As a British person and regular internet user, I come across many people who don't know much about us and our country so I decided to make a take about the British, including some unusual facts that you may never have heard of.
The most common mistake people make about Britain is calling the whole of the UK, England. If you're interested in geography, you'd know that the UK is split into 4 "states", if you will. England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It can be insulting for people who don't live in England to be called English . In fact, most people don't like England or the English .
The Queen has a prerogative over all of the swans in England & Wales. Due to them being considered the Queens property, it is a criminal offence to kill or harm a swan or steal swan eggs. Doing so could land you with a £5000 fine or 6 months in jail. It's also believed that she owns all the whales, porpoises and sturgeons in the sea surrounding the UK.
3. We're not posh
I don't know where this stereotype came from but the vast majority of people are not posh (they're the complete opposite) and do not speak with a posh accent. It's common to see people doing their shopping in their pyjama's on a Monday morning, not even showering before they leave the house. I don't deny that there are many posh people in this country, but I'd say we have the same amount of posh people as other countries do.
4. A good ol' cuppa
One fairly accurate stereotype is our love for tea. It's common decency to offer guests a cup of tea and I'm not sure about other households but everyone in my house have at least 2 cups of tea a day which can increase to about 5-6 cups. Everyday, us Brits drink 165 millions cups of tea which is 20x that of the average American.
5. British accents
Referring to #1, when people say "I love the English accent", I'm assuming that they believe everyone in the UK (or England to them) has a posh English accent. This couldn't be farther from the truth! Saying "I love the British accent" is also extremely vague. British accents consist of Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English which are all very different, at least for me. Not only that, but each one has variations depending on where you live in that state, particularly whether you live in city or rural areas. In the Scottish and English video, the guy says he has a Southern English accent, which clearly indicates that the English accent changes entirely in different parts of England. Where I'm from, the accent can change considerably within 20 miles, to the point that we find it difficult to understand each other! I'm Scottish, Welsh and English , from the city but spend a lot of time in the country, so I don't what my accent is.
6. Weird laws
There are many laws that are still in force that haven't been abolished or were created hundreds of years ago.
Despite their irrelevancy to modern times, it is still possible to get arrested if you happen to get caught by an officer who knows their laws, but it's unlikely you'd get a harsh punishment. I have heard of most of these but I can't guarentee their authenticity.
- It's illegal to get drunk in an English pub
- It's illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day. The law was meant to be abolished but our government isn't the best so it's still an actual law but it's a law that no-one follows.
- In Scotland, it's illegal to get drunk and be in possession of a cow, steam engine or horse
- It can be regarded as an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the Queen's image upside down
- A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself in public
- The head of any dead whale found on the British coast becomes the property of the King and the tail, the Queen. It's illegal to keep a beached whale from the King.
- It is illegal to wear a suit of armor or die in the House of Parliament. There's much debate about the latter, but it's believed that it's because anyone who dies in the Houses of Parliament are entitled to a funeral reserved for Kings and Queens. If someone is about to die, it is required that they're taken away from the grounds immediately.
So there you go! I hope these clear up some myths as well as educate you on how weird Britain is and how our accents are all completely different.