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What British People Say vs. What They Really Mean

This translation chart made me laugh out loud…

My dad is English, and when we were in high school, my sister asked him if she could drive into Detroit with her boyfriend to see a band. He said, “I’d rather you not.” She went anyway. When he got mad later, she was confused: “But you never said I couldn’t go; you said you’d rather I not, while I decided I’d rather.”

P.S. British words that Americans use, and what English sounds like to foreigners.

(Via Today I Learned)

  1. Im studying english at the moment. And i can see the many differents form of diferents countrys in them english. It is fascinating.

  2. I’m English and I can say this is pretty much spot on. I say this and mean the other all the time without thinking about it

  3. Hi I am SUE PREEDY from London I got a love spell done on my fiance actually he left me after one year of engagement I was shocked when he told me he does not love me any more he is going to marry with another girl it was very difficult to believe because we were in love from last 5 years he was the guy who never thought to live without me for a second he used to give thousands of phone calls in a day and he was saying to me he does not love me any more, it was a worse news for my family because I gave a very good treat to my friends and raletive on my engagement and we put engagement ring to each other in front of hundreds of people now if he didn’t marry me so it was shame for me in my society so I decided that I will get him back any how, than I found Dr.Trust on Internet I told him my problem he told me not to worry I will fetch him back to you he said that he will come himself and will beg me.he gave me 48 hours time and of course it happened before 48 hours he come back to me and said he is sorry for what he did to me,that he is ready to marry me. we get married and we are happy now as husband and wife. really Dr.Trust is a Miracle Man. contact him for your own help ultimatespellcast@gmail.com or ultimatespellcast@yahoo.com call me +2348156885231

  4. That’s hilarious, I’m English and I can categorically say this is spot on!

  5. Being British, I find myself saying these phrases on occasion, now you will all know what i truly mean… Will this help or hinder me…hmmmm!

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    . Are you passing through any of these problems,

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    DO YOU WANT TO COME OUT FIRST IN YOUR EXAMS

    ARE YOU A STAR AND YOU WANT TO BE SO POPULAR TO THE WHOLE WORLD

    DO YOU WANT TO BE RICH

    DO YOU WANT YOUR BUSINESS TO KEEP MOVING

    DO YOU HAVE A COMPANY OF ANY KIND AND YOU WANT IT TO EXPAND

    DO YOU WANT YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE TO KEEP TO YOUR WORLD

    ARE YOU FACING ANY MARITAL PROBLEMS

    ARE YOU FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO GET PREGNANT FOR YOUR HUSBAND

    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING MISCARRIAGES ANY TIME YOU TAKE IN

    DO YOU WANT TO COMPETE IN ANY LOTTERY GAME

    ARE YOU FACING HARDSHIP

    HAVE YOU BEEN THREATENED BY SOMEONE

    DO YOU WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN ANY THING YOU LAY YOUR HANDS ON

    IS YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER BEHAVING STRANGELY

    ARE YOU FACING WITCH CRAFT MANIPULATIONS

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    DO YOU HAVE ANY RELATION THAT IS ABNORMAL

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    DO YOU WANT YOUR PARENTS TO BE PROUD OF YOU

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    ARE YOU EXPERIENCING FAILURE AND DISAPPOINTMENT IN ANY THING YOU DO.(ETC)

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  8. Hello, My Name is Helen Moore, I wish to share my testimonies with the general public about what this man called DR UDAME, did for me, this man has just brought back my lost family to me, i was married to a man called Lionel Moore we were together for 3yrs and we loved each other i was unable to give him a
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    believe this when i contacted this man and tell him my problems he prepared this
    spell and bring my lost husband back and after a month i miss my period
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  9. With so much joy in my heart i am so happy that my lover is back to me through the help of Priest omigodo, Who was able to bring back my lost lover within the period of 48hours. So i kindly advise those that are in need of help to get there lover to contact Priest omigodo on +2348079367204 or reach him on omigodoshrine@gmail.com, To enable them get there lover back within 48hours. Thanks

    SIMONS
    FROM
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  10. My name is Emma from USA. My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would ever break up. After his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to his family for a few weeks to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. I later found out that he reconnected with his ex girlfriend back home, I initially had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from his family’s home. He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him and her together and that really hurt my feelings. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad and lonely. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted Dr.Sanu for a love spell and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of Dr. Sanu contact him through his email: dr.sanuspiritualtemple@gmail.com

  11. I just want to move to England already. US has been nice for… 10 years. but I’m ready for something new :)

    Arianne

    • US English is through all over the world, but British is not bad, here have some change. Not more am i Right -Miller @ Arianne. From London

  12. dr. marnish solved my relationship problem 3 days ago , i sent him some gift of appreciation for the Commitment love Spell he did for me, he made my lover to love me again. and to be committed to me again, i am very very much happy. dr.marnish brought me happiness, email dr.marnish@yahoo.com or call him +15036626930 he will turn your broken relationship around
    Rebecca Kemaya

  13. BEWARE! THESE PEOPLE ARE BIG SCAMS BUT MALAIKA IS REAL
    Dr Malaika doesn’t ask for testimonies and he doesn’t charge. He is genuine and people get to meet him by luck. But right now am your luck if you could meet him. Every other testimonies you read here are scams…… Dr Malaika lives in Nigeria and I happened to meet him by chance after a friend told me about him. I followed these internet testimonies and was hugely scammed to the extent that I wanted to kill myself. Dr Malaika turned my situation around by bringing back my ex and made me regain double of what I lost over to these scams. He made my ex come crawling to have him back. All I spent was $250 and at last gained back all my lost money and even double of it. His email address is odogwumalaika@gmail.com but please don’t make him know that I published him on net. He is just wonderful and I wish whoever that finds him good luck. Don’t forget his email address is odogwumalaika@gmail.com

  14. My name is Francisca i am very happy today for what Doctor jatto has done in my life by helping me get my ex back with his spell and after 2 years of living without him. if you need help to help you locate ex back or are you in financial crisis then contact Doctor jatto for help via email drjattosplltemple@gmail.com

  15. My dad showed me this list a few weeks ago in a book he had. We both agreed this is true for Americans too, at least that’s what we think! We’re Europeans ;)

  16. Hello i am Wylin Jensen,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to Dr momodo the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr momodo about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr momodo at the following email address: momodospelltemple@gmail.com and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: momodospelltemple@gmail.com /and get your problems solve like me.

  17. My name is Andrea Ramsay from USA My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to Philippine for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from Philippine.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted Dr.Agu for a love spell and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of Dr. Agu contact him through his email: agulovespell@hotmail.com

  18. My name is Andrea Ramsay from USA My boyfriend and I were happy as far as I could tell and I never thought that we would break up. When his cousin died in a tragic car accident he went back to Philippine for a week to be with his family. I could not go because I was in the middle of entertaining out of town clients for work. He did not seem to be upset that I could not go so I let him be. The next thing that I know, he reconnected with an old friend from high school that he had a crush on years ago and they started to have an affair! I had no clue what was going on until a month after he came back from Philippine.He proceeded to see both her and I until I caught him testing her one night. I confronted him and he told me the truth about what happened. We broke up and went our separate ways. Neither of us fought for our relationship. I was angry and decided not to be upset about it and just keep it moving. Then after about a month of not speaking to him I became sad. I wanted him to tell me that he wanted to be with me and not her. I contacted Dr.Agu for a love spell and he totally helped me! he was able to get him to miss me to where he wanted to get back together again. He had a lot of regrets and felt bad for not fighting to keep me and for cheating in general. He values our relationship so much more now and we are together now! You can also get your lover back with the help of Dr. Agu contact him through his email: agulovespell@hotmail.com

  19. Getting my Ex back was something that i couldn’t imagine will be so easy. I’ve known speck for years, When we finally got together,things were so weird so we broke up in February 2011.In June 2012, he and I recently got back together and we were together until march of 2013 of which he told me he was not interested in the relationship again, for a reason she didn’t say. During that time my mind was completely at a state of unrest, I wasn’t eating, neither was i sleeping,talking to anyone was even more difficult, I cried,I was so depressed and stressed out that I was scared and was even planning to end it all but a friend of mine named Lucas Scott who passed through same situation adviced me to contact Dr.okakagbe to help me.because I Love and care about him deeply and I just want us to be together again, i contacted him reluctantly. I never used to believe in spell casting but i gave it a try and it was a positive result. Today we are happily married and blessed with two wonderful kids. To you all out there faced with the same problem or similar to this, you can contact Dr.Okakagbe via email address Obalaspelltemple@gmail.com once again thank you Dr. for bringing back my love. call +2348156885231

  20. Getting my Ex back was something that i couldn’t imagine will be so easy. I’ve known speck for years, When we finally got together,things were so weird so we broke up in February 2011.In June 2012, he and I recently got back together and we were together until march of 2013 of which he told me he was not interested in the relationship again, for a reason she didn’t say. During that time my mind was completely at a state of unrest, I wasn’t eating, neither was i sleeping,talking to anyone was even more difficult, I cried,I was so depressed and stressed out that I was scared and was even planning to end it all but a friend of mine named Lucas Scott who passed through same situation adviced me to contact Dr.okakagbe to help me.because I Love and care about him deeply and I just want us to be together again, i contacted him reluctantly. I never used to believe in spell casting but i gave it a try and it was a positive result. Today we are happily married and blessed with two wonderful kids. To you all out there faced with the same problem or similar to this, you can contact Dr.Okakagbe via email address Obalaspelltemple@gmail.com once again thank you Dr. for bringing back my love. call +2348156885231

  21. Am happy from USA i want to share my great experience to the whole world about how i got my lover back to my arms after we departed for 4 years i never taught that i could have him back in my life until i met this great man named Dr jaja who showed me true powers of spell, Me and Larry Broke up 4 years ago ever since i have not been my self although i have been in several relationship i have not seen who is as good as Larry, so ever since i have been thinking about him, so i had to tell my friend about how i feel for Larry that i wish if i can have him back to my arms, so that was when my friend told me that she was reading a love review the other day when she saw how somebody commented on how she got her lover back with the help of a man named dr
    jaja . So that was how i told her to show me the site were she read the reviews so that was how she showed me and i saw so many reviews about this great man how he helped a lot of people even the sick, without wasting anytime immediately i collected his contact and called him and told him what i want, he just laughed over it and told me not to worry that he will come back to me, so that was how i waited to see what will happen, so surprisingly i got a call from Larry. i was like this is a dream, but later realized that it was reality, Larry was crying and pleading on the phone that he missed me a lot that i should come back to his life, i was like is this real? until he came to my house and went on his knees pleading to me that i should forgive him, so that was how we got united again with the help of great
    jaja, and now we are happily married, thanks be onto dr jaja for what he has done for me, if you need his help you can contact him through pekokospelltemple@gmail.com

  22. i appreciate prophet jakula for the Miraculous things he has done for me after 1 year of a loveable relationship a lady came in between us she took away the Joy Martins and i had i cried just to make sure i bring that love between we both but Thanks to prophet jakula for coming into the picture to sort everything out i came to know about Dr Lawrence when i was listen to a program in the Radio name HOW I GOT BACK MY EX,That was how i knew that prophet jakula is really a wonderful man prophet jakula brought the love and affection i and Martins lacked am so happy that my baby Martins has become the kind of man i knew him to be with the help of prophet jakula you can contact prophet jakula on prophetjakula@gmail.com

  23. i appreciate prophet jakula for the Miraculous things he has done for me after 1 year of a loveable relationship a lady came in between us she took away the Joy Martins and i had i cried just to make sure i bring that love between we both but Thanks to prophet jakula for coming into the picture to sort everything out i came to know about Dr Lawrence when i was listen to a program in the Radio name HOW I GOT BACK MY EX,That was how i knew that prophet jakula is really a wonderful man prophet jakula brought the love and affection i and Martins lacked am so happy that my baby Martins has become the kind of man i knew him to be with the help of prophet jakula you can contact prophet jakula on prophetjakula@gmail.com

  24. Hello i am CICILIA caparas ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how i got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month,But when i meet a friend that introduce me to Dr ODUBU the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr ODUBU about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact Dr ODUBU at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: {odubuspiritualtempledr@yahoo.com} and get your problems solve like me.

  25. For the past 3 years now I have been looking for good spell to bring back my love and success my business and it has been a hard time for me finding the right place until I get in contact with Dr Shiva who gave me powerful prayer that I use to bring my love and business back on track, Now I am happy with my family once again. Please if any body needs LOVE OR MONEY SPELL, healing spell, pregnancy spell please contact Email: Dr Shiva at hinduspelltemple@yahoo.com as he is the best u can think of.

  26. For the past 3 years now I have been looking for good spell to bring back my love and success my business and it has been a hard time for me finding the right place until I get in contact with Dr Shiva who gave me powerful prayer that I use to bring my love and business back on track, Now I am happy with my family once again. Please if any body needs LOVE OR MONEY SPELL, healing spell, pregnancy spell please contact Email: Dr Shiva at hinduspelltemple@yahoo.com as he is the best u can think of.

  27. I really want to thank Dr Ero for saving my marriage. My husband really treat me bad and left the home for almost 1 month i was sick because of this, then i contacted eromosalelovespell@outlook.com for help, they told me that my husband is under a great spell of another woman. They cast a spell of return back of love on him. And he came back home for forgiveness and today we are happy again, i want you all who are having relationship, ex and even husband problem to contact eromosalelovespell@outlook.com

  28. I’m Dilara Casby. My husband left me for no reason on 24th of June 2011. He moved in with another woman, I felt like killing myself. i went to see a Prophet, He gave me anointed water and told me how to apply it, i did as He told me, last night i got a call from my husband begging me. Thank you Prophet Crunkawi, I will forever be grateful to you. You can reach him on his email: matsoncrunkawi1965@yahoo.com

    He can solve any problem you are facing now. Try him today and thank me later.

    Prophet Crunkawi contacts:

    Name: Prphet Crunkawi
    Email: matsoncrunkawi1965@yahoo.com
    Mobile: +2348153855525

    Contact him now.

  29. So my first reaction reading this was “who are these other people?” and “doesn’t EVERYONE speak that way”. I grew up speaking British/Nigerian English then moved to the US and everything got mixed up.

    Sometimes I believe I am pretty Americanised and then a list like this pops up and tells me the British influence is still quite present :)

  30. Thanks for making my family happy again, my father came back home and he can even take us out, something he never think of before! i wonder Dr egbenakhue are you god or what? amazing you make things happen! i will .Thank you very much. from Holland if you need his help contact email address Dregbenakhuespelltemple@gmail.com

  31. I thought this was quite funny & shared it w/ a dear friend whose husband is British thinking she’d enjoy the humor. However, I was wrong. She deleted it & said that his family would be quite offended. I guess when you think you know someone, you really don’t. I’m still shocked that anyone wouldn’t laugh at this. I get made fun of for my southern slang & just have to laugh back.

  32. This made me smile. I have heard “with the greatest respect” used a couple of times by British friends. The translation is spot on.

  33. Hahaha each on of these is spot on. It makes perfect sense to us.

    Would say it’s more English than British though.

  34. I must say, I am from South Africa, and I understood what was being said as per the yellow column! :)
    I had a similar incident a few years ago with a friend from Ohio, where she said: ‘I don’t mind much for Cream Soda [cooldrink].’ So I thought, OK, let’s get some, she doesn’t mind it, meaning she doesn’t care.
    So she was quite surprised when she saw that I bought it, and I was confused as to why she was surprised! I quickly learned that we meant & understood differently.
    I just love the British!

  35. love this – very true! although i dont think we’d invite anyone to our homes if we didnt mean it – more of “oh we must catch up soon” (with no specified time or place haha!)

  36. Ha ha ha brilliant! Is it weird that it makes me miss living in London?

  37. I’m British and it all made perfect sense to me!

    I had a similar situation when visiting my family in Ireland. Every time I was offered more to eat or drink, I would reply with “I’m alright thanks, nothing for me, I’m okay thank you, etc, etc”, which in Irish means “please give me more food and drink, I’m dying of thirst and hunger here.” My sister ended up drinking neat vodka at mid afternoon!

  38. As a Brit I can say honestly this is all true- this is why we are sometimes baffled!

  39. very funny! i love it :)

  40. This is really quite good! When I first saw the title I thought it was going to be the usual American-view-of-British nonsense but it’s pretty much bang on!

  41. Really? I’m Australian and surprised to hear that. :-)

  42. This is actually how Australians speak, especially Australian lawyers. Very funny.

  43. my dad’s english, too, and it makes for some hilarious conversations sometimes…especially ones where he means the opposite of what he says. :)

  44. Haha! So true! :)
    rajibydesign.wordpress.com

  45. BIG swoon. Can’t get beyond that photo. I’m sure the chart is hilarious. Nope, tried again and I simply can’t process words at this moment. Jo, if you want people to read your blog, you cannot do that again ;) Good luck with your delivery!

  46. This made me laugh, so funny! I’m british and my brother is currently working in NYC as a designer – he’s always telling me how they don’t seem to get him at work, I can just imagine everyone looking confused when he talks in meetings!

  47. I’m a brit and that’s really not bad ;-)

  48. This is going to make me really insecure around British people…

  49. Haha. I’m from England, and this is pretty spot on ;)

  50. CC says...

    These are hilarious! I told my boyfriend about it and he said he thinks they should make a girlfriend version of it. Haha!

    candidcerebrations.blogspot.com

  51. I moved to the UK from the US six months ago. Now I’ll be raising my brow questioningly every time someone uses a line like these! :D

  52. Some of those are so true– I do them!

    Love that story about your sister :)

  53. This is so accurate (for Irish people too)

  54. Haha I am British and this made me laugh out loud! It’s absolutely fabulous darling!
    X

  55. As an Australian I find it rather arrogant to have a title “What others understand”. For me it meant I am lumped into that column whilst share the same understanding as the British column. Very confusing. Rewrite it all now. *insert smiley face as I absolutely do not expect this article to be rewritten*.

  56. I’m Scottish and agree this is spot on. We also tend to use ‘quite’ as a way of saying it’s OK but I wouldn’t do that, wear that etc. It basically means it’s OK for someone else but not amazing. :) It’s a kindness thing on the whole.

    I noticed somewhere back there was British/Scottish. Scottish are British lol

    Hugs,
    Elyse X
    http://www.sweetelyseblog.com

  57. Hilarious! Classic cultural miscommunication. Always great! Reminds me of some of the Danish humor that is hard to understand as an American.

  58. Laughed out loud at the punchline to the story about your sister!

  59. While touring Cambridge on a college trip to the UK, I answered a tour guide’s question correctly and she responded, “Well, you’re not dumb, are you?”

    I was so flattered.

  60. Eh, maybe it’s because I’m from Maine and have also lived in Canada (in addition to other New England locations) but these do not seem particularly “British” to me. They seem pretty much like typical reserved/polite words.

  61. My husband is English and in my experience once they get comfortable they will move from the first column to the third, then you have to translate it back to the polite version for yourself!

  62. My dad is English, too.
    I’m actually sitting in Bristol, England reading this (and consequently thinking over all my conversations today).
    Very amusing.

    -Kirsten
    mylifetintedpink.blogspot.com

  63. I have to admit I use all of those phrases (and I’m English) but I honestly didn’t realise how indirect we are. We are a nation of people who don’t want to offend anyone!

    Your poor Dad!

  64. Funny! Though I think “very interesting” is Southern too, or at least it is in my family. One step away from “bless her heart.”

  65. hahah quite interesting! and funny

  66. I must be English. Clearly I assume everyone else is.

  67. So true! Australians are similar. I heard a comedian say once that Australian and British have a habit of saying what they AREN’T rather than what they are, for example;
    American – ‘How are you?’
    Aussie – ‘Not bad’

    American – ‘Is it far to travel?’
    Aussie – ‘Not far’

  68. I’m afraid the meaning of ‘with the greatest respect’ is nowhere near strong enough! – A Brit.

  69. That’s hilarious! We have several English clients and I have to say, this type of feedback is the norm. I actually prefer it sometimes because it’s “softer”, but yeah, you have to learn to read between the lines.

  70. I’m a Brit who lived in Texas for a while. I think this list is mostly true apart from the ‘come to dinner’ one. Texans said this to us all the time and then the dinner never materialized! I don’t think English people do this – we would just say ‘it was nice to meet you’ – even if it hadn’t been nice!;)

  71. Oh, golly, I say these all the time. I’m from New Zealand but have lived in San Francisco for the past several years. The translations are accurate because that’s what I really mean ;-) but had no idea it was peculiarly British. Super interesting! (which btw is NOT the same as “very interesting” which is said in a certain tone of voice..)

  72. Ha, ha! Excellent! People always misunderstand our use of ‘sorry’. They think we’re being all apologetic when actually we’re saying, GET OUT OF MY WAY NOW!! Tee hee! x

  73. This was great! Having traveled to the UK several times and having very close friends who are British this was hilarious to me. Thanks for the giggle!

  74. I’m from Yorkshire and found the American interpretation of these phrases genuinely interesting! My dad’s way of describing good looking women is ‘not ugly.’ E.g. ‘Is she pretty?’ ‘Well, she’s not ugly.’

  75. HAHA ! love this ! some of our best friends are british and it definitely too me a bit to get used to their turn of phrase.

  76. LooooooL
    So if you are a brit in Greece you’d be spot on also!
    Very interesting!

  77. YES! I live in London and when my British friends asked me what do I think of something and I said, “I think that sounds good..” or “That could do” they got worried.

  78. Ah,that accent. It makes everything sound so agreeable! (I will print this out and tuck it in my pocket for future accurate communication reference!)

  79. Haha. Brilliant. I am British and very proud to be so for reasons such as this x

  80. There needs to be a separate chart for “quite” as well (married to a Brit, here). Because it’s all in where the emphasis is. “Quite” can be an understated compliment too, if the emphasis is on the other word.

    “That was quite good” where the emphasis is on “GOOD” means, “That was really enjoyable and I’d definitely do/eat that again.”

    If you are not following Very British Problems – https://twitter.com/SoVeryBritish – there are some of the most hilarious and true British conundrums on here.

    He uses “quite” a lot and I’ve found myself doing it too, now. It’s probably the one thing I’ve really picked up from him the most. People always expect it’s going to be other words like “bollocks” but my husband speaks in a very educated, upper-class way and there’s no bollocks to be had. ;)

    My favorite one is, when we’re having a debate about something, and he concedes my point, he’ll say “hmmm….maybe.” That translates to, “Okay, I see your point, and I can’t argue with that.” If I get a maybe I know I’ve won. ;D

    • Not sure how that post got out of order…oh well.

  81. I love this list! I agree with Idle Wife, Canadianisms are a bit like this too. I never realized how passive-aggressive they (and we) are.

  82. 100% true!! :) xo

    iamlaurenpotts.blogspot.co.uk

  83. You can apply this to Canadians, too. And we may say sorry a lot but it doesn’t always mean sorry, if you catch my drift.

  84. Love the story about your dad. Mine wasn’t british but learned english among the brits so in many ways was very much like them, and he often expressed what looked to me like mild disapproval over things that most parents would flip out about. It always cracked me up. I get the warm fuzzies just thinking about it.

    http://www.nomadicd.com

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  86. Oh my! I am French but am guilty of a lot of these. Is it really true though that if you tell someone: ‘ it’s not bad’ that it is not obvious to others that it means you actually like it? I use that all the time. I realized( not too long ago) that ‘ it’s Okay'( which to me means it’s good) is seen as more negative by others. Also I use the’ that’s interesting’ when I am scratching my head to figure out how could a person come up with such gibberish. It is astonishing hence the ‘intersting’ trying to figure out the thought process.

    • I think it really depends on where you are! I’m not french, but i’ve lived in France for about 5 years, and i learnt there that “c’est pas mal” is a compliment. Now i live in Germany, and when i use the german equivalent (nicht schlecht), people tend to get offended – apparently, that means “it’s barely acceptable” (!!!). Go figure!

      http://www.thereallifeproject.com

    • Yes, I’ve noticed Europeans use OK completely differently than Americans–they think it’s a positive term. In U.S. English it means “Mediocre; just good enough.” And “That’s OK” as a responsive to an invitation means “No.”

  87. hahaha!!! my boyfriend is british and this chart would have been quite handy when we first started going out – his biggest compliment was: “you look quite nice today”, which i found very perplexing. I kept thinking – well, if you don’t think i look great, why say anything at all? It took me some time to understand what it actually meant. Oh these brits. You gotta love them (i know i do :-) )

    http://www.thereallifeproject.com

    • Really? You mean saying’ you look quite nice’ is not an obvious compliment. Again:’ Oh my!’ how many people have offended here?! Oops.

    • haha valérie i don’t know, maybe it’s just not a very obvious compliment to me – i’m greek and i was used to much more enthusiastic compliments from mediterranean men :-) But now i’ve learnt to appreciate that, when it comes to compliments, less is more…

  88. Haha, a lot of these could probably apply to Americans, too.. I know I do the “by the way” thing. :)

    • Yeah, I think some of these phrases would really apply to non-assertive and shy people from America. Overtime, I just learn how to be direct. XD

  89. My mom is British and I only have started to realize that I use terms or have sayings that others don’t quite understand. For example, ‘bob’s your uncle’ and ‘daft’.

    DASH OF KATE

    • and fanny’s your aunt! That bit gets left off a lot though.

  90. I love the British/Scottish. They could say anything and I’d be completely mesmerized.

    • I know exactly what you mean. It’s like the men become 10x sexier with that accent! :)
      rajibydesign.wordpress.com

  91. This made me laugh! I’m a Brit living in the US, my husband is American. We’ve been married nearly 7 years and he still consistently misunderstands me!

  92. Hilarious! I originally saw this for grad students and what their professors say/really mean. I’m doing a PhD in England, so I’m double confused with all the british academic’s indirectness.

  93. Married to a Brit and our opposing uses of the word “quite” is a regular point of confusion. This chart is spot on.

  94. Oh my goodness Joanna, as an American that has called England home for over 12 years – THESE TRANSLATIONS ARE SO TRUE! This gave me a good laugh too. My husband is English & despite having been together for ages, we still find funny differences in the way we say things. Thanks for sharing!

  95. Ha! I know all about this. My dad is Persian and Persians are not direct at all so you never know what they really want. We have so many misunderstandings because my sisters and I were raised in America and we´re used to people being straight forward. So now instead of asking him if he´d like something we just make it a command instead. Not ¨Dad, do you want us to come over?¨, it´s ¨Dad we´re coming over.¨

  96. Haha, my aunt and cousins are English and live in Essex and aside from some of the Cockney rhyming slang (THAT deserves its own chart) I can’t get past the use of “quite” and “well.” “He’s well fit.”

  97. HE IS SO DREAMY! And I cannot wait for the next Bridget Jones.

    • OMG! Is there going to be another one??
      rajibydesign.wordpress.com

  98. Made me crack up! I’ve lived in England for 13 years now (American originally) and while I have certainly changed how I speak and write, people still sometimes misunderstand me and I sometimes misunderstand them. That chart is absolutely spot on! I’ve found myself saying some of those phrases in the past and meaning them in the English way….oh dear!

  99. Soooo True! Thanks for the laugh!

  100. Haha I just love it! :) Unfortunately I’m not British (and American too, haha), but I know many languages can be really funny and give us lots of laugh. ;D
    http://35mmodreams.blogspot.com

  101. I grew up in New England, and I don’t know how normal it is, but I am apparently also British because that’s how I use those phrases too. Needless to say, half the time it’s a complete disaster when I try to communicate – particularly with my employees!

    • I run into this a bit as well. I didn’t grow up in New England, but I am from a family that was in a very rural area for many generations (after immigrating from England, Wales, and Ireland). Many of us in the first and second generations out of that area have always used words and phrases deemed British.

  102. Ha! My dad is English too, and this is spot on! ;) Proper and inoffensive almost to a fault. But that’s all part of the charm? Can be a tricky code to crack, for sure. You would love the book Watching the English, by Kate Fox– it’s a sociological study that decodes a lot of the cultural and class nuances in ol’ Blighty. A fun read (and was actually helpful when I lived there for a year!) https://www.google.com/search?q=watching+the+english&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

    That story about your sister is too funny!

    • As a Brit, this book sounds really fascinating! I’ve just added it to my to-read list! :)

      Janey

    • I recently read that book (a goft from my english boyfriend) – it’s funny, and soooo spot-on. My favourite part: the obligatory awkwardness in all social interactions. It’s funny, coz it’s true. :-)

      http://www.thereallifeproject.com

    • ‘Watching the English’ is amazing! I am English and laughed all the way through it. I also laughed at this post; it is so true and I can hear myself saying almost all of them haha xx

    • ‘The Anglo Files’ by Sarah Lyall is great as well — helped guide me through the two years I lived and worked there recently … especially the balance between the over-politeness and obsession with talking about one’s ‘naughty bits’ and Page Six girls.

    • The book sounds fascinating. I’m in love with everything British–as a kid, I used to believe I was born to brit parents and secretly adopted! haha..
      rajibydesign.wordpress.com

    • I’ve just moved back to London from New York & spent the last 5 years there trying to understand the yanks….now I find I don’t even understand my native Brits so am definitely going to take a peek at this book – loved the translation chart too obvs!

  103. I’m sure this is hilarious, but I’ve temporarily lost my ability to read after seeing that picture of Colin Firth’s grin.

    • He’s got the same affect on me!

    • Ditto!

    • Oh! Were there words in this article, too? I must have missed them :)

    • Hahaha! So glad I’m not the only one suffering from Firth-related illiteracy!

    • Lol. Same here. He’s so gorgeous!

    • Ha! A la British – my sentiments exactly :)

  104. I love that…and your sister’s story… Although being lost in translation can be a great excuse!!