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25 Things British Say vs What They Actually Mean (That You Never Knew)

25 Things British Say vs What They Actually Mean (That You Never Knew)

British politeness isn’t alway so polite. We Americans tend to think of Brits, as a quaint and utterly charming people. While many enjoy British humor from Monty Python to Hugh Laurie (yep the mean guy who played House got his start in comedy). Yet, somehow, Americans find a way to forget the British style of dry humor when face-to-face.

1. I Hear What You Say. . .

end

    What Americans Think It Means: I agree.

    What The British Really Mean: I could not possibly disagree more. This discussion is over.

    Talk about your misunderstandings. Our neighbors ‘across the pond’ are subtly trying to tell you to hush.

    2. With The Greatest Respect. . .

    What Americans Think It Means: He/she respects what I have to say.

    What The British Really Mean: You’re an idiot.

    Said, of course, in a really nice way. Nevertheless, the Brit absolutely thinks you couldn’t be more wrong.

    3. That’s A Brave Proposal. . .

    facepalm

      What Americans Think It Means: How courageous of me.

      What The British Really Mean: You are insane.

      Again, nicely put. But does not change the fact, in the Brit’s mind anyway that you’ve gone and lost your marbles.

      4. I was disappointed in that. . .

      What Americans Think It Means: He/she was disappointed.

      What The British Really Mean: I am incredibly annoyed.

      There is a chasm of difference between disappointed and annoyance. Whatever just happened, don’t let it happen again!

      5. Very Interesting. . .

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      facepalm

        What Americans Think It Means: The topic of discussion is interesting.

        What The British Really Mean: This is a completely nonsensical discussion.

        Take the hint and change the subject.

        6. I’ll Bear It In Mind. . .

        What Americans Think It Means: I’ve just made an excellent point.

        What The British Really Mean: I’ve forgotten the idea already.

        The British are only kindly trying to tell you that a change of subject is desperately in order.

        7. I’m Sure It’s My Fault. . .

        shrug

          What Americans Think It Means: Why are they blaming themselves?

          What The British Really Mean: It’s your fault.

          May as well drop it and let bygones be bygones.

          8. You Must Come For Dinner. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I got an invitation!

          What The British Really Mean: There’s  no way in the world I would have you over for dinner.

          The British motto should become, ‘kill them with kindness.’ The politeness is uncanny and gets to be unnerving.

          9. Excuse Me, Sorry, Is Anyone Sitting Here?

          What Americans Think It Means: A polite excuse.

          What The British Really Mean: You have less than 5 seconds to move your purse.

          The British are not well known for their patience.

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           10. I Almost Agree. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I almost have him/her convinced.

          What The British Really Mean: I completely disagree.

          Time to change the subject, once more. Especially in light of how kind the British person is acting.

          11. I Only Have A Few Comments. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I did a great job on this paper.

          What The British Really Mean: This entire paper must be rewritten.

          There are some Americans who can get snobbish about writing errors.  Nothing like a person in the ‘mother tongue’ telling you it is time for a do-over.

          12. Not To Worry. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I have no reason to worry.

          What The British Really Mean: You have every reason in the world to worry.

          When this phrase is used it is certainly time to worry as something is not quite as it should be.

          13. Sorry. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I really do apologize.

          What The British Really Mean: I was just being polite.

          This word is used often by the British, Americans just need to lighten up.

          14. Bit Wet Out There. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: It’s sprinkling.

          What The British Really Mean: It’s pouring.

          The British are brilliant in understating the problem at hand.

          15. Right Then, I Suppose I Really Should Start Thinking About Possibly Making A Move.

          What Americans Think It Means: ?

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          What The British Really Mean: Good-bye. I’m off.

          Unless the American is quite familiar with their British chum, this answer could ruin a relationship.

          16. It’s Fine.

          What Americans Think It Means: It’s fine.

          What The British Really Mean: It can’t possibly get any worse, but I know it’s going to.

          Pay attention to the tone here.  Was the phrase said with clinched teeth. Yes? Then there is a problem at hand to solve.

          17. A Bit Of A Pickle. . .

          What Americans Think It Means:  All we have to do is find the solution

          What The British Really Mean: We’re all gonna die.

          The British form of introducing dooms day destruction into  the discussion.

          18. Not Too Bad, Actually. . .

          What Americans Think It Means: I’m fine.

          What The British Really Mean: I feel fantastic.

          19. Honestly, It Doesn’t Matter.

          What Americans Think It Means: It’s ok.

          What The British Really Mean: It matters more than anything.

          Now is the time to ask intrusive questions to discover what exactly matters.

          20. You’ve Caught The Sun.

          What Americans Think It Means: ?

          What The British Really Mean: You’re sun burned.

          Sometimes the British speaker will communicate so obliquely you don’t know what’s going on.

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          21. It’s A Bit Dear. . .

          What Americans Think It Means:  It’s adorable.

          What The British Really Mean: It’s too expensive.

          22. That’s Certainly One Way Of Looking At It.

          What Americans Think It Means: Their listening to my point of view.

          What The British Really Mean:  That is absolutely the wrong way to look at it.

          Trust me, change the topic.

          23. I Might Join You Later.

          What Americans Think It Means: I look forward to seeing you later.

          What The British Really Mean: Even if the house were on fire, I won’t be joining you.

          Perhaps the British person you know is simply too tired and did not wish to be rude.

          24. Perfect.

          What Americans Think It Means: Perfect.

          What The British Really Mean: It certainly is not perfect.

          Brits aren’t the only ones to ‘turn a phrase’ as it were. Americans did the same with words like ‘bad’ being interpreted as excellent.

          25. Could We Consider Some Other Options?

          What Americans Think It Means:  Still undecided.

          What The British Really Mean:  I hate your idea.

          Maybe, it’s little more than a restaurant that has been suggested. Either way it’s time to change the subject.

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          Last Updated on September 20, 2018

          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

          How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

          Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

          If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

          1. Breathe

          The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

          • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
          • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
          • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

          Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

          2. Loosen up

          After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

          Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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          3. Chew slowly

          Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

          Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

          Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

          4. Let go

          Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

          The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

          It’s not. Promise.

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          Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

          Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

          21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

          5. Enjoy the journey

          Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

          Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

          6. Look at the big picture

          The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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          Will this matter to me…

          • Next week?
          • Next month?
          • Next year?
          • In 10 years?

          Hint: No, it won’t.

          I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

          Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

          7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

          You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

          Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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          8. Practice patience every day

          Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

          • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
          • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
          • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

          Final thoughts

          Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

          Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

          Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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