10 Things Americans Do That Drive Brits Nuts

Stars and stripes forever... until they rip your plate away. (Canadian Press via AP Images)

American people are some of the loveliest you’ll ever meet and make us expats feel all warm, cuddly and very welcome. But just occasionally they do or say something that we Brits find a tad… eccentric.

1. Saying “I love your accent!”
Before I moved here, I never imagined that my dreary London burr made me sound smart or lovable. At first the compliments were nice, but then a New York tiger mom asked me to talk to her snoozing two-year-old in the hope that it would rub off. A bit much, I thought.

2. Putting last names first
The fashion for inflicting quirky monikers on babies started with American parents giving their kids surnames as first names. Remember Sex and the City’s Smith? Absurd. Then last week at the launderette I got chatting to “Anderson.” Could not take him seriously.

3. They take your plate away too soon
Americans love to please, and nowhere is this more evident than in restaurants. If I want a side of pickled kitten lungs or a splash of spaniel milk in my coffee, then by God they’ll make it happen. On the flip side, over-eager waiters will whip away an individual diner’s plate the second it’s empty. In my case, that’s long before anyone else at the table has finished. And people are like, “Seriously, did you even chew?” No. No I did not.

4. The relentlessly sincere cheer
If I’m having a bad day, or a good day – make that any kind of day – I do not want people in shops whom I’ve never met to swaddle me with their sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness. In America, actual humans say things like “Ma’am, you have been an awesome customer today,” just because I bought a box of tampons from their store.

5. Their overzealous patriotism
We get it, you’re proud to be an American. It’s not like Brits are immune to nationalism, but perhaps we’re better able to separate feeling glad (I was lucky enough to be born in a country with democracy and Kit Kats!) from feeling proud. Shouldn’t the second one be reserved for my actual achievements? Oh, and to your average Brit, hanging a giant flag from your house is a tiny bit creepy.

6. They treat their pets like people
Recently, at a flea market, I saw a woman pushing a buggy. Nothing strange about that, until I looked inside and noticed that her baby was a dog. One of those petulant micro-yappy types who thinks just because it’s short you should love it. I’ve also seen twin pugs out for a winter walk dressed in a full-body knitted suits and ties. And a friend of a friend’s cat is on Prozac.

7. Insisting that turkey is tasty
There’s a good reason why Brits only eat this galumphing fowl once a year, then bitch about it behind its carcass. No matter how many saltwater baths you give your bird, turkey meat is dry, insipid and stringy. Yet Americans put the powdery poultry in everything – from burgers and chili to meatballs and lasagna – and make it the culinary centerpiece of not one but two celebrations.

8. Spelling words the wrong way
I might as well pry the letter “u” from my keyboard for all the good it does me in over here. (But you know which letter made it big in America? “Z”! Only, they pronounce it wrong.) My point? Remembering to remove ‘u’s from words like “colour” and replace “s”s with a more abrasive “z” is a headache and I resent it. So there.

9. Pretentious pronunciation.
Americans, please note: saying “erb” instead of “herb” and pronouncing “fillet” without the “t” is not clever or sophisticated. You are not French. Make an actual socialist your president and then we’ll talk.

10. Saying “panties,” “fanny” and “bangs”
We’re all aware from watching Americans onscreen that these are the words for knickers, a bottom and a fringe. But when you live here, occasionally you’re forced to deploy these abominations in real life sentences. Only the other day, I said, “Can you trim my bangs, please?” I felt dirty afterwards. But “panties” is much worse, somehow infantilizing and oversexualizing ladies’ unmentionables. No word should do both these things.

What other American quirks make you want to scream? See also: 10 things BRITS do that drive Americans crazy

Writer Ruth Margolis will be discussing her piece this Friday (August 23) at 1 pm/et via @MindtheGap_BBCA on Twitter – tweet using ‪#‎MindTheChat‬.

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.
View all posts by Ruth Margolis.
  • megawfa79

    Regarding your comments on turkey, perhaps you’re leaving the bird in the oven too long. But, then again, British turkey is a contradiction in terms. Google “trash can turkey”. Don’t worry – the can is clean and the bird is moist, tender, and to die for.

  • j

    I would say that it is people like this that drive brits, and indeed the rest of the world, nuts. The only thing he forgot to add was his, no doubt, customary ‘America Rulez’.

    Anyway, regarding the list. As a brit I do find the butchering of the english language a pet peeve. And the pronunciation of z as zee.

    Being english, running through our psyche we have this assumption that we are God’s chosen people. Its quite harmless I assure you, but it leads to an instinctive assumption that we are…., for the lack of a better term, better than everyone else. Again, its not as bad as it sounds. But when our language is changed it leaves you with a feeling akin to somebody walking into your front room, putting on your slippers and sitting in your arm chair. I think we still have somewhat of an empire attitude.

    Regarding patriotism, we dont do it over here. Maybe its the fact that we have had more time as a nation to grow and mature and are more comfortable with our place in the world. Maybe it has to do with the self depreciation that runs through the british way of life. We love our country for sure, we realise how lucky we are living here and when we are gone we pine to return.., yet we love a good moan about this place. One of the quirks that makes us us i suppose.
    But i digress.

    Personally, every American i’ve ever met has been warm, friendly and utterly contrary to the picture painted of them in stereotype. One thing i find odd though is the need for melted cheese on so many different foods?

  • Brycon Slaughter Casey

    hahahahaha, canadian here but canada is exactly the same. Heres a thought. STAY OUT OF OUR CONTINENT THEN. You are just jealous because we are richer then you and actually have something to claim (what was it about 40% of teh worlds economy?)

  • Oghma Gem

    Mary, I think it is because PED-estrian and PAED-ophile (original spelling? also PAEDiatrician) come from two different root words. PED=foot. PAED=child.

  • Oghma Gem

    I want to agree with you about British TV. Only PBS in America has such quality programming as they make in the UK, which doesn’t insult the intelligence or play to the lowest common denominator in viewers. One must have some semblance of a brain to follow the British mysteries; they don’t telegraph the ending in the first five minutes, as American shows do.

  • Oghma Gem

    Hear, hear!
    signed, Editor, Proofreader and Over 50

  • Nancy in North Carolina

    Absolutely! I love the Brits, for the most part.
    Our history is mostly their history, after all. We
    Americans view all the royal family happenings (weddings etc.) with avid interest. We share your joys and your sorrows. It makes me sad some Brits say mean things about us, although some Americans might deserve it. I consider Brits our best friends in the world and hope that, for the most part, they view us that way, too.
    God bless you guys!

    • ZUmber

      Well personally I think American’s are great for the most part. I think the halfwits (both British and American) need to try each others cultures out a bit more.

  • Liz

    It seems funny how many people criticize Americans but need our help for all your problems.

    • observateur

      No, you’re confusing your meddling in other’s affairs with helping.

  • Hope

    I understand why us Americans saying we like British accents could be annoying, as most Americans mean English accents. I also prefer the way Brits spell things to the American way. It usually makes more sense. :)

  • Paul Ellison

    Noah Webster created the American english to be different from the english spoken in England. That is why Americans speak, write, and pronounce words different. He took out letters from words to be less french. Colour to Color, ect

  • Paul Ellison

    Have you ever had a whole roasted chicken before? Turkey’s look exactly the same except a little bit larger.

  • Laevatein

    FO (only people typing here) GB… you don’t see us commenting on the fact that you can’t pronounce words… so get off our ass, and play with your ‘torches’, bonnets and boots…

  • SarahJ

    Brandy girl thank you this is soooooo funny!! im american and i cant stop giggling!

  • John

    We love you Great Britain……. We don’t care what you say about US!.. tally HO…..I’m off to an absolutely fabulous therapy session with my dog Bella!

  • Metronil

    Brits seem to be a little bit emotional, insecure and bitter…Just sayin.

    • amk671

      I think your overreaction to anything that doesn’t praise America to the heavens is covered under number five.

  • Ly

    Do you realize you just generalized over 300 million people as being “too serious” all from 440 comments? Please don’t generalize, it makes you sound ignorant.

  • http://twitter.com/DaughterMoon Nee M

    Amusing, and eye-opening in some ways… but very nit-picky in others. I’m sorry I was not taught to pronounce the “h” in herb, but I assure you it is not to sound clever nor sophisticated. It’s how we say it over here and that’s that. I’m not changing the way I say a word simply to erase the impression that I’m impersonating the French.

    Similarly, you should keep on saying knickers, bottom and fringe, and put the “u” and the “s” back on your keyboard. The world is smaller than ever before and most of us will know what you mean. For those that don’t, they can learn. Just don’t expect anyone to start saying and spelling words in a way that pleases you.

    • http://twitter.com/DaughterMoon Nee M

      Oh and with you 100% on the patriotism. It’s over the top. In my neighborhood, there’s a man that has a ginormous pick-up truck with two full sized American flags hooked to the back of the cab. I see him and I can’t help but think “douchebag.”

      • Brian

        Yes, how dare he. He must be such a jerk.

        • JW

          Actually, in fairness, I’ve noticed that the ones who drive the large, bulky vehicles with lots of crap on them are very unpleasant on the road. In actual fact, the more you “mark” your vehicle, the more psychologically likely you are to be an aggressive driver (this is actually a thing, that has been proven with science. People get more territorial the more they think of the car as an extension of themselves). And I’ve noticed that the larger the vehicle (aside from Semis, sometimes), the more entitled to the road the driver seems to act. They become road bullies, assuming that they can swerve into your lane with no warning and often no turn signal, just because your car would take more damage in a crash (thus, they know you’re the one “forced” to yield). They ride your tail, trying to make you go faster via intimidation, and if you don’t, they’ll swerve around and in front of you – often honking or flipping the bird at you in the process.

          Then again, I live in the South. Our drivers are terrible to begin with.

      • KB

        But it would be OK if they were MUFC flags I presume?

  • Kenna

    I actually love this article – so true! It’s a funny article and I always love reading about differences between different cultures. So what if he doesn’t like I have *bangs* and am proud to be an American – I am! And I’m more than happy to celebrate these differences as well.

  • Deb Chavis

    This article is the best yet! I love the humor in it.

  • Deb Chavis

    This article is completely satirical. Some of it is true. Don’t get your panties in a knot.

    • Thea Allison

      You mean my knickers? I can only think of how many times I would have been laughed out of a classroom or beat up if I had used the word “knickers”. In the South, that could sound like an awful unmentionable word!

  • Deb Chavis

    First, apple pie a la mode, not applepie and ice cream. Second, there should be no comparison of The Beach Boys to The Beatles. The Beatles win out every time and I’m not even a fan. Third, Cadillac compared to Bentley is another non-comparison. Bentley all the way. Maybe a Jaguar X-Type to a Cadillac CTS. Fourth, Marilyn Monroe compared to Princess Diane. Really? Read this carefully PRINCESS DIANE! Yes, Marilyn Monroe is an icon of beauty but PRINCESS DIANE is and was a historical figure in a powerful monarchy. It should be PRINCESS GRACE KELLY to PRINCESS DIANE. They compliment each other well. The rest was ok.

    • Joe

      What the hell did Princess Di ever do to be historical except Di? The Royal Family is tabloid trash not historical.

      • Amy

        wow you cannot be serious about this reply. everything you said is stupid.

      • ZUmber

        The monarchy is not historical? Wow the internet just lowered it’s self to a new low.

        • lisa


    • Amy

      Bentleys are wonderful, but Cadillac has way better style. Honestly all of Europe styles cars wrong, some are fantastic, but American muscle cars just look better.

    • Kirsten Jaster

      I thought it was Princess Diana…

  • jane

    Why blame a whole country for a few people out of it that messed it up? I’m an American and I’m not overly patriotic? Our “over zealous cheer”, never have I ever been told “You’re the best customer ever!” for buying 2 things. Theyre two different countries and cultures.

  • phantastic.mrfox

    This is funny, especially the bang-on description of the word panties. It also reminds me of a time in New York when I commented on the “shops”. I was wryly told that “hear in America we have stores, not shops”. Don’t even get me started on my mirth when I saw a display of “fanny bags”.
    On the Spelling, most people do not realise thyat “ises” instead of “izes” in British English is a only phenomenon of the last half century. Check any older British dictionary and s is not used in such a proflific way. Although either spelling is in FACT now acceptable in most dictionaries, the Oxford English Dictionary specifically still prefers z in most cases. The only reason I have given in to “ises” is because of the misinterpretation that “izes” are American that jolts with fellow Brits.
    Oh. and on turkey, it is a definitely question of how it is cooked!

    • Glynis

      Yes, and I hate how the spellings are changing on many words. Travelling, traveller, bussing, busses, etc. Tell me, how does one justify “buses”, and why doesn’t it rhyme with MUSES, from the root word “muse”? Or fuses?

  • VH

    Well, if the article is supposed to be a joke, it certainly lacks any amorous nature towards Americans, with the exception of a patronizing tone in the opening “Americans are some of the loveliest people…” None of the authors examples apply to me nor the vast majority of Americans that I know so her assessment is plain and simply a result of a small, impressionable sample. Perhaps she wouldn’t like an in-kind response of Brits: their overuse of “Cheers” as a salutation, some of the most unhealthy and overindulgent breakfast items I’ve ever experienced,horrible showers, and a pompous attitude. So there, you can be summed up inappropriately too.

    I like humor, but please don’t do it at the expense of a whole population. It doesn’t endear us to you.

    • ben

      I’m sorry, but ‘unhealthy and overindulgent breakfast items’? are you mad? A full fry up still probably has only as many calories as a bowl of sugar cereal with MARSHMALLOWS in it or a pile of pancakes with SYRUP on them!

  • Joost Fricke

    If the Brits cook turkey like they do the rest of their food it’s not wonder they don’t like it…

    • V

      Doesn’t matter, none of them brush their teeth anyway…

      • ZUmber

        Well seeing as our health care is free and dentists are much cheaper. I’d have thought we’d have better of both worlds.

  • WF

    I’m American and just gave a solid rant on how the British can drive one bat-crazy, so it’s only fair that I provided the most unfettered of insight about my fellow people.

    1) Saying “could care less.” What’s the point of even saying this? To tell me you’ve cared the entire time, or to tell me that you think a grammatical contraction is just as difficult to muster as a birth contraction? Don’t indicate you care at all when you really, really wish the object of your indifference was found in the deepest trench of the Pacific Ocean.

    2) Saying “have a nice day” when you don’t know two cents about how my day’s been going! Let’s keep expectations at ground level, shall we? I myself am a busy teacher so let me just hope that I survive my day without attaching a ball-and-chain to my ankle and then subsequently throwing myself out the window.

    3) Wearing sneakers, or trainers since apparently I must translate, in public or to any place as if it’s proper dress code. Forget thinking first. I’m at the opera, let me wear sneakers! After all, the intermission was designed for me to jog around this new performance hall and check the new plaques of the donors!

    4) Not understanding sarcasm and irony immediately. Do you know much it irks me when I’ve had to say, “Oh, just kidding?” or something like that? I’ve finally weaned myself off that, but not without a methadone-like withdrawal regimen to make sure I never relapse.

    5) Thinking that everyone wants to come to America for “freedom, prosperity and Jesus.” Or whatever. Tune into the BBC or PBS and you will learn that thousands upon thousands are trying to get into Europe, often illegally. Africa on Europe’s doorstep is, I believe, a starker contrast to Mexico on America’s.

    6) And this leads me to my next point. Often presuming that someone is obligated to believe in God or a god of some kind. If one’s an atheist (oooo, silence only interrupted by a whistling wind and ruffling leaves) he’s automatically doomed in the most horrid of ways that I won’t mention for fear of being blacklisted by the BBC and any number of oppressive theocracies in the world. You don’t have to believe in any god if you don’t want. In fact, some of my dearest friends don’t and I don’t think bad things will happen to them or that there is some sort of inexorable eye-for-an-eye justice that the man above will exert on these beings!

    7) Making small talk too often or simply talking for the sake of talking. No, lovely barista, who’s told me her life story about being a teen runaway and prostitute from LA, I cannot engage in conversation with you on my way to work. Does the wrinkled Garfield the Cat look on my face not give that away in the slightest? No, Signor Plumber, who has come to fix my sink in oversize jeans that still don’t hide that bleak, hairy wasteland called your rear-end, I do not wish to hear or be sympathetic to you because your wife left you for a cult leader. The exorbitant fees you charge me do not include a donation to your mental health upkeep.

    Well, there it is and I really must conserve my rant energy.

  • Mark

    number 9 and 10 on this list are stupid. We say thing differently because we are in another place than England. We say and pronounce things differently. We don’t say “tea time” or “bollocks” or “rubbish”. Get over yourself.

  • kennedyshaffer71199

    this is sooooo funny, im american. Personally i dont care for the half the things listed here, i hate turkey, i hate the cashires that are like “have a great day, you are a great sshopper, and come again soon.” all in one breath!

  • V

    What a joke of an article. If it wasn’t for the good ole U.S. of A…you’d be part of a small province in Russia. I’d just rather you thank you me rather than try and make yourself look smart with this smut article.

  • TheAngryAmericanFemale

    Seven Things Americans hate about prententious Brits:
    1) Their pretentiousness, for one
    2) Their food, which seems to consist mostly of beef and freakishly dry yorkshire puddings
    3) (If the case is so)The horrible cockny-accents that are often displayed, which nobody can understand so we just smile and nod
    4) Their hostility and unwillingness to communicate in an at least respectful manner
    5) Their addiction to milky tea
    6)Their hatred of cats and worship of dogs( both are equal, damnit!)
    7)Their worship of a constitutional monarchy, which has been away from power for so long, that it makes no sense that the media still has intererst in them .

    So there, Ms/Mrs/Mr. Prententious List Writer, I have made my move

  • Whitney

    I’m American and really enjoyed this article. To any American that finds this article offensive, I would say get over it. This is meant to be a playful “slagging” as the British would call it. I say that as someone who is from time to time offended by the anti-American bigotry that comes from Europe on the web and in person. I love my country but if anyone thinks this article is offensive, you should read what other Europeans think of us. Ive travelled all over Europe and lots of Europeans not only hate our policies but they hate us. For example, I’m surprised at how anti-American Ireland is. Greeks in Greece dont hate Greek-Americans, Italians hardly ever hate Italian-Americans, but lots and lots of Irish hate Irish-Americans. A lot of Europeans (not all and maybe not most) stereotype all 310 million of us as the worst people on earth living in some Godforsaken backwater of a country filled with greed, violence, ignorance, and fat people. When you the Europe I’ve seen, you can just laugh off articles like this. I think some of the reaction to this article has to do with the fact that

  • bookgirl20

    I thought for sure the sacrilege of serving tea cold would make the list.

  • Color Blind

    I was going to leave an entire comment myself, but I’ll just reply to yours, since you covered most of what I was thinking, with the exception of adding that the origins of the American-English language are (really!) 29% French, 29% Latin, 26% German, 6% Greek, etc. There’s a pie-chart on Wikipedia. I’m currently learning French and find it fascinating to see the written word, and the many similarities between our languages. I also watch a lot of British TV online. Between learning French, and watching British TV, I’m discovering there are far more differences (and similarities) than I would have ever imagined!

    • http://www.facebook.com/ronna.lester Ronna Sutton Lester

      You will find Spanish easy to pick up also, since words, not especially the grammar, are similar, sort of.

  • FrequentTraveller

    I know this is supposed to be tongue in cheek and humo(u)rous but as a Brit I don’t find this funny at all. I L-O-V-E it when Americans comment on my accent. And if only Britain had the awesome restaurant service they have in the States. I’ve never had my plate whipped away like Ruth describes. American friends, I apologise on behalf of this person’s editor who obviously said something along the lines of “got a column, to fill, needs to be in the next 10 minutes, just dash off any old c**p.” Ruth, you’re not speaking for me. To be honest this just falls into the rather embarrassing, snidey chip on our shoulder category that crops up way way too often and makes me cringe. (PS, Brits, if you want a laugh in the States just pronounce “urinal” – all my American friends fall about).

  • Anderson

    It’s called culture. Different, not wrong. I know this is a joke and is completely ignorant and ethnocentric, but some people actually think like this. Just saying.

    • Gill

      Anderson, is that your first name or last name!

  • That random American

    HA! XD i shamelessly agree with ever statement here. Woot! Driving Brits nuts is like a national pass time.

  • observateur

    aren’t you the same ‘americans’ that brand all muslims as terrorists and call them “towelheads”? then claim it’s all a joke and that muslims have no sense of humour? well, this article was written for fun. can’t YOU take a joke? ‘americans’ love laughing at others but can’t take it when the position is turned around? GROW UP!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kmischka Katie Mischka

      hey, please do not judge all Americans by the Tea Party. I’m trying to convince my cousin that not all muslims are evil. But you do have a point, a lot of Americans are stupid bigots. But please don’t judge us all by that.

      • Dizzychik

        Your own stupidity is showing,the tea party has nothing to do with bigotry and everything to do with getting the people playing with other people’s money to show fiscal responsibility.And recognizing that while,all Muslims are not evil,their religion is being hijacked by extremists and that faction needs to be dealt with by someone who’s got enough gumption to do it,and protect the rest of the world if they can.

  • GBGamer

    Herb is the correct pronunciation. You were the guys who changed it after we moved here. You pronounced it the same way until (I think) the 19th century. Just pointing out. I know this article’s a joke, but I still think people should know this. Also, who the hell says fanny? That’s something you say. I’ve literally never heard an American say fanny.

  • observateur

    you are getting ‘your panties in a bunch’ over a joke. you need to be less pompous and have more humility because no individual or nation is (how do you Yanks say it?) ‘ALL THAT!

  • Elle from Vancouver

    I am Canadian and being in the commonwealth and yet so close to the US we share a smattering of both, in regards to speech patterns etc. We say “zed” and spell with the “our”. We eat turkey too but some of us don’t like it either. Now, on the patriotic thing…yes, some of you Yanks are way over the top. We Canadians are a very proud and patriotic bunch (just watch a hockey game) but we are not as in your face about it. Interesting to read that not all of you are…it is a shared assumption. We all have good and bad qualities as my Quebec country folk would say, vive la difference!

  • Angry American

    This is, frankly, a pretty stupid fucking article.
    1. “Herb” is pronounced “erb”. “Fillet” is pronounced “Fillay”. That’s how I was taught to say it as a child. Is it even possible to be “pretentious” as a child?
    2. Spelling words the “wrong” way? “Colour” is considered incorrect on my American computer according to spellcheck; and spellcheck usually doesn’t fail me.
    3. Turkey is fucking great. Fuck you.

    The only one I agree with is the Patriotism one. I hate America. I also hate Britain. I also hate this terrible article.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonthehyeena Jason Leer

    As a British person, I agree with everything you’ve said.

  • Maridine

    Hey, dickwad. I feel like you’re just describing the hard time you are having adjusting to the American lifestyle. There is a ton of shit we Americans could come up with to rag on your damn culture. Fuck off and get out of our country because we don’t need you here contaminating it. Bitch.

  • Marion S

    In the U.S., we really love our country. We really are as happy as we act. We do smile and say nice things all day long to others–and we mean what we say (yes, I’ll agree that there is a small percentile of Americans that don’t mean it). That is our way of making the world a better place to live. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have problems, it’s simply the idea that our own problems won’t be solved by burdening you with them every time we pass.

    We are not thin-skinned at all! We criticize our own selves all of the time!!! Our news reflects an overly self-critical nation. My British friends who visited the U.S. are actually surprised that we are not nearly as bad (or fat) as they had imagined from our daily news.

    Another confusing thing is “How are you?” doesn’t mean that we want to be a psychiatrist. It’s just a greeting. When a person answers, “Not bad,” that is actually a positive response.

    Being as our country is so large, we have our own differences about word choice, dialect, and pronunciation. Examples: A water fountain is called a “bubbler” in Wisconsin. Soda is called “pop” in Minnesota.

    Turkey is extremely moist when it is cooked properly. If it is dry and stringy, you had a bad cook.

    We really enjoy Brits and their accents, word choices, and phrases.

    But, sorry to say, this article is at least halfway inaccurate.

  • eekahil

    I agree so very much with #10. “Panties” annoys the flippin’ heck out of me for the reasons you give. I like to say “underpants” for males or females because it is funny and old fashionedy (even though I know “pants” is naughty ) or sometimes “foundation garments” because it is even funnier and more old-fashionedy.
    Why I Have no Friends Reasons 27 and 362.

  • kb

    Putting the last name first really bugs me too! I’m from the USA :)

  • Ariel R. Wyckoff


  • http://www.facebook.com/ronna.lester Ronna Sutton Lester

    Webster removed the ‘o’ from everything feasible to separate as far from GB as possible, changing other words around also, Revolutionary War stuff, you know.. I personally can’t stand undercooked vegetables such as green beens. My Mama cooked them until they melted in your mourth, the Southern way! When we lived in NYC for a bit, she hated eating out, because she said they just blanched them, the way we do to get ready to freeze them. Ugh!! So, I guess my family did retain that bit from the big move here.

  • Johnathan Downer

    actually, being an american myself, i agree with most of these. but then…i also think american culture has gone down the ‘loo’ in the last 50 years.

  • John H Harris

    In regards to #9, we did elect a socialist. His name is Barack Obama!

  • Dovakin

    A note on the patriotism… I’m in London right now and have been for the last week and I haven’t gone more that half a minute without seeing the Union Jack plastered somewhere. On cars, accessories, flyers, practically every building. It was the same when I was here in July. It was one of, if not THE, first things I mentioned. The point is, I’ve seen way more British flags in one week in London than I can ever remember seeing at any point in the US… and that includes the rural community I grew up in and the London-comparable cities I’ve visited regularly on either coast (with the possible exception of Memorial Day in Washington DC :)

    And there is nothing wrong with being proud of the country you were born in. England (and Great Britain) has a wonderful history that your ancestors were a part of and that directly resulted in you in so many ways. You don’t need to blare your national anthem out of the stereo or fly a flag off your truck (or paint it on the roof of your vehicle *cough* the mini *cough*) but you can be proud of the contributions your people have made to the world.

    • Expat253

      The amount of flags in London is not a surprise at all. For one it’s the year of the Queens Jubilee and the Summer Olympics being hosted there as well as it being tourist season.
      It’s far from a typical scene in the capital.

  • Amelia

    “Pretentious” vocabulary? I think you’ll find that Americans, probably due to its melting pot culture, doesn’t pronounce French words the French way because it’s pretentious. It’s because it’s a French word. Just like how we pronounce “Quesadilla” without using L’s. Do Brits really use the L’s in that word? ‘Cause I would laugh in their face.

    • hui

      Right on

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary.talley.58 Mary Talley

    Oh honey, come down here to the South and you will learn a whole new language! LOL

    • Thea Allison

      Bless their hearts Mary, they know not what they say and do! Wanna come over for some sweet tea? he he. – A fellow G.R.I.T. <3

  • sean

    I am an american and i completely agree.

  • May

    Brits spell words wrong, not Americans. But the word panties should be removed from the face of the Earth with napalm.

    • British and proud

      You get a hint from it being ‘English’ that it was and still is our language.Brits dont spell our words wrong you do, because it’s OUR language.Its colour not ‘color’ and rubbish not ‘trash’. Americans make everything so cheesy, like garbage. And before you say America’s bigger in size, it may well be but it’s full of the most dickheads saying its Americas language.WHEN ENGLISH IS OUR LANGUAGE!

  • Joe

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will use these to annoy Brits whenever possible.

  • t tapps

    1. Herb and filet (you misspelled the word we are pronouncing) are pronounced as such due to the respect for other word origins and not the naive “we built the world British attitude”
    2. The irresistible temptation for
    English to inject their unwelcomed opinion
    to criticize 99 percent of the time.

    3. Beginning every sentence with “You Yanks always”…
    Really? Only half the county were Yanks two hundred
    years ago stop already
    4. The British Museum. A collection of all the UK’s exploits and lootings.
    5. Why not be proud of your flag. Move to another country if you not like your own.
    6. There is no point for this thread. You see?

    • RichardLB

      Interestingly, words being pronounced with or without the “h” is partially locality based (NYC folks typically drop the “h”) and partially age based (>60 tend to drop the “h”). In my case, my folks were from Booklyn and pronounced “human” as “uman”. It’s all in the area with which they both grew up in (they are in their mid/late 70’s).

      The spelling of the words “wrong” is the difference between British English and American English. For what it is worth, I have to say.. Zed? Really.. C’mon now.. that just being pretentious. Like the author’s irritation drawn by their interpretation of Americans dropping the letter “h” to pronounce “herb” as “erb”, pronouncing the last letter of the alphabet as “Zed” doesn’t impress anyone. :)

      While I agree with the sense of patriotism, we US folks only have 250+ years of nationalism to draw upon. Give us another 600+ years to catch up, and I would say that our expression will probably be similar to the UK. :) Also, consider in to the equation the world we live in today in addition to what we have had to overcome (hint: something to do with the 11th.. and the month of September).

      Have to agree 100% with the use of last names as unique first names. I would like to add that this is probably not unique to the US, though. Also, using names for the opposite gender is a peeve, too. “Charly” for a girl. Really?

      The pets bit is funny. It’s unfortunately not limited to the US (it’s all over the UK, too, as well as other countries). Yuck.

      Last thing: so we train our customer service staff to be happy and treat their patron with a semblance of respect. Besides, happiness is infectious and they’d rather not foster any continued nature of being a sour puss.

      Fun article. Thanks! :)

  • James

    Hahahaha. But the funniest thing about America is that we are doing the exact same thing that we fought to be free of in the Revolutionary War.

  • amused american

    I sat here laughing while reading it. XD funny, how the most innocent of actions in one culture can turn into the biggest of pet peeves of another culture.
    Never realiSed how abrasive a “z” really was until you mentioned it…
    Hey, my middle name’s a surname, and I go by it. haha.

  • Florence

    First of all, I’m American. I admit I like British accents, but most people I know find them really annoying and pretentious. Maybe it’s different in the north but yea. Secondly, people in restaurants and stores are very polite because it’s their job – not because they’re nice and love to please. If they don’t make you feel overly sick from the amount of kindness they’re giving you, then they get scolded or fired. Also, the patriotism is a bit over the top. I don’t normally see flags unless it’s the house of a veteran or soldier. Plus, it’s not really bad to love your country. We pronounce words from other languages as they are supposed to be pronounced because it is their language so it’s kind of stupid if you don’t. Lastly, not everyone says panties and fanny. Panties is common but a lot of people say underwear or the actual type (ie; boxers, briefs). Oh, and I have never heard the word fanny used outside of old movies where they were acting stupid.

    Americans do have problems, but those aren’t it. Your post should have been about how tons of people get knocked up for extra money from the government. How practically 75% of teenagers don’t care about high school. How southerners (no offense, I am southern after all) tend to be more judgmental to people from foreign countries, other religions, and other sexualities. Maybe actual problems with Americans instead of spiteful ones that can’t be generalized to the public.

    And I hate turkey.

    • ZUmber

      Don’t worry we have girls here being knocked up for free money too and our payments are very very generous. Infact some of them certainly get more than I do and I work for a living.

  • Samantha

    What? Why are you even here? Maybe this
    is what is wrong with America. We let snobby noses come over here anytime they
    want and make fun of us. Ok so you don’t like turkey? DONT EAT IT! Americans believe in freedom. With all this freedom comes
    choice. You choose to come here; maybe it is time you choose to go back! I am proud
    to be an American! That’s right, I went there!!! J

  • KD

    Wow Ruth, you comes across like a very bitter person. Why don’t you just say you hate Americans and be done with it.

  • Egg

    Most of those are legitimate complaints, but some of them are just cultural differences and make you sound like an idiot. Learn more about how Americans speak rather than expect Americans to speak like Brits.

  • juniperowl

    This list is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. It just makes the author sound like a pretentious, insufferable assbag.
    Sorry you don’t like our good attitudes or the way we speak, but in return we’re not all that fond of someone who has nothing better to do than bitch about a culture they’re not a part of.

  • TheMagicalAri

    Personally I love the last names for first names thing. If i lost my name to marriage i could see myself naming a child my maiden name.
    But on the patriotism thing, we fought and won our country just slightly over 200 years ago, we are going to be patriotic for a long time.
    The English have been English for a quite a while, so it’s not such a big deal.
    Also if anyone who is not 6 years old or the mother of some one who is, is saying “fanny” they’re just silly.

  • Amy

    this is like the third post i’ve seen telling people to chill, except like three people it’s all been pretty civil unless i’m missing a huge hunk of the chat.

  • TheMagicalAri

    I work in a call center and if we’re not overly sweet and accommodating we get in trouble.
    It’s a business thing, not a personal preference I actually hate everyone Who interrupts me on the phone with a burning passion, but it’s the rules.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.hopson.54 David Hopson

    I really hate turkey meat in any form. also,people that treat pets like children are freaky.especially those people that have ankle biters,trip hazards.

  • alexis

    what is so bothering about a waiter picking up your empty plate? it allows more table space. also, im american and i pronounce the h in herb and everyone corrects me.It is very annoying. they also tell me i pronounce vase wrong. also most people dont think turkey taste good its just healthier fat-wise. By the way, we find the greeters at stores annoying as well.

  • CoedK

    First off, I want you to know that not all Americans are like this. I for example, am an Irish American, and although im proud to have been born in this country I couldnt care less about where I live. I feel wierd saying the words panties, Fanny, and bangs. And am quite informed with international events. I can see where these stereotypes come from, I do afteral live here, and for the majority of people theyre true but painting such broad strokes about a country as large as the united states isnt right.

  • Thea Allison

    As an American person, I’d agree you are long winded and opinionated…and I also agree with most of what you say. Yay to protected speech!

  • Louis XV

    A man from a country where they routinely ruin good fish, fowl and meat complaining that turkey doesn’t taste good. It does if you prepare it properly. And then he complains that a country of 300 million people doesn’t slavishly follow the chauvinistic pronunciations of his quaint little island! Here, we assume that French words are pronounced the way the French pronounce them. Ditto for every other language on the planet. Have you ever noticed that Brits are incapable of correctly pronouncing “Michigan”? Despite 300 years of examples they refuse to learn to pronounce a soft ch.

  • Cholly Knickerbocker

    Plenty of Brits hang the Union Jack from their houses and have pictures of the sovereign hanging above their mantle, even if the fashionable self-styled “intellectual class” find it, well, a trifle lower class. Perhaps that’s why the British Empire now runs from London to just short of the Scottish border?

    • ZUmber

      The only time I’ve seen a flag hanging from a house here in England is when there’s an important England match on. As for having the Queen on the wall too, never seen that either.

  • Sarah

    As an American, I have to say that this is pretty funny. The author is just poking some fun at us; it’s not like we don’t do it to them and other people. Refer to the article 10 Things Brits Do That Drive Americans Nuts. People seriously need to just laugh and take a chill pill.

  • Trekkie Gal

    The ‘u’ in colour, humour, neighbour, etc. serves no purpose. It doesn’t change the pronunciation or meaning of the word. So why should we use it?

  • Tyler

    I’m sorry the USA is not exactly like your country.

    And people say Americans are the ignorant ones….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515721421 Daniel Chen

    Spelling differences are fine by me.

    It’s when some Yank tries to call me stupid for spelling words like “defence” with a “C” instead of an “S” I blow my lid. American spelling isn’t the only valid spelling system in the world.

  • Billy Bob

    Don’t knock turkey! It is delicious when properly cooked and served. And when you serve it with cornbread dressing, candied yams and a fresh cranberry dish, you have a real winner.

  • AlexEconomics

    Wait… what’s the second holiday that centers around turkey? I’m an American, born and bred. And from my knowledge, Thanksgiving is the only turkey-centric holiday. Our family does goose or duck for Christmas, if that’s what the author is referring to.

    • Bethee

      Easter and some people do it on Christmas as well i know my family does turkey and ham then and we have done roast and turkey for Easter

  • Wolf

    “Make an actual socialist your president and then we’ll talk.” Ah when was this written? We do have a socialist President already.

  • Dillydill09

    11. Creating this list

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.netty.ornce Mike Netty Ornce

    I agree with almost all of it…. except for the knickers and panties issue….. PLEASE!!!!! DON’T EVER SAY KNICKERS AGAIN! UNLESS YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF 80 YEARS OLD….Trust me… panties are much better, and no dude in his right mind (unless he’s into banging old chicks) would ever find a ckick saying knickers to be sexy.
    ?Could you imagine some hot chick sticking her knickers in your mouth during a lap dance???? gag, gag, gag….. how do my knickers taste there sonny?

  • person

    i liked number i cant stand when people do that

    • person

      number 9

  • mr.magic96


  • mr.magic96

    you brits

  • Andre Richards

    The “u” was intentionally removed from words like “color” and “neighbor” in the early days of the U.S. as part of a deliberate attempt to differentiate our version of the language in the U.S. from that of the Brits as well as to remove some unnecessary complexity in the language. So that’s not a misspelling, nor are words like “center” and “theater.” We spell them correctly. Sorry you’re unable to break with your quaint traditions. 😉

    Anyway, those changes were done on purpose. In fact, there was a strong movement in the early days to go even further with it but it never caught on.

    • ZUmber

      Nope I pronounce centre and theatre as they’re spelt.

  • badwolf

    I have to laugh because the Brits always tell us we’re wrong no matter what.

    • Polly

      No, you are wrong there. lol

  • Anaughtybear

    Actually, you can look in the dictionary and see that Brits are incorrect in their spelling of a lot of words, particularly ‘aluminum’. It has has four syllables.

    I agree on the patriotism bit. Also, we’re sorry about country music. Not all of us are that dumb.

    If Americans are in the U.K., we have an accent. If you’re in the U.S., you have an accent.

    • ZUmber

      Actually if you go 20 miles in any direction in the UK and you’ll encounter a different accent.
      I can’t agree with the aluminium though. Aloominum doesn’t sound right to me.

  • ZUmber

    Nathan if you’re using FireFox then you need to download the British English language pack and it won’t correct you.

  • ZUmber

    You’re mistaking the English accent of probably the home counties. As a Geordie (someone from Newcastle upon Tyne) you’d not understand me.

  • Jonathan O’bryant

    The only thing I agree with is the spelling of words, like honour, colour,ect. For some reason I’ve always spelled like that, (parents are from Ireland) Given to light I am Irish, I’ve heard nothing but bad things about the brits…. It’s common in Ireland and the U.S… Just stating. While I am an animal lover, I completely agree with the pet thing. My ma tried to tell me my dog was like my brother once… I told her to shag off. The only thing pretentious is your god awful attitude, and us Americans are PERFECTLY HAPPY not living in a social nanny state. I have an accent, it’s mixed, but I don’t mind when people compliment it. Turkey is good if you know how to prepare it, but i wouldn’t want to make it a steady diet. How’s this for over zealous patriotism? Kiss my American ass and get me a beer 😉

  • Marlene

    i love the brits but we some how are always doing wrong and they say we should be more like them.STRONGLY DISAGREE!!!


    Most of this isnt true,dont you think if i went to the uk peole would be fascinated by my acent.This so affensive you should be a shamed, i dont go around making fun of other people who live in diffrent parts of the world because they talk diffrent or they like my acent.HERE LET ME WRITE IT SO YOU WILL UNDERSTAND YOUR AND BEASTLEY LITTLE TWIT!!!!!

  • Justin

    Pretentious you say? Hah! I’d say take a look in the mirror. You seem rather ignorant, just saying.

  • Sharon

    Your ignorant price of shut move back to England than!

  • Stacy J

    I’m an American and I spent my summer in Oxford and London. Everything you listed above I witnessed happening to me when I was in England. Every where I went people were coming up to me telling me “I love your accent” and kept asking me to say different things. I noticed the spelling difference when I was there and had to adapt when I was writing papers. I did it and I didn’t complain about it because I realized we live different lives, we have different but similar cultures and it was very interesting to see all of this. I loved my experience over there and I would go back in a heart beat. Everything listed above happened to me in England and I didn’t mind it at all (except the “I love your accent” thing got a bit annoying).

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.mar.9 Beth Mar

    Wow. And I thought Brits were nice and accepting. Just.. wow.
    Tolerance is key when you’re in a different culture, just FYI.

  • expat253

    A very small world indeed. I am an Englishman, married to an American, that has lived in the ‘253’ for the past 9 years. I love it, too. Although I can count on one hand the amount of other Brits in the area that I have met, despite constant rumor(see, I adapt!) that there are quite a few of us around.

  • Bethee

    I like food!

  • Matt

    As someone who used to live in London for 2 years, there are a few things that REALLY annoy the fuck out of me after reading this…

    #4) give me a break. you are paid to have cheer in a shop when you work there no matter what country you live in. If you’re rude to a customer and he/she complains, chances are you will be fired.

    #5) COMPLETE BULL SHIT. Americans are no where near MORE patriotic than the British (English, Welsh and Scottish). They have just as many flags as we do, and they are EXTREMELY patriotic about everything. Worst of all, sports. The welsh and the scottish hate the english. And the english hate the welsh and scottish. Try going to a England v Wales rugby match…. I’m sure you will see no patriotism there.

    #6) I have seen the same thing over there. Mind you they were gay men, but still. In a baby carriage.

    #9) FUCK… THAT… Pretentious? The word Fillet is french. Hence, why we pronounce it that way. The same goes for the word Buffet, which oddly enough, the british pronounce the same way we do… WEIRD.

    #10) So we say panties…. They say pants, knickers, scivvies etc. Its just the way the cards fell. How is one way better than the other? And bangs…. My wife is british. Literally born and raised in Wales. I have visited there numerous times. Everyone of her friends say bands says both Bangs and Fringe. How is fringe better than bangs? And furthermore, they throw the words cunt and twat around like it’s no big deal. Men call women that they don’t know those words everyday. How can you say you feel dirty after saying the word “bangs”?

    • Matt

      and another thing about the way we pronounce things. When you guys say any word with “er” on the end of it like “wanker” you make it sound like “wankah”. Ridiculous how you think saying “herb” makes us pertentious. Or how about how no one pronounces the letter “t” when it is in the middle of a word. Like “water” becomes 2 words almost: “wau’ah”

      Having said all of this, I still love the british. I think this author needs to get a life

  • Bill Murray

    *spoken with an utmost proper and unoffensive British accent*

    Why thank you for this delightfully uplifting piece, you crusty, cantankerous bitch.


  • Guest

    this made me laugh so hard god we’re so annoying

  • griit lyf

    real men are ruff neck and we dont want mask or a happy happy joy joy version of thingz we ike the gritty side of thing we love went the subway smalls like piss so it keep the rich spolid people out

  • Kate

    I’m American and have always pronounced “herb” with the “h.” I didn’t even notice that Americans pronounce it differently until recently, and everyone thinks it’s weird that I say it like that.


    Ruth Margolis- how do you consider yourself intelligent if you can go to new york city, see a few odd people, then assume thats how all americans are? that would be like me saying i saw a british person in tokyo shit their pants, then convincing myself that all british people enjoy shitting in their pants. see the logic here? new york city is a melting pot of all cultures from across the globe, new york city is IN america, but even here we view it as a totally different world, because it is nothing at all like the rest of america. there are well over 8 million permanent residents, a few million undocumented aliens, and not to mention the extra 10 million or so that go to that city to work every day, and the millions of visitors. so next time you want to insult america, go ahead and do it (we enjoy those with their own opinions here) just make sure you actually know what you are talking about when you do it, so you don’t make yourself out to look like a bumbling munter. it’s funny that you people think you are more intelligent than us, but you are so stuck-up that you can’t even see past your own nose to see who we really are. open your eyes, we americans didn’t like how you looked at the rest of the world, so we murdered thousands of your people, left that oppressive dungeon, and then beat your worthless redcoats back across the atlantic(with their tails tucked between their legs like cowards) when you tried to take our freedom away. and after all that, we still came to your aid when winston churchill came groveling at our feet, begging like a starved dog for us to send our AMERICAN weapons to YOUR soldiers. whether you like it or not, without our aid, britain would have fell to nazi germany. you may not have needed the tens of thousands of our people that bled to death defending you without question, but your people begged us for help, and without it, you may not be there reading this article right now.

    now back to your worthless analysis. here are some REAL facts about REAL americans.

    1:most of us find your accent to be utterly grotesque.

    2.most of us think people who use surnames as first names should be flogged.

    3.if they take away your plate too quickly at a restaurant, it is usually because they don’t like you, and want you to leave quickly.

    4.nobody says “you were an awesome customer” they do say “thank you for your business”, or “have a nice day”, but that is just to be polite, because trust me, nobody here cares about you, your bloody snatch, or your baseball bat sized tampons.
    5.we as americans earned the right to be proud through death, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, but since you people are so stuck-up, you can’t even look past your own nose to see what makes us proud.
    6.some bag lady babbling to her dog in the corner of a flea market hardly represents how americans treat their dogs. most of us see them as.. you guessed it…. DOGS!
    7.turkey is a symbolic part of thanksgiving tradition, and just because you stupid arse redcoats can’t cook a turkey properly, and have no real sense of taste, doesn’t mean turkey is bad, just that you people can’t cook. turkey is never dry when cooked right, quite the contrary, it can be as moist as a pot roast when cooked correctly. only a retard can mess up cooking a turkey.
    8.aren’t british people supposed to be intelligent? if so, you would know what the word dialect means, and why american engish varies from the king’s english. we do not spell our own words wrong.
    9. we do not pronounce our words wrong either, i will say again that you can find the definition of dialect in any one of your dictionaries.
    10. if you are still as much of a rube as you were when you started reading this, see numbers 8 and 9, then sodomize yourself with the dictionary you are reading.

    i just wanked to that photo of kate’s tits, and spunked on a photo of the queen while waving an american flag and eating a nice turkey leg!

    • the YANK

      spotted dick??? are you serious???? if you ask an american to come to your house to eat spotted dick, they would think you wanted them to perform fellatio on a man with genital herpes.. and “puffing on a fag” makes you sound like you like to suck gay dicks all day long. if you limey, island monkey, crooked toothed, redcoat pussies don’t like america, stay over there where you belong. i am proud to be a yank, because we wiped the floor with you wimpy little pussies, and now we don’t have to live within smelling range of her majesty’s royal snatch(5000km upwind)

  • Norm

    It’s the way our culture has evolved since we became the melting pot over 200 years ago. We’re not you and we’re not anyone else so get over it and be thankful our country and yours are allies. If I had my way I’d force our school systems to teach multiple languages so we could communicate better with others when giving them our money while on vacation.

  • Jaime

    I, too, was taught to pronounce ‘herb’ with a silent ‘h’ and ‘fillet’ with a silent ‘t’. We aren’t doing it (at least not now, anyway) to sound french, though we might embellish it a bit if we’re actually trying to sound french (for fun, as some people enjoy doing impersonations), but rather because we were taught that it’s how its supposed to be pronounced.

  • Polly

    It depends….In the words of Monty Python “Is this going to be a 5 or 10 minute argument?”

  • Brewing

    Sound like you are in a permanent bad mood as most Brits from that dreary place. There are worse things than acting cheerful, saying they love your accent and thanking you for patronizing their store. Jeez… I find these examples so silly in the face of the real problems that are here like gun control or something like that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.sarmento.3 John Sarmento

    Culinary comments from the country that puts ketchup (catsup?) on eeevvvrrryyything…..
    Good fun

  • Erliche

    I guess a guy coming from a country that eats “Bangers and Mash” and “Spotted Dick” would think our way of talking is strange LOL!

  • Daimon

    How do you complain about -ize, yet misspell sexualise and infantilise in the later example?

  • Kelly

    i find this very mean. i’m american myself, and saying that we like your accents is a complement. blame the government for the spelling stuff! not the people! i was almost going to cry after reading this. i could be brittish and do all of the same things you just listed! and not all americans are like that. only one women did that not 3845639536 people. i’m sorry that us americans drive you personally nuts. we have our own customs that we do. and britian has theres too.

  • Lauren

    To address some of these “American quirks:”
    I personally do not make big fusses over British accents. In fact, to us, your accents make you sound very pretentious in all honesty. And it really depends who you have as a waiter. Some will take the plate away too fast, others will forget you’re even there. And the majority of us DO NOT have a relentless cheer about ourselves 24/7 (I’m the opposite — I have an attitude 24/7, then again I’m a New Yorker). Not everyone treats their pets like people, at least I don’t because that’s creepy. Turkey IS good, you probably just don’t cook it properly. And the way we pronounce herb and fillet is just how we were taught. And I have NEVER, ever, ever, ever (10x ever) used the word “fanny” in my entire life. I always thought you guys used that word. I get that this article is how some of you feel, but what I have said above is how some of us feel.

  • JW

    Wait, so “panties” is “infantilizing”, but “knickers” isn’t?What?

    One is a tiny pair of pants, sure, so it’s cutesy I suppose if you aren’t used to the word, but “knickers”… man, that doesn’t even sound serious. At all. I always thought people were being (or attempting to be) goofily saucy when they used it. But now you tell me, that’s just their (sorry, “your”) word for ladies’ briefs? Seriously? That’s… I’m sorry, that’s ridiculous. At least every bit as ridiculous as “panties”. “Fringe” sounds weird to me because my dialect just doesn’t use it in that context (more like in the context of rugs or buckskin jackets), but at least it sounds like something an actual adult would say.

    Also – regarding “fillet” – you do realize it is spelled “filet”, and it is in fact not a native English word but rather a French loanword used in a specialized and exclusively culinary sense? “Fillet” (with the double L) means something rather different, being that it’s a carpentry term! People are pronouncing it correctly! And I will honestly take an attempt to pronounce a loanword similarly to the original, over butchery like “kamakazzi” (from the Japanese “kamikaze”, which is pronounced more like ka-mi-ka-zeh for the record). Don’t even get me started on the horrid action-movie-originated mistranslation/mispronunciation “mano-ay-mano, man-to-man”, what is that I don’t even.

    Really, though, that’s simple stuff. Nothing big. Nothing that really irked me. This, though, I take legitimate offense to:

    “If I’m having a bad day, or a good day – make that any kind of day – I do not want people in shops whom I’ve never met to swaddle me with their sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness. In America, actual humans say things like “Ma’am, you have been an awesome customer today,” just because I bought a box of tampons from their store.”

    And you know what retail workers would love to do? Actually react like normal people. BUT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO.

    That “sticky, earnest, exaggerated niceness”? That there is FORCED on us. Retail workers in America – especially in major chains! – have a horrifying rate of “job stress” and depression, in part due to crappy wages, sure, but really because we get crappy wages and then have to fake cheer our way through the day, no matter how we actually feel, and no matter how poorly we’re treated by jerk customers or unpleasant management, etc. Oh, and we have set scripts we have to follow! At my work, I’m literally supposed to react cheerfully and super-helpfully to EVERY customer that comes within my sight… within 5 seconds of spotting them. Literally! “Within 5 seconds”, that is the CORPORATE mandated time-frame. Not just “acknowledge them”, mind – actually go through a whole script of “Hello! How are you doing today? Are you finding everything you need?”, etc…. even if it’s clear they’re just browsing or don’t want to be bothered, even if I’m with another customer, and oh yes, I’m supposed to walk them to whatever they’re looking for (assuming they even are looking for something specific) instead of giving directions or pointing, whether it’s one aisle over or all the way across the store, and with no consideration for whether I’m already in the middle of helping someone else or even if I don’t know where it actually is or if we carry it! With a super-duper-upbeat smile the whole time! :DDDDDD

    And oh, I’m sorry, they aren’t “customers” – they are “guests”! And we’re not “employees”, we’re “team members”! You see what I’m getting at here – normal people don’t talk or act like this. But we’re not expected to behave like “normal people” – we’re a “team” that serves our “guests” slavishly, going above and beyond any reasonable measures, with relentless, perky concern for their well-being! Never mind that we’re working for minimum wage and helping two other people, or that the person in question is looking for something literally a minimum two-minute walk if you’re brisk about it, that we know absolutely nothing about. No, see, you’re supposed to magically and devoutly help every single customer as if they were the Queen, or possibly the Second Coming of Christ, and also, to know everything about everything or damn well find out. Even if nobody in the goddamn store at the moment knows a damn thing about Whozits, you will damn well help that “guest” find herself the perfect Whozit, from halfway across the store, while somehow not abandoning every other “guest” who needs your cheerfully upbeat attention. Oh, and don’t forget to ask about mailers! Do you get our coupons in the mail? Would you like to? Are you sure? Because they’re really good coupons! In the mail! Also, on your phone! Oh you don’t have a smartphone? Well, regular texting phones work too! Also, there are flyers! Here, take one, even though there’s absolutely nothing the coupons will be good on because they always time the sales so the good stuff isn’t eligible! Did I mention you can get our coupons in the mail? COUPONS! :DDDDDD (I’m only slightly exaggerating. We really are supposed to ask EVERY “guest” we’ve harassed, er, “helped”, whether they are on our mailing list or not. It’s obnoxious, but we get chastised if they catch us NOT doing it)

    Seriously, you complain here as if this is something all American shopworkers do unintentionally and without realizing what they’re doing (or possibly, that it’s something they do intentionally to spite you) and that surely, if you point out how annoying it is they will have a Eureka Moment and stop! But they won’t. BECAUSE WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO.

    The moment the cheer drops, either some entitled customer gets a bee in their bonnet about it and complains, or management notices and gets huffy about it. I’m sorry, but if the choice is “fake concern and niceness for bitchy customers” or “lose my job that allows me to pay rent”, I’m obviously going to go with paying rent!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wooden.thomas Wooden Thomas

    1. I don’t say that, nor do I love most British accents.

    2.I really don’t have a problem with the last name for a first name thing. Common names are boring.

    3.I see what you’re saying there.Sometime the wait staff just has to keep moving and lose awareness.

    4.I don’t mind positive energy even if it’s shallow. As long as it’s sincere.

    5.I agree. Humility is knowledge.Dissent is true patriotism.

    6.All creatures are equal , Animals should be treated with dignity, I’m not sure how dignified putting one in a baby carriage is…

    7.I’m a vegetarian now but what I miss the most is the dark turkey “drum stick” or leg. Do you call it a drum stick over there?

    8.Do you mean when we say Elvis Prezley?

    9.We pronounce Fillet the French way. it’s not pretentious. We pronounce Garage the French way too.

    In most regions the word herb, is pronounced with out the h. Do the British not say ‘ead when they mean head? and ‘ello when they mean hello. it’s not pretentious.

    10. I don’t understand what you mean here, are you saying short hair that hangs over the forehead is called Fringes?

  • Spencer

    I’d just like to point out that it’s you Brits who are pretentious in your pronunciation by making every single foreign word common in English conform to English pronunciation, as if English is the best language ever. It’s indicative of that annoying superiority complex you guys have had going since the Victorian Era. Vincent van “Goth?” Really? You know that’s not how he would have pronounced his name, right?

  • Maggie

    Sweetheart, you’re way too young. I learned to say ‘erb’ instead of ‘herb’ in the U.K. as a child. Until you mentioned it I never thought of ‘bangs’, instead of ‘fringe’ as being a sexualized word. I still tend to put in my ‘u”s in words like ‘colour’ and spell ‘theatre’ rather than the American ‘theater’. However, i don’t lift ‘the bonnet’, but the ‘hood’, and don’t open the ‘boot’, but the ‘trunk’. And while ‘hood’ brings up picture of Little Red Riding or the neighborhood gang hanging out, ‘bonnet’ brings up pictures of Little Bo Beep and Miss Muffet.

    As to our heartiness, agreed. As to our patriotism, agreed. On the other hand treating pets like children, well, there are more dangerous eccentricities in which one can indulge.

    And as for tendency to weird and wacky names, agreed.
    Whatever happened to John & Mary?

    Hey Ho, Giles!

  • Katherine Wolfe

    So you guys will really hate the phrase we use when one team has really trounced another – we say they “waxed their fannies.” Ouch!

  • Donna

    Wow, LOL, this is bloody rubbish since Brits have these exact same flaws!

  • Jools

    wow is it me? Or did everyone really take this rant a little to seriously? I’m American but I’ve had the privilege of living in the UK for several years and I can’t help but wonder if if everyone has lost the ability to read “tongue in cheek?” Seriously??!!

  • biffula

    Wow, what a bundle of joy the author is. Now I remember why we ditched British rule.


    We still like you and will be very nice to you–it’s how we were raised. We sincerely don’t care if you put an extra “u” in “humour”, we get it and it’s charming. Don’t hate us because we’re dorks. We didn’t know that “panties, fanny or bangs” meant something naughty :)

  • Taylor

    I’m American, sadly, and I find most of these things annoying as well. Mostly the ‘panties’ bit. I hate that word. That and the word that’s used as a term for women’s privates, and men who seen as weak. i refuse to say it, it’s just gross to me.

  • Brandon

    in other words you could say the letter “u” is “useless” ^_^

  • Tara

    Let me tell you folks the secret to making turkey taste good………FRY IT.

    I mean…that’s the secret to making anything taste good though, right?

  • Jo

    You sure took a long time to say a bunch of nothing. Everyone is different no matter where they are from. Of course when people live in close proximity to one another they will pick up each others traits. This is natural and also follows a desire not to be different. I live in the South for instance but, not all people in the South have the same traditions or values. So many people and cultures have melted into the South that it is rare to find anyone who resembles the “Old True Southerner” as we would call them. The graceousness and sincerity of the South has gone. We all, and this includes those of other nations, have lost our compasion and trust for one another. We are alike in more ways than we are different, in that we have all abandoned our desire to embrace what is good and decent in others for a false tolerance that would force others to accept that which goes against all they believe is right. How someone speaks and the words they are accustomed to using is not important, just interesting. What a person holds dear and valuable is very important. This should not be mocked. This is the greatest tragedy of our time.

  • AmericanMade

    Ruth…I can appreciative your perspective. However, as a born and raised citizen of the United States of America , I can tell you without even a little guile…get over it.

    Your perception of spelling, for instance. It may seem harsh to you to read a Z instead of an S (and for the record I neither know nor care who decided to do it that way or why), but it can be equally distressing to others who see that the incessant use of the letter U serves only make a word longer with no change in pronunciation. In other words, I’ll type a Z, you type an S and between us we’ll both still realize/realise what the other is saying.

    As for your assertions on accents and pronunciation…you will find no less than 20 different ways to say the same thing within our country…so why fight it? This is also true in England. While I can appreciate and do LOVE, LOVE, LOVE every Londoner’s accent, I can barely understand some of the people from Cornwall or Wales or Scotland, especially if they’re hopping mad or have had too much to drink. How do you reconcile your delicate sensibilities on accentuation and pronunciation within your own kingdom if ours bother you this much? Besides, unless you add the accentual flourish, ‘erb’ doesn’t even sound French. So just call it oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, or whatever, and everyone will know what you’re trying to say. You say ‘shed-yool’, I’ll say ‘skej-ool’ and my neighbor Dolly Whittington will say ‘agenda’. Again, we can all figure out what the other is saying without the need to let minor annoyances dig under our skin.

    For the record, I don’t know WHOSE turkey you’ve been eating all these years, but the ones my family makes are not dry or stringy or insipid. If there’s a cuisine we regularly screw up in this country it is the cooking of veal, lamb, duck and goose. Turkey is something we do right in my neck of the woods, so feel free to stop in and have some any time you want juicy fowl. A fair warning though, should you decide to take me up on my offer, you will have to pass under a normal sized flag of my country on your way to the front door. Not twelve…just one. I don’t have them hanging from every tree limb, from the car, or tattooed all over my arms. My residence isn’t trying to double for a courthouse square on Independence Day. But there is ONE and it will wave to you happily on a breezy day.

    For all that I have disagreed with you I DO agree with you on the ridiculous naming trends, the lightning-quick removal of my dinner plate (because I tend to eat fast too), and the over-the-top insanity and prevalence of “pet worshippers” in this country—a side note on this, you only saw dogs in the stroller…wait until you see the dog in a stroller and the little kid crawling BEHIND it…then you’ll really flip. I too hate the words “panties” and “fanny” and have never, ever, EVER had to use either in any conversation in my life, but “bangs” is totally legit and I proudly wear them.

    And while I’m glad you decided to live here, let me say that perhaps it’s New York that’s got you down on Americans. Take a visit to a more normal place and you might enjoy more of what you see and hear. :)

  • Dux

    Like really? I’m like, truly amazed! Like what does Brit mean? OMG this is so, like, funny.