British people are strange creatures made up of 50% clotted cream and breakfast television. They are usually lovely and kind and enjoy activities like going to the pub and building their buses extra tall. Though they’re often friendly, Brits have strange opinions about weird things and are therefore somewhat easier to handle if they think you are one of them.
Apart from obvious tactics like mastering a semi-decent British accent and knowing somewhat where Yorkshire is, there are steps you can take to make life in the UK a little easier. After all, Brits don’t only exist as characters in the Harry Potter and Paddington Bear universe. They are living, breathing, dynamic humans and we must learn how to live amongst them. Whether you’re spending a year abroad or planning to stay permanently, here’s a list of tricks to help you along.
Watch ‘The Great British Bake Off’ Until you Vomit
Screw Shakespeare, throw his plays in the bin and forget all about him. Brits don’t care about William, they care about Paul Hollywood. The Great British Bake Off is their bible and Mary Berry their messiah. If you don’t know what the show is about, it’s basically a reality show where a bunch of British people comes together to bake cakes and be British. When a season ends, Grieving-parties are thrown to mourn the loss. The effects of Bake-off moving channels still lingers in the country, harrowing and deep like the Great Plague.
There’s also ‘Love Island’, a reality TV show with about the same concept as Bake Off, only here they try to make love, (also known as ‘doing sex’) instead of cake. I’m not entirely sure what the price is for winning either of the shows, but my best guess is they get to meet the queen and stay in the UK for another year. The people from these shows are remembered forever and having a favorite contestant is crucial to fitting in.
Start an Argument About What Qualifies as ‘The North’
When they’re not busy watching baking shows, Brits spend a lot of their time arguing about what counts and what doesn’t count as North England. Make sure you only start the argument and that you don’t actually participate in one, chances are you might get eaten alive if you do.
Highly uncomfortable and often heated, it’s a bit like getting stuck in an argument between your parents where they turn and ask you which one of them is your favorite. Simply yelling something like: ‘Manchester is not the north!’ will result in hours of intense argument. The safest way out of this is to say nothing at all while you back away quickly. Though it may seem frightening, this is just their way of expressing how incredibly different they all are. (They’re really all the same.)
Pretend You Think it Makes Perfect Sense to Cover Everything in Carpet
British people love covering everything they own in carpet, it may even be their favorite hobby. Nothing upsets them more than seeing an uncovered spot of floor. Carpet provides a sense of security from the horror that is called linoleum floors and gives the Brits a sense of security. Carpeted floors make everything so much harder to keep clean and are a real hassle to deal with. Their sensitive feet thrive on the softness so it’s best just to accept and embrace it.
Apparently, it’s all worth it, carpet increases your life value and clears up your skin, or something like that. Remember to sigh heavily every time you encounter tiled floor or shake your head in disbelief. ‘A floor without carpet? We might as well all walk around naked then!’
Get The Terminology Right
British English has a lot of strange words and terminologies. They say things like Banter and Chip-butty and the word ‘pants’ are reduced from meaning trousers to meaning underwear. There are lots of weird sayings and their use of measurements is all over the place. The plural of a young British man is ‘Lads’ and British women traveling in packs are called a Netball team. Being called a Lad is not a compliment unless you’re one of the lads, in which case it is a compliment, it’s all very confusing.
Brits also love putting fancy, unnecessary titles on everything. They say stuff like Ma’am (sounds like mum, creepy and incestuous) and Lady (classy and fun like in the movies). To avoid drama just call everyone Mate or Pal. It’s gender neutral and beautiful and creates good vibes. If ever in doubt just splurging out random words in no particular order usually works. If you incorporate words like ‘Chuffed’, ‘Pissed’ and ‘NHS’ into every 15th sentence you should be fine.
Have Sunday Roast and Tell Absolutely Everyone
Sunday Roast is a traditional British main meal which is roasted and served on a Sunday (Yes. Shocking, I know). They are served in most British pubs and restaurants and every family and friend group has their personal preferences. It’s a very nice and tasty way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Despite having done so their whole life, it’s important for Brits to get recognition when they do British things. They simply cannot walk by a tea shop without pointing and saying ‘ah, Tea, yes’. If you’ve had crumpets and baked beans for breakfast or enjoyed a Sunday Roast, it is your birth-right to talk about it.
Overall, Brits love British things. Big Ben is their uncle and their favorite tool is biscuit. Talk about the last time you had Fish and Chips or the kids TV-show ‘Raven’ and they’ll love you forever. Deep down you might know it’s not true, but letting the Brits think that they invented basic things like queuing and drinking beer is your way into this strange country.