If you’ve ever visited the USA as a Brit then there’s a very high chance that you will have been asked at least one bizarre question from one of your cousins from across the Atlantic. Whether they comment on your funny accent or make you roll yours eyes by their lack of geographic knowledge, as a tourist you will only be there for a short time. If you go to the US as an expat however, it’s a whole new kettle of fish (weird British saying). After all you intend to spend (possibly) the rest of your life in the States so you can bet your bottom Dollar (a weird US saying) that you will be faced with all of the following misconceptions. As the famous Brit saying goes, keep calm and carry on!
1. Brits have no emotions
It is a common misconception that the British have the same emotionally repressed personas of the Vulcans from Star Trek. The reason why the Americans and the rest of the world think this is probably due to literature and the UK’s history as imperialists. The British stiff upper lip is often mocked by US comedies and television and it’s no coincidence that the villains of many a Hollywood movie are of course British.
2. All Brits know the Royal Family
Weirdly, for a country that celebrates the day when it kicked out the British monarchy in its struggle for independence, the USA is fascinated by the Royal family. Perhaps they are intrigued by what used to be and with what they lost with their independence? Who knows? Chances are, though, that you as a British expat will be asked at some point whether you personally know the Royals. Bizarrely, many US citizens seem to believe that Queen Liz 2 is best mates with all of her subjects. To a newly arrived expat it can seem a bit... well, odd.
3. All Brits live in London and are posh
Whether you hail from Northampton, Plymouth or Cardiff, most Americans will immediately jump to the conclusion that you are actually from London. In fact, it’s been heard that some Americans believe that London is a country in its own right! Another common misconception that you will have to endure is being asked about your accent. Most Americans believe that all Brits are either posh or Cockney. Any other regional accent and you are likely to be confused for an Australian or New Zealander.
4. All Brits are sophisticated or pompous
This stereotype once again harks all the way back to the days of the Red coats and the empire and is often reinforced in American movies and TV programmes. Whilst there certainly are some pompous Brits, there are certainly a large number of unsophisticated ones as well. British tourists aren’t infamous for being rowdy or rude for no reason after all.
5. All Brits have terrible teeth
Strangely the Americans seem to have a fascination with British people's teeth, with Brits often depicted in US media as having awful dentures. As an expat you may be asked some rather personal questions about your gob. Once again keep calm and etc etc...
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