceptions, but you get that anywhere.
I found it helped to try to flannel in Ffrench, even if it DID reduce the
crowd to gales of laughter at times, but WTF, all part of the fun I found.

Worrals in the wilds
20th Apr 2012, 11:40
use a toilet in a freeway gas station Some of them in Australia are pretty horrendous, and we've got the supposed excuse of a small population. I've been in a few where you get the feeling all twenty million Australians visited just before you did, shortly after trying the attached roadhouse's Curry Night Special or Bob's Famous Pies down the road (note to vistors; Famous Pies in remote areas are never famous for a good reason :}). :yuk:
From personal experience this one's okay though. Probably doesn't get a lot of traffic. :\
I visited Paris and found most people were pretty friendly even though my French sounds like something out of the 17th century :O.

Likewise Poms, I've been there twice and everyone I dealt with was very helpful, particularly the northern lady hotel owner who was very concerned when I only had coffee and toast for breakfast instead of the morning Fry Up With Extra Grease. The whispered conversation with my travelling companion was something like 'She must be sickening for something.' I went to a dress shop in London and they were handing out cups of mulled wine! :ok:

Haven't been to the US yet, but everyone I know who has had a great time and talks about how friendly it all is. Sometimes I think it depends on the attitude you bring with you; if you want it to be just like Back Home it might be better to stay Back Home. ;)

That said, I think we swear more than anyone apart from maybe the South Africans. Perhaps we're the ones with the friendliness problem, which is why everywhere else seems nice. :ooh:
In one of his books Bill Bryson recounts a story about a traveller who visted North Queensland during the Wet Season and complained about his room being ankle deep in water. 'Well the bed's still dry, isn't it?' was reception's response. :ouch:

20th Apr 2012, 12:08
What the English say - what other people think they are saying - what they really mean

I hear what you say
He accepts my point of view
I disagree and do not want to discuss it further

With the greatest respect…
He is listening to me
I think you are an idiot

That's not bad
That's poor
That's good

That is a very brave proposal
He thinks I have courage
You are insane

Quite good
Quite good
A bit disappointing

I would suggest…
Think about the idea, but do what you like
Do it or be prepared to justify yourself

Oh, incidentally/ by the way
That is not very important
The primary purpose of our discussion is…

I was a bit disappointed that
It really doesn't matter
I am annoyed that

Very interesting
They are impressed
That is clearly nonsense

I'll bear it in mind
They will probably do it
I've forgotten it already

I'm sure it's my fault
Why do they think it was their fault?
It's your fault

You must come for dinner
I will get an invitation soon
It's not an invitation, I'm just being polite

I almost agree
He's not far from agreement
I don't agree at all

I only have a few minor comments
He has found a few typos
Please re-write completely

Could we consider some other options
They have not yet decided
I don't like your idea

Correct me if I'm wrong
I may be wrong, please let me know
I'm right, don't contradict me

Up to a point
Not in the slightest

20th Apr 2012, 14:09
Having traveled widely I find that the rudeness is proportional to how often the other person has been screwed over themselves in everyday life.

Take the same rude person and place them in a small group of 5 or 6 strangers and they sweeten up

In general the larger the mix of society the more defensive and/or rude we become.

IMO the friendliest place in the US is the midwest outside the big cities.

simon brown
20th Apr 2012, 14:12
The British are a race that will see the same faces day in day out, on the train, going to work, and say nothing to each other fo rmonths even years on end, until a points failure at Clapham Junction gets em all talking to each other. The next day on the same journey they will act as if none of these people they were conversing with yesterday, actually exit...until the next points failure that is.

So in reality they converse with each other most days

Apart from the misapprehension that every thing can be solved with "a nice cup of tea", a dry satirical wit is another attribute the average brit displays

G&T ice n slice
20th Apr 2012, 14:23
A Bavarian colleague comments...

"Ja, surely this would not happen? if something is for delivery on Monday it would be delivered, No?"

Me: "well think of it as coming from somewhere in Austria."

Him: untranslateable expression, shrug of shoulders "aber nich .. if it is coming from Austria you would not be expecting the delivery, ja?"

20th Apr 2012, 16:19
Paris - or rather Parisians - have changed. 20 years ago they were smug unconscionable ar*eholes. These days I find them as friendly as everyone else.

I have never had trouble with anyone in New York, once I found someone who spoke a reasonable facsimilie of English.

The two best spots for "kindness to strangers" were Greece (generally but not Athens) and Italy (generally, but not Rome).

London ain't so good, perhaps because it's - wrongly - assumed from my accent that I'm a local there. Not since 1968, I'm not.

20th Apr 2012, 16:26
Bought a tumble drier on Tuesday. Was promised delivery on Friday "about 2.30".

2.20 van draws up, guys install new tumble drier, check it's working, load up the old one for disposal, and off the premises by 2.35. All free of charge.

This from a small independent local dealer. Compare to the treatment when I last bought something from a major retailer which sounds as though it sells Indian food, and I know where I'll be going next time. Even the Bavarian bloke would have been impressed.

OFSO - I must admit its about 20 years since I lived in Paris for four months, so I may well be out of date.

20th Apr 2012, 16:28
British understatement par excellence was exhibited by two officers in the Regiment who never, ever displayed any ounce of annoyance in any shape or form ... unless you were switched onto their ways which, luckily, over the years working with them, I had.

Major J: The most cataclysmic event would bring forth, "That's boring.", with no change of tone or evidence that anything particularly untoward had happened.

Lt Col A: "I have kneelers I could be embroidering!", again with no change of tone etc.

Both gentlemen for whom I had the utmost respect and had a great time working with. No understatement there, I must point out!

Ghost Vector
22nd Apr 2012, 04:35
Maybe the Brits should get together with the Italians and even things out. Or would that be France?

Flap 5
22nd Apr 2012, 09:21
I got together with an Italian over 30 years ago. It didn't really even things out ...

23rd Apr 2012, 13:44
You couldn't believe it anywhere else ................

Landmark ruling for drivers over council spy cars - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9214210/Landmark-ruling-for-drivers-over-council-spy-cars.html)

In an age of austerity, except the :mad::mad: councils spend mucho dinero to see if they can create a " crime " they can fine someone for.

" But we have to cut back on ( insert essential service as applicable ) " is the typical council bleat. So English............. :rolleyes:

23rd Apr 2012, 16:52
load up the old one for disposal

In Islington you just leave it outside the front gate for five minutes. Bit annoying when you have some multi-part item - say, an unwanted cooker top plus oven - which you take out seperately and the thieving little scrotes don't even wait until the complete unit is there before whipping each item away.

Needless to say along with this "free disposal service" goes the fact that you really really don't want to leave anything essential - that sofa you've just bought, the bags of shopping from Tesco, the Jack Russell, or your grandma - outside the front gate for too long.

I've often thought that there's the perfect solution to disposing of burned-out elements from a reactor. Just leave 'em outside a front door in Islington.....

23rd Apr 2012, 21:51
The British?:ok:

Summed up the ex BOAC bloke who didn't wince when I flew through the centre line at Stansted and as I landed at Biggin noted larconically that the only Germans there were ghosts mostly! He passed me... :ok:


12th May 2012, 18:01
I don't even find Parisians ruder than the French in general, just pretty direct.

I've generally found them far too busy massaging their own egos and admiring their reflections in a mirror to be bothered to be rude to a mere Englishmen!

French people are the rudest in the whole world/universe. :\

Read report (right click here (http://sg.travel.yahoo.com/inspirations/535-the-worlds-rudest-nations-for-travelers))

12th May 2012, 18:12
beware, truefaith... you'll get KAG in your dreams!:=

12th May 2012, 18:50
That list is interesting. It appears to talk about locals in their own countries, rather than tourist of those nationalities when travelling.

1. France (not a surprise but my choice might be Israel)
2. Russia (not rude, just cold until you get to know them and then very charming and engaging.)
3. United Kingdom (somewhat surprising, maybe they did the survey in London!)
4. Germany (exactly the opposite of my experiences in Germany)
5. Others
6. China (insufferably rude - I would rate them higher in the rudeness stakes)
7. United States (not in my experience - not even in NYC)
8. Spain (The further you get from Madrid, the nicer they are)
9. Italy (exact opposite to my experience)
10. Poland (as above)

Loose rivets
12th May 2012, 21:03
The British do indeed like their pussies.

Just another word stolen from the language. Gay was a happy little word, and beaver . . . well, it's just a beaver. Why should we have these words stolen.

A very attractive neighbor nearly fainted when I said, 'These two are dogs, and this one's a bitch.'

When I said the queen of England uses the term. ( I don't acctually know that) She said, Well, you couldn't use it around here.

But it means female dog, etc., etc.

All to no avail.

Mrs. Slocombe's Pussy - YouTube

No, it wasn't edited, honest, Guv. Darn silly message. I'm launching a protest.

13th May 2012, 10:14
What amuses me about the word "gay" is the way it's meaning has altered by itself.

Originally, it meant happy and bright, until some people (I suspect from North America) chose to hijack it for the purposes of rebranding their unsavoury (to most of us) habits.

Some years later, and those habits being seen as those of an inadequate, weak character (whether true or not), the word has come to mean that in popular parlance. eg. "Oh that's so gay" Moral of the story? Don't mess about with the language, it'll come back and bite you.

13th May 2012, 10:17
Further to L-R's tale of bitches, Leslie Thomas relates the story of an American GI billeted in an English village in WW2 who helped up an elderly lady who had slipped in the street and fallen on her bottom.

On meeting her the next day, he greeted her with "Morning Mrs Brown, how's your fanny today?"

Two nations separated by a common language!

Mac the Knife
13th May 2012, 11:57
Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty at the battle of Jutland (31 May and 1 June 1916).

"There's something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

[after three of his battlecruisers exploded and sank under German fire]

Mac :ok:

14th May 2012, 11:43
Odd, that. Everyone we met in Paris was friendly, helpful and tolerant of my execrable attempts at speaking French. I thought I'd found the stereotypical rude Frenchman, the waiter at a café near Notre Dame who muttered all the while, banged chairs about and glowered at everyone. When I spoke to him he turned out to be perfectly charming. Quelle déception!!