Friday, September 18, 2015

WATCH: Brit: 5 Surprising Things Americans Have Said to Me


Aside from the usual barbs about who won the War of 1812 and the fact that we Brits drive on the "wrong side of the road", occasionally—only occasionally—an American will say something that catches me completely off guard. Whether this thing is good, bad, or simply bizarre depends entirely on the situation. Here are 5 such examples. Enjoy.
 

This article was written by Laurence Brown. Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana, and writes for BBC America and Anglotopia. He is Editor-in-chief of Lost in the Pond and loves nothing more than to share these articles with anglophiles, expats, and other interested parties on social media. Follow Lost in the Pond on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I've never told someone they look British...I do see certain people and think, Hrmm they are def. British. Then wait for them to speak to see if I'm right. So far, I've not been wrong! I dont know what it is really, Its not any one thing that makes them look British, but Im always right! And yes...you do look British.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right, you do look English!

CriticalListener said...

It isn't so much about facial features (although I think that is a component), as it is about the way those features are 'held'. By that I mean there seems to be a 'typical' set of neutral expressions most Brits keep on their faces as a matter of course. It's related to your general politeness, a certain 'holding-back' quality when asking questions, where the facial muscles embody visible "reserve". It's such a subtle thing, it rather 'flies under the radar' consciously. Yet the fact most Americans faces are just so 'out there', i.e. spontaneous, not worried about how they'll be perceived, means that faces that have a certain stillness register as that difference. Does that make sense? That's how it seems to me. And I do think you look British. It's a charming difference--so civilized! (And for the record, I'm old enough to be your Gran, or at least your Mum, so maybe that accounts for my observations, too.)

Mandy said...

Well my two cents are hardly worth two cents, but I've never been able to tell a person's "origin" simply by appearance. I spent 2 weeks in Ukraine once (the only real traveling I've done outside of the US), and people had told me that Ukranians have a distinct "look" about them. I couldn't see it. And I've never looked at a British person and thought to myself "well they look British!" Maybe it's just me, though?

Anonymous said...

Of course. It's easy to spot a Brit every time -- they're the best looking, nicest, and most polite in the room.

Unknown said...

I have lived in Chicago for 19 years and was born in Grimsby too!! I've never meet a Brit from there, let alone an American knowing about it and had been there!!

Unknown said...

I have lived in Chicago for 19 years and was born in Grimsby too!! I've never meet a Brit from there, let alone an American knowing about it and had been there!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this. FWIW, I would have pointed to your sideburns and hair combed-forward as "British" from my perspective. Yes, yes, not all Brits have this and many non-Brits do. Just my two cents since you asked. . Also, your face and facial expressions remind a bit of Martin Freeman. That's meant as a compliment. Apologies if you don't find it so.

Laurence M. Brown said...

Haha! It's definitely a compliment. I'm a fan of Martin Freeman.

Expat Austin Mum said...

Hi, this is brilliant! I am also a Brit expat living in Austin, Texas and I can relate to this immensely. Since moving here 18 months ago I have been asked by Americans, Have you heard of Pepsi? Do you have McDonalds in England? And my personal favourite and bear in mind I am from Sussex 'Are you Scottish?' Love 'em!

Fergie Meek said...

I moved to Indiana 3 years ago and without doubt this has been my oddest conversation (at a restaurant called Cracker Barrel):
Waitress: 'I love your accent, where are you from?'
Me: 'I live here now but I am originally from Scotland'.
Waitress: 'I don't know of Scotland, is it a country?'
Me: 'Er, yes. It's a part of the UK, just north of England.'
Waitress: 'Nope, that doesn't help'
At that point she gave me a huge smile and wandered off leaving my daughter and I wondering if we were going mad!

Anonymous said...

I am from the West Midlands, now live in Canada. My first encounter with Grimsby was as I waked every day to the bus to go to school, I would pass a house that would have a van outside which had on the side "Fresh fish daily from Grimsby". Quite often there would be people transferring boxes into the van from a huge freezer in the garage.The fish may have arrived daily from Grimsby but were not necessarily the ones being sold that day!

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