10 Signs That You’ll Never Move Back to Britain


You start ordering your beer by the bucket. (Miller’s)

Have you always assumed you’d return to the homeland when the timing was right? Take note: many expats love their new American life so much they decide to stay put. Read on to find out if you’re one of them.

1. Americans are your new best friends
You rarely call the few Brits whose faded names are still on your Rolodex or defunct UK mobile, and the Christmas cards on top of your pile won’t require airmail delivery. That’s because your closest confidants – the people you’d let babysit your kids or bail you out of jail – are the folks you met since moving to the U.S.

2. You married an American
If him or her indoors is a Yank then chances are you’ll be here for as long as the relationship lasts. I’m in an optimistic mood so let’s say that’s forever. You’ll buy an American house, have American kids and invest in an American pet that, decades later, stubbornly refuses to die. For one reason or another, you’ll never find yourself in a position to make that big move back home.

3. You called your child Chuck, Chase or Chad
Should you decide to burden your anchor babies with classically American first names, you’re probably best off staying in the U.S. Move back to Britain and your kids’ new classmates will throw rocks and point.

4. Your same job back home would pay less
Possibly your top reason for moving stateside was to take an American company up of its offer of a great position. If swapping to the equivalent British role means cashing a slimmer check every month then you have very little incentive to repatriate.

5. You’ve started understanding – and enjoying – American football
Oh, the horror! And when you say “football” you no longer mean soccer. You wouldn’t dare mention this to other Brits but you’re starting to think that perhaps rugby players should wear padding.

6. You’re friendly to strangers
You’ll know you’ve morphed into an American when you have the urge to speak to people you’ve never met before. And by this I mean you’ll want to say something pleasant and unprompted, not remind someone to move forward in a queue or meekly request that their child stop kicking the back of your seat.

7. You miss major events back home without even realizing it
Did the FA Cup final pass you by unnoticed? After the last election, did you not even know there’d been one? “That Tony Blair looks younger than I remember him,” you thought, glimpsing David Cameron for the first time.

8. You think in Fahrenheit and cups
If you can’t remember the last time you worried about the weather in Celsius or your weight in stones then, sorry to say, you’re an ex-Brit. Measure yourself a consoling cup of tea.

9. You crave Bud and Miller Lite
Is beer that tastes like insect urine starting to appeal? Do you want your under-sized pint of stout or ale served in a frosted glass? If you answered yes to both of these then I doubt you’ll be taking up residence in your country of origin anytime soon.

10. You speak and spell in American
Has the letter “z” becomes a regular character – rather than occasional interloper – in your scribblings? It’s time to admit that you’re more American than British. If you also say, “I’m good” instead of “I’m very well” then the metamorphosis is complete.

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.
  • Jacqueline O. Moleski

    Tho’ I’m an American and I wouldn’t touch Miller, Bud, or any other American lager with a 10-foot pole. Give me a decent stout or porter any day (if possible, a local or microbrew on tap).

  • Simon

    i may live in America (for now!) but thank god i don’t do any of the above.. apart form liking American football.. proper football will always be played with the feet and rugby players should never wear padding!

  • http://twitter.com/StacksNorthants Rachel Johnston

    However if this is not you, and you want help moving back, get in touch with Stacks Property Search http://www.stacks.co.uk

  • expatmum

    So it’s 50-50 for me then! Wish I could read my tea leaves.

  • http://twitter.com/ddg103 Dara Giannotti

    I’m an American and from the Philly area, they arent generally friendly to random people in the north east and YUCK no Bud or Miller for me thanks!

    • Brittany

      I’m from the Philly area, too. I always wondered why people keep saying Americans are so friendly. I don’t see it.

      • RJ

        Philly ftw! Talking to strangers here will indeed get you some very odd looks at best.

        • coute

          Yup. I was born in Texas and moved between the North (around NY) and South regularly while growing up. People in the South talk to you randomly and pleasantly. It took me a while to get used to it again when I came back.

      • James

        Its cause your in Yankee land. Come down south we are friendlier in the smaller cities which aren’t being made copies of the north.

  • gn

    Yes to 1,2, 4, 6, and partly 10.

    I’m planning to stay in the US with American wife and kids for the foreseeable future. However, I’ve just reset my iPhone weather app to use Celsius (or “Centigrade” as I still think of it) :)

  • Kevin

    Sorry, “I’m good” is a pet peeve because it’s wrong, and I’d like a proper pint. I’m American. Go Man U!

  • Flitzy ✿

    There may be ten reasons to not move back to Britain but there are a hundred (and more) *to* move back! 😀

  • PCDoc54

    # 8 – I moved to the US from England when you were also using Fahrenheit so that’s not a US vs UK thing … you lot all turned European.

    In spite of the length of time I’ve been here I still choose English beers over American, but thankfully I lost the pompous “thank god i don’t do any of the above” attitude some of my former countrymen still cling to. I’m very happy to call America home and have no plans to ever move back across the pond

    • gn

      Many (perhaps most) US vs. UK differences are the result of the the UK changing (often in the “European” direction).

  • $21404289

    11) Your daughter plays football and your son plays netball and rounders.

  • RJ

    Just wanted to point out that Chuck is a nickname for Charles, not a name in itself. At least, I hope no one is putting it on their baby’s birth certificate, or we’re all in bigger trouble than I thought.

    • coute

      Whenever I hear the name Chuck, I always think of “upchuck”.

  • http://twitter.com/TheWanderer22 Emily Nemchick

    Oh no. I have morphed into an American!

  • Macsen191

    I am an American and I don’t care for some of our beer that much either… I like Guinness, Redd’s Apple Ale, and
    Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss

  • Joel Tankel

    As a Brit in NYC for 14 years.
    1. Yes but FB keeps me in touch with old mates.
    2. Twice
    3. You must be joking.
    4. Probably
    5. See 3
    6. Only the decent ones.
    7. Cable TV and the internet, I phones etc – and a world view, doesn’t let me forget
    8. Not an issue to worry about
    9.See 3 & 5
    10. Only when talking to Americans who have trouble understanding.

    I also have British family here, and we travel back abit, so I have to keep up The British Bit

    The only thing American about me is my passport.

  • colinmeister

    No. 2 is my reason. If “Her indoors” would move to the UK I’d leave America tomorrow and never return. I’d never consider taking U.S.Citizenship, and insist on using British English spelling all the time.