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You Know You're a Brit When..........

Interesting Stuff

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You Know You're a Brit When..........

Lise Spence-Parsons

So, as a lot of you already know I'm a Brit, born in London and lived in the Home Counties until I was 35, when I uprooted and came to US.  I suppose I should explain what a "Home County" is:

The home counties are the counties of England that surround London (although several of them do not border it). The counties generally included in the list are Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Other counties more distant from London—such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire—are also sometimes regarded as home counties due to their proximity to London and their connection to the London regional economy.
— Wikipedia

To be a Brit, is not easy, we are eccentric, mad as hatters, live a country with some very strange traditions and sayings.  I'm sure I still confuse most of my clients with my conversational tattle and they just nod, mumble a faint "yes" and hope they've not signed their lives away!

So I thought I share some fun, typically Brit things with you all this blog.  If you know me already, these will make some things clearer and some things a little less so.  If we've not met, you really should come and visit me at a show and let's talk!  In the meantime, you need to get some Brit design on your neck, ears and wrists.

  • We can pinpoint someone's exact origin of birth from their Brit accent.  The UK is small, has the geographical landmass of Minnesota and houses 63 million people, primarily in London and three or four other larger cosmopolitan areas, we do still, however, have a lot of rural land. The main accents are as follows, I say main as each one has quirks and differences, in a little as a 5 mile circumfrence.
    • The Geordie accent.
    • The Welsh English accent.
    • The Scottish English accent.
    • The Scouse accent.
    • The Cockney accent.
    • The West Country accent.
    • The Yorkshire accent.
  • Barrister (lawyer) wigs..... A simple why here, or as we prefer why not?
  • We love our tea! Tea is important and how you make it, is doubly important, the water must be boiling, the teapot must be warmed first, the tea must be allowed to steep.  Here are great directions I found online.
  • Our Love to Queue (Stand in Line)
Here’s an old joke from one user that aptly illustrates this point:

One day I was walking through the city streets, when I happened upon a line. I asked what the line was for, and nobody knew, so naturally I stood in it, just in case. I waited for hours but the line didn’t move, so I excused myself and went to the front of the line to see what the matter was. I found that, at the front of the line, there was an elderly gentleman leaning against a wall.

I asked him, “Comrade, what is this line for?”
He answered, “I stopped here to lean against the wall and rest, and these people started lining up behind me.”

I asked him, “Then, comrade, why don’t you simply leave?”

He scoffed. “What, and lose my place in line?”
— Anonymous old joke
  • We apologize all the time!  Even when we know we are not at fault, "I'm so sorry" will spring for your lips. 
  • Strange and Affectionate Missives.
The first text message I received from a British person did not disappoint: ‘Want to pop round mine for tea today? x’, offered my new course-mate Alice. It was delightfully British. Not only was it an invitation for tea, but how quaint to be asked to ‘pop’ over, like a Victorian jack-in-the-box.

One thing did confuse me, though, and that was the lone lowercase x lingering at the end of her message. Nothing I had read prepared me for this little letter. Was it a negation of her statement? A warning about adult content? An unknown variable? I assumed it was a typo. But as these little xs began to populate most of the text messages or emails I received from my British friends, I had to ask. ‘It’s a kiss of course’ said Alice, by now my self-appointed cultural guide. ‘I was beginning to worry that you never kissed me back
— Carrie Plitt, Literary Agent
  • Class is Alive and Kicking!  We are obsessed with accents, what your father does/did, where you live, where you went to school....... 
  • Last but not least! Here is a derivative of a Venn diagram explaining what it is to be a Brit and how we name each grouping of land masses.  Yes, it's confusing!

Any clearer?  I thought not........well just go and shop then! We can all do that ok! Right?