6 Facts About The British

As a British person a6 Facts About The Britishnd 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.

1. England?

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 .

2. Swans

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.


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What Guys Said 14

  • So you saying I can't don medieval armor and fight to the death in house of parliament. As for the other stuff I already knew those things lol.

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  • "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"

    Us Irish also find it rather insulting when you include us in the UK, when we're not part of it.

    I admit I'm only half Irish, but nevertheless, it's rather disrespectful.

    NORTHERN Ireland is part of the UK.

    "It's illegal to get drunk in an English pub" ... what?

    I can't count the amount of times I've got kettled in a pub lol (Kettled = smashed/drunk)

    I hope I've educated you :)

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  • Cool post indeed as a fellow brit!

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  • explain this then. how is it people in the uk aren't pissed that their money supports a monarchy that has no political power or relevancy.

    It seems the royal family is famous for being famous. they don't do anything. why do they even exist outside of being a cultural tradition?

    In america people would be pissed if their money was supporting an irrelevant monarchy.

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    • People don't mind it because it's our tradition and we're one of the few to have a monarchy. The Queen does have final say on certain things that happen in this country. Most of our taxes goes to the government, not the Queen.

    • the royals attract millions from tourism, far more than they get paid in taxes

  • I don't care about any of this. The only thing I care about is finding out how to get an Irish passport so I can go home.

    If anyone wants to trade citizenships with me, then pm me, and let's really start talking Turkey. Because I'm trying to get the hell out of the states.

    Yes, 100% serious.

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    • Why do you like Ireland so much? They're always fighting over there.

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    • @TakeOwner

      That's really offensive and incredibly discriminatory. I personally would love to get my Irish passport.

    • @JohnBhoy94 Are you unaware of the riots and religious wars that are constantly going on in Ireland? It can be violent over there and I'm stating the truth, not being offensive but if you want to take offence to everything, you should go elsewhere.

  • Northern Ireland is the one that is part of UK, not Ireland. Irish people would cringe if someone said Ireland is part of UK. I should know cause I live in Ireland.

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    • I'm only half Irish and I almost shat my pants when I read it haha!

  • 7. British people love traffic:
    http://youtu.be/V3Vgptnstyc

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  • Also have you ever seen the show "Peep Show" ?
    I learned a thing or two about British culture from there.

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    • I have a couple of times, they don't show it anymore here, I don't think.

    • I watched all 8 seasons in Netflix.
      I still find it weird how they call an apartment a "flat" lol

    • See, I thought everyone called them flats! We call them both but most say flat. Real estate agents will say apartment for professionalism.

  • Americans may have wanted their freedom but, we don't hate you. We just believed that people shouldn't be ruled by another country. Other than that we think you guys are awesome and in fact you guys are helping us in the fight against terror, since you guys have been attacked as well

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  • I am obliviously not an native English speaker, however I can easily hear the difference between English , walesch, scottish and irish dialects.

    I can't tell the regional differences, although I can hear the regional differences.

    There are too few posh people as far as English dialects are concerned, a lot of people in London are hard to understand compared to the basic BBC English or the queen.

    English as it's spoken in "Yes, Prime Minister" (the 1987, I haven't seen the 2013 version) is by far the easier to understand for us foreigners, it's clear, crisp easily distinguishable and very close to the way word are written - meaning like school English .

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  • Great list! I'm looking forward to getting me and my cow schnockered and I'll make sure we don't drive the train that day!

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  • @Hannah591 Thanks for sharing, I learned a lot about your culture. When was the last time someone died in the House of Parliament?

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    • Guy Fawks was hung on the grounds many hundreds of years ago, creating bonfire night for us. I believe about 2 or 3 people have died on the grounds in all of the time it's been around.

  • damn weird laws

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  • The Republic of Ireland is not a part of Great Britain or the United Kingdom.

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    • Everywhere apart from the North of Ireland, isn't part of the UK.

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    • I wasn't being ignorant, you're being picky and I doubt any Irish people would be offended by not including the word "northern".

    • I know A LOT of people who would be pissed lol

What Girls Said 9

  • This was an interesting read, thanks for sharing :) Although I will be honest, while I'm aware there are different British accents, I can't tell any of them apart, they all sound similar to me. However, I'm sure that's just because I don't live there and I very rarely hear anyone speaking with a British accent so that's probably why. If I were more exposed to people of the UK, I would probably be able to hear the differences.

    I also get annoyed when people claim to either like or dislike the "American accent" because there are tons of different accents here too depending on geographical location. Lol

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    • Minnesooooota accent haha :)

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    • Haha! I'm the same way with British accents. I took a British literature class in college and my professor was from the London area I believe. He had a nice accent but I have no idea how it would compare to Brits from other areas. Lol

    • Most British accents don't stand out too greatly although recognisable whereas some like Scouse (Liverpool) and Geordie (Newcastle) stand out to the point where all you need to hear is a couple of words

  • UK = England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
    Britain = England, Wales, Scotland

    Don't expect the rest of the world to get it right when you can't get it right yourself

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  • Ireland is not one of the four 'states' in the UK, nor has it been since 1921. Northern Ireland is one of the four along side Scotland, Wales and England , but the Republic of Ireland has nothing to do with the United Kingdom. And if you where interested in geography you would know that the island of Ireland is considered part of the British Isles, which has nothing to do with the United Kingdom.

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    • I know I left out "Northern" now please can people leave it be?

  • I wish my father can read this when I say England isn't UK but he always say England is UK for god sake anyway I love your accent a lot it's cool and funny even thought sometimes I have problem to understand some words :3 good Take by the way

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  • This was very helpful. ^-^

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  • so then what does Britain refer to? all four states?

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  • "anyone who dies in the Houses of Parliament are entitled to a funeral reserved for Kings and Queens"

    Well, I know where I'm dying.

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    • It would be a spectacular site for suicide candidates wanting a great exit... I mean a state funeral..

    • Haha, they'd remove you from the site before you tried. It's questionable because Guy Fawks was hung on the grounds.

  • Right on! I'm also from the UK (England), and I thought basically everything you wrote was spot on, and yes we have some very odd laws

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  • Thanks for the info :)

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