As with every country there are a lot of stereotypes and things that people believe are true that are simply not. Because British actors often feature on huge movies and many TV shows are exported around the world the UK perhaps suffers this problem more than some other countries. Here are just 3 things you may have heard about British people and the UK that are just not true.
Every British Person Loves the Royal Family
This is simply not true. Whilst many Brits (1) are proud of the royal family and some do have pictures up in their homes the majority of British people are really not that interested. The royal family, for a large number of British people is a rather old fashioned and expensive thing that they feel should be made smaller or given less money. For many others it is something that is a tradition but not something they love. It is quite common for people from other countries to ask if a British person has actually met the Queen. Very few people in the UK actually get to meet or see the Queen and a large number would not really want too. The Brits do not all have large pictures of the Queen in their homes and do not all follow the news about them. In fact, people in the USA are often more interested in the royal family than British people.
British People all Wear Hats
Sadly, this is not true at all. The traditional image of a business man wearing a hat to work on the underground or a lady dressing like the Queen in a hat is very old fashioned (2) and really stopped around the 1960s. Whilst many people wear baseball caps and woolly hats in the cold this is nothing you would not see in many other countries.
It Rains All the Time
This is a very common idea that it rains almost every day in the UK and the weather is very bad. It is simply not true. However, the West Coast of Scotland does get the most rain per year for any country in Europe that is just a small part of the UK. Southern England often has droughts (3) in the summer and gets far less rainfall than places like Norway or the Alps. Perhaps it is the fact that Brits talk about the weather all the time and like to moan (4) about the rain that gives other countries this idea.
Knowing these stereotypes and ideas are not true will help you if you are learning English to work or study in the UK. It is important to understand the people of the UK if you are hoping to interact with them. If you would like to learn English or improve your existing skills then join Perfectly Spoken and take one of our online English courses.
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- Brit: informal way for British.
- Old fashioned: opposite to modern, not contemporary.
- A drought is long period of little or no rain
- To moan: to complain (often about something that isn’t important)