No one knows why, but Americans love the British. The two countries have been at war a few times in the past, and yet it’s a fact that the British Invasion of America is not just a thing from the ‘60s. Perhaps its their acting or musical abilities, or their accents and gentlemanly manner, or maybe their rich culture and history. But the Brits do provoke a certain level of admiration and respect in their fellow native-English-speakers across the pond.
However, just because they like them, it doesn’t mean that they can always understand them. In fact, there are lots of British traditions and sayings that leave Americans baffled. Let’s take a look at this list of such Britishisms, compiled by Auntyacid.
1. Going for a “Cheeky Nando’s”
The British love confusing the Americans with their weird terminology. Nando’s is a popular restaurant chain, but adding the word “cheeky” to describe an evening out with friends has been a continuous source of bewilderment. It certainly doesn’t help when the Brits “try” to explain it by using as much British slang as possible. Here is one such “explanation.”
You can’t really say ‘goodbye’ when you’re parting ways with your friend, now can you? It’s too formal. So, Americans would say something like ‘bye,’ ‘see ya,’ or ‘later,’ but British use the way more appropriate ‘cheerio!’ Nothing better than the name of a cereal brand to informally say ‘farewell.’
When it comes to language, the Brits often mock the Americans for how they
mispronounce certain words. But who is right when it comes to the abbreviation of the word ‘mathematics’? Americans would claim that saying ‘maths’ is ridiculous since it’s not ‘mathsematics.’ However, the Brits feel that it’s important to express the fact that the word is in plural by adding the ‘s’ at the end.
The British certainly love going out for a pint and getting pissed. Or trolleyed. Or bladdered. Sometimes they even get wankered. So many words just to describe being drunk! No wonder the Americans can’t keep up!
5. A fortnight
British time-related terms can be a bit odd. For example, when you say “I’ll be back in a jiffy,” what does that mean? How many seconds is one jiffy? Another thing is using the word ‘fortnight,’ which doesn’t exist in the day-to-day American English. A fortnight means a period of two weeks. That is fourteen nights which shortened becomes ‘fort-night.’ Who said the Americans were the only ones who abbreviate everything?
6. Food and drinks
British food can be pretty strange for non-Brits. Beans on toast for breakfast? Or Marmite? It’s pretty much dis… umm… an acquired taste. But when it comes to drinks, things get even weirder. Did you know that in Britain you can buy a glass of wine in the supermarket? And then Americans wonder why there are so many British slang words for ‘drunk’…
The Brits are a bit obsessed with Harry. Which Harry you ask? No idea, could be Prince Harry, Harry Styles, or more likely, Harry Potter. But why did they have to give a name to a mop?
One of the most famous British tradition is having a cuppa with some scones or biscuits in the afternoon. An Englishman without tea is like fish without water. How did this nation-wide obsession come about?
9. Ice tea is a no-no
A glass of ice tea is the best refreshment during the hot summers. But not for the Brits. They don’t recognize ice tea as tea: tea is supposed to be hot and they won’t have it any other way. Probably because they don’t suffer from hellish temperatures like the Americans.
10. Forgetting where their own country is
Americans are famed for their lack of basic geography knowledge, but they wouldn’t forget their own country! In the most bizarre ship accident probably in history, the captain of a cargo ship sailing from Scotland to Belgium plotted the course but forgot about one tiny detail: England!