I know that you have met one of us.
I also know that you have asked at least one of these questions.
Brits have a " do not offend" gene. This is why we go around saying "sorry" to everyone. We do this all the time, we cannot help it. People can ram into us on a street and we apologize. I have no idea why we do it but we just keep saying " sorry".
Because of this you will not know that you are annoying, upsetting, driving them crazy. They would rather gnaw off their own hand then let on. They will appear to be a picture of politeness and decorum while they inwardly think that you are an idiot. You will babble on and they will be smiling away.
They are silently wondering how this nation ever built a space ship let alone landed it on the moon.
We know that you are not a nation of idiots but, our accent seems to paralyze your brain cells ( temporarily). You are so enamored when we speak that you forget to engage your brain before you speak.
I can attest that you are not a nation of idiots because I have been here nearly 30 years and I know many very smart, eloquent people that were born here.
Reading this will give you a head start. They will be flawed that you have not asked them any of the next ten questions. Practice the alternative options and they might get glassy eyed talking to you.
" DO YOU KNOW THE QUEEN?
The likely hood of us knowing the Queen is up there with you knowing the president. If you frequently visit the White House then go ahead and ask this one as the person in your circle of friends might know her or at least someone close to her.
If the closest you have ever been to the president is a White House tour, then bite your tongue and move to question 2.
" DO YOU KNOW MY FRIEND JOE SMITH THAT LIVES IN HAMMERSMITH?"
Do we know your buddy that moved to north London in 1987? I know we are a tiny country compared to the vastness of the USA but, we are not a Smurfdom. There are over 60 million people in the UK. Bite your tongue (again) and move on to question 3.
If you are not sitting down for this one, do it. I know you have asked a Brit this. I know it, you cannot help yourselves.
For the love of everything holy, do not tell them you are English.
I have been here long enough to be able to translate this.
What you really mean is that you have ancestors from my homeland. For some unknown reason quite a lot of you do. ( sarcasm dripping from my fingers as I write that).
" I am English" said to a Brit when you have a very strong American accent makes them think that you are a little annoying.
It is normally followed by " my great, great grandfather was from England"
That means HE was English. You are not. Stop it!
PLEASE, do not quote Monty Python. I know it was just a flesh wound. You might end up receiving one if you keep it up. There might be a rogue Brit that cannot contain themselves.
I was in nappies when Monty Python was on the tv. I came here to people performing whole scenes to me upon my arrival. I had never seen a show.
When I was growing up there was no such thing as a re run in England. A tv show happened and was gone. This was before the digital age so you could not go to youtube and catch up. I had no idea what on earth they were on about. Keep those performances for " America's got talent" or better yet your shower. Create your own flesh wound and clamp that tongue and move on to 5.
Now, I know you think you sound just like Lady Mary. To the native ear, you do not and it is torture. We know you love the way we speak. We will lap up every ounce of adoration but, under no circumstances try and impersonate us! We hate it. Bite your tongue off at this point!
The "V" for victory sign should be performed with your palm facing outwards. The other way means " go forth and multiply". You have to work out what that means as I am not writing it.
" you can say anything you want and I will love it".
Trust me, you will not.
I have a friend that told me he would still love it even if I told him he was stupid. I told him he was stupid and he had to agree that even the accent did not make it sound good to him.
Do not reel off all the words that we use because you think are funny. You probably learned them from those Monty Python episodes and they are likely to be curse words.
If you are even the least bit tempted to ask if we celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas or why towns here have the same names as ones in my homeland, do not. If you have any tongue left at this point, chomp down and stop yourself. Just please, stop before you speak. Go home and Google all of the above, if you are really that stu.... Oh, I am sorry, we do not want to offend!
There are no 'spots" of tea in the homeland. When we want a cup of tea or are offered one we say
" cuppa tea luv"
" shall I put the kettle on?"
When offering a Brit tea, make it with boiling water and if you only have t bags with a string they are considered floor sweepings to a Brit. Kites have strings, yo-yo's have strings. T bags should contain tea and be immersed in a pot of boiling water.
If you do not have real tea offer them coffee. They actually like coffee now.
HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS UPON MEETING ONE OF US.
Are you on vacation or do you live here?
How many years have you been here?
Are all your family members here?
What do you miss most?
Do you like living here?
OK, GET THE PICTURE?
STAY TUNED FOR " HOW TO MAKE TEA". That will really impress your Brit friends, especially if you make the scones too!