What British People Say Vs What They Mean

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1. “Blitz spirit” – The collective quality of quiet heroism which enables us to withstand calamities such as a tube strike, hosepipe ban, or 5cm of snow.
2. “Dunkirk spirit” – Stoical and good-natured response to flooding, usually involving the stockpiling of sandbags.
3. “Bank holiday” – Three-day drinking binge.
4. “Public holiday” – Excuse for being pissed from lunchtime.
5. “Christmas day” – Excuse for being pissed by 10am.
6. “Christmas break” – Fourteen uninterrupted days of Baileys-soaked indolence.
7. “Boxing day sales” – Zombie apocalypse.
8. “The bit between Christmas and New Year” – Bizarre state of purgatory during which we rehearse for old age by shambling round the house asking each other what day it is.
9. “Whose round is it?” – I know exactly whose round it is.
10. “Excuse me, I think I was actually ahead of you in the queue” – You are loathsome and I am inwardly fantasising about your slow and agonising death.
11. “No, no, after you” – We are locked in a politeness vortex. This may never end.
12. “Tea or coffee?” – The choice you make will colour my opinion of you, possibly forever.
13. “Milk, sugar?” – Careful now: There is a right and wrong answer to this.
14. “Milk, no sugar please” – Is the correct answer.
15. “Two sugars, please” – I am a manual labourer.
16. “I don’t drink tea” – I am not to be trusted.
17. “Fond of a drink” – Raging alcoholic.
18. “The odd tipple” – I throw gallons of booze down my neck at every available opportunity.

Shitty Watercolour / Sphere

19. “Eurosceptic politician” – Appalling racist.
20. “Provocative newspaper columnist” – Git.
21. “Conservative MP” – Git who went to Eton.
22. “Doesn’t suffer fools gladly” – Heartless bastard.
23. “A bit of a character” – Social pariah.
24. “Did you find the place OK?” – We will now have a painfully detailed five-minute conversation about the relative merits of different A roads.
25. “Ooh, nice” – You have just told me where you’ve been on holiday.
26. “Ooh, nice” – You have just told me where you live.
27. “Ooh, nice” – You have just told me what you had for lunch.
28. “Ooh, nice” – You have just told me your weekend plans.
29. “…” – You have just unburdened yourself emotionally to me.
30. “Well, we timed this well” – We have made a car journey and experienced only moderate traffic.
31. “What do you make of this weather we’ve been having?” – We have nothing in common, but I’d like to avoid an awkward silence if at all possible.

32. “Record-breaking temperatures” – Middling temperatures.
33. “Summertime” – Two-week period of collective insanity during which men think it’s acceptable to walk down the high street with their shirts off.
34. “Would you listen to that rain” – There is nothing remarkable about this rain, but I’m going to mention it anyway.
35. “You’re looking well” – You’ve obviously been going to the gym, and I secretly hate you for it.
36. “I think I’ve caught the sun a bit” – My skin is roughly the colour of an overheating nuclear reactor.
37. “Out of town shopping centre” – Circle of hell.
38. “High street” – Row of betting shops.
39. “Town centre nightclub” – Horrendous meat market.
40. “Urban redevelopment” – We’ve got a Zizzi now.
41. “Where do you live?” – How expensive is your house?
42. “What do you do?” – How much do you earn?
43. “New money” – Rich person I am jealous of.
44. “Old money” – Rich person I am deferential to.
45. “Fine” – I disagree with what you just said with every fibre of my being.
46. “Nonsense. Don’t mention it” – You have wronged me, and I will replay this incident in my head until the day I die.
47. “Mustn’t grumble” – Will definitely grumble.
48. “Let’s agree to disagree” – I loathe you with an intensity that will burn within my soul for all eternity.
49. “With the greatest respect” – I think you’re a total moron.
50. “Let’s come back to that” – Please do not speak in this meeting again.
51. “Correct me if I’m wrong” – I am 100% certain I am not wrong.
52. “With all due respect” – I disagree with your point of view entirely.
53. “Sounds good” – I wish this didn’t sound sarcastic.
54. “Sounds great” – Oh god, this sounds even more sarcastic, doesn’t it?
55. “Yeah, go on then, why not?” – I will be having another drink, if not several.

Shitty Watercolour / Sphere

56. “I’m fine” – I am moments away from a devastating mental collapse.
57. “I’ll bear it in mind” – Let us never mention this again.
58. “I’m sure it’s my fault” – It’s your fault.
59. “Chuffed” – Experiencing heart-racing euphoria.
60. “Not too bad, actually” – I’m possibly the happiest I have ever been.
61. “A bit miffed” – I’ve been ripped apart by a tsunami of pain and sorrow.
62. “Down in the dumps” – Severe depressive episode.
63. “Under the weather” – Close to death.
64. “Gutted” – Suicidal.
65. “Peeved” – Consumed with rage.
66. “Can’t complain” – But I’m going to anyway.
67. “Oh dear” – A life-altering catastrophe has just occurred.

Shitty Watercolour / Sphere

68. “You must come round for dinner” – Under no circumstances should you consider this an actual invitation.
69. “Let’s meet up for a drink soon” – This will never, ever, ever happen.
70. “Something’s come up, I’m afraid” – I’ve decided I can’t face an evening in your company after all.
71. “Dinner party” – Excuse for drinking lots of wine and shouting about how good Breaking Bad is.
72. “Would you like a tour of the house?” – Our house is worth a lot of money and we would like to show off about it.
73. “House party” – Overrated event during which acquaintances argue over what to play next on Spotify for four hours, then vomit on the sofa.
74. “I’m going to Glastonbury” – And I’m going to keep banging on about it until it makes you want to karate chop me in the larynx.
75. “I’m going to Reading and Leeds” – I used to be an emo and I can’t let it go.
76. “I’m going to V Festival” – I am the star of a second-rate scripted reality show.
77. “I’m going to Latitude” – I’m a Guardian reader.
78. “I’m going to Bestival” – I am a 40-something former raver.
79. “I’m going to T in the Park” – It’s 10 days away and I have started drinking already.

Shity Watercolour / Sphere

80. “Mate” – You are very much not my mate, and there is a strong chance I am about to punch you.
81. “Mate” – I didn’t catch your name when we were introduced, and it’s too late now to ask.
82. “Matey” – I like to think I’m a lovable salt-of-the-earth Cockney, despite having gone to Harrow.
83. “Guv” – I am a London cab driver, and will now tell you my views on immigration.
83. “Fella” – I think I’m Vinny Jones.
84. “Bruv” – I think I’m Danny Dyer.
85. “Dude” – I am trying very hard to sound American, and it’s really awkward for everyone concerned.
86. “Sorry” – You have just trodden on my foot.
87. “Sorry” – You have just bumped into me and caused me to spill an entire tray of drinks.
88. “Sorry” – You have just fallen asleep on the tube and drooled on my shoulder.
89. “Sorry” – You have just smashed into the back of my car.
90. “You look nice” – You have never looked more beautiful.
91. “Alright you fat wanker, what are you drinking?” – You are my best friend and I love you.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/what-british-people-say-vs-what-they-mean

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