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From how we speak to what we eat, the U.S. is mad about everything British.
1. Our accents
As a Brit living in America, I veer between extreme speaking-related self-consciousness – like when I have to ask for budder instead of butter in a restaurant – and believing, thanks to a steady flow of compliments from American strangers, that I’m a rare and exotic vocalist. Don’t they realise that my generic London drone is duller than Ryvita?
2. Our Royal family
Few Brits actually adore the Windsors, but Americans see things differently. Without blue bloods of their own to treasure, they’ve adopted ours and relish every birth, marriage, death and indiscretion.
3. Our TV shows
U.S. viewers are increasingly hooked on British small-screen fare, from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey. After decades spent ogling the best of U.S. comedy and drama, it’s nice that we have something to give back.
4. Our food
The notion that Brits subsist on over-boiled offal and beef dripping on toast is dying out. These days, most Americans who’ve sampled our grub are happy to admit that, when cooked correctly, fish and chips, bangers and mash and toad in the hole are culinary masterpieces. Admittedly, we still have a PR mountain to climb when it comes to Marmite and pickled onions.
5. Our sense of humor
We all know that Americans don’t understand – or admire – British sarcasm, comic timing and deadpan delivery. Except that they most definitely do. And I have proof. Nearly a year ago, when Fenton the Dog (aka, the accidental Brit-com moment of the decade) went viral in the U.K., several Brit friends bet me that Americans wouldn’t *get* it. So I showed some New Yorkers and almost all of them fell down laughing. So there.
6. Our bad guys
From scolders of caterwauling children (Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan) to cackling movie villains (Ian McKellen, Alan Rickman), America loves to hate English gents with an evil bent.
7. Our music
For a tiny collection of islands, Britain boasts an astonishing musical back-catalog, and no one holds our rock and pop acts in greater esteem than our friends across the pond. Alas, they also love our detritus (cough *One Direction* splutter).
8. Our pessimism
When you hail from a land that relishes cheer, hope and public gushing, it’s easy to understand why British sneering, cynicism and gloom mongering can seem refreshing. Of course, many Americans find our relentless negativity depressing.
9. Our chocolate
Let’s be honest, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is hardly where an ambitious cocoa bean wants to end up, or what a chocolate snob wants to eat. But when you discover that Americans have grown up munching candy that tastes like vomit (Hershey’s Kisses anyone?), it’s easy to understand why a many start drooling at the mere mention of a Fruit and Nut bar.
10. Our swearing
When it comes to verbal filth, my host nation’s population is far more prudish than the British people, and less skilled at blasting out profanities with casual abandon. But I suspect Americans secretly admire our potty mouths and love of anything to do with the toilet.
What do you think Americans like about you — please share!!
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.