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  • Hello everyone. And welcome back to English with Lucy. Today, I'm going to talk to you

  • about 20 British quirks, lovely word, meaning peculiar aspects in someone's behaviour or

  • character. Essentially, I'm going to talk to you about some weird things that British

  • people tend to do. Huge generalisations are going to be made here. I would love for you

  • to let me know in the comments section where you are from, and if you relate to any of

  • these, or if it is the exact opposite where you are from. Before we get started, I would

  • like to thank the sponsor of today's video, myself. I have sponsored my own video. It's

  • not really a sponsor. I just want to let you know that I have launched my new website.

  • It is englishwithlucy.co.uk. I don't know how I came up with that domain. I am extremely

  • excited about this.

  • It's something that I've been working on for a long time. I've been a busy girl and I have

  • created an interactive pronunciation chart for you using my own voice. So you can go

  • on the website, englishwithlucy.co.uk, click on any phoneme and hear me pronounce it, and

  • also I pronounce a word containing that phoneme. You can have lots of fun making me repeatedly

  • say funny, sounding phonemes over and over again. Like, ah, ah, ah, ah, or you could

  • get a rhythm going with cha, cha, cha, cha. Okay. I'm going to stop, but I'm really proud

  • of it. You can also find the PDF which contains the transcript of this lesson with important

  • vocabulary. This is a great listening practise. I've also added subtitles to this video that

  • you can use. That's all there on the website as well. So click on the link or just go to

  • englishwithlucy.co.uk.

  • Okay. Now I've launched my website to all of you. Let's get started with the 20 weird

  • things that British people tend to do. Okay. So the first one is that we put carpet in

  • our bathrooms. Not everyone does this, but I am currently living in a house that has

  • a carpeted bathroom. And I will let you know that yes, we have had an overflow situation

  • with that toilet and in a carpeted bathroom, it wasn't pretty. So this is quite an old

  • fashioned thing to do. We don't tend to do this anymore, but if you go to a house that

  • hasn't been renovated or updated in a long while, or you go to the home of somebody who

  • is very traditional then yes, you might find carpet in your bathroom. We've got it here.

  • It wasn't my choice, but it's here. My grandparents have got carpeted bathrooms as well.

  • Number two is, "Waaay"? Okay. And this is something that we shout in a very, very specific

  • situation, which is this. When somebody smashes a glass in a pub, the whole pub should shout,

  • "Waaay." Sorry. I had to rerecord that. That was so loud. Now I worked as a waitress for

  • three years. I dropped a fair few glasses. We had to carry these drinks on tiny round

  • trays that you had to balance. I couldn't do that. So I've had my fair share of, "Waaays"

  • in my lifetime. Now my mother's best friend forgot where she was once. And she did the,

  • "Waaay" in Portugal. A restaurant in Portugal, some poor, poor waiter dropped a load of glasses.

  • They smashed everywhere and there was just my mom's best friend there on her own shouting,

  • "Waaay." The next one is number three, which is excitement over fireworks on Bonfire Night.

  • So on the 5th of November, all around the UK, we have bonfires. We let off fireworks

  • and we do this because it's the anniversary, the 5th of November of a failed attempt to

  • blow up to explode the Houses of Parliament. On this event we burn guys. And these are

  • dummy men used to represent the man who was going to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

  • He was called Guy Fawkes. So sometimes we call it Guy Fawkes Night as well. Now on this

  • night or on the evenings surrounding this night, depending when it falls, if it falls

  • on a Monday, then you might have it on the Saturday before, for example, people who have,

  • no experience or business dealing with explosives, get incredibly excited. They go to firework

  • shops, they do them in their garden, and it's just really dangerous. My dad always really

  • enjoyed setting up the fireworks and setting them off in a neighbor's garden.

  • And my mother was always absolutely petrified. She was so scared he was going to get hurt

  • and rightly so. And one day they played this terrible prank on my mother and all of the

  • other worried wives, they let off a load of fireworks and then they came screaming covered

  • with soot, with black ashes all over their face as if they had had the explosion in their

  • face. And the women went crazy and they were not best pleased to find out it was all a

  • joke. Number four, we think that a cup of tea will cure or help at least any bad situation.

  • And a lot of us genuinely believe this. When something bad happens, our first response

  • is, "Okay, I'll put the kettle on." If somebody told you some devastating news and you don't

  • know what to say, you can just say, "That's awful. Do you want a cup of tea?"

  • Number five is the phrase, Oh, go on then. Okay. Said like this, "Oh go on then." This

  • is something that we say when we are offered something that we know we shouldn't have,

  • for example, a very unhealthy food or maybe a cigarette or a drink of alcohol. When somebody

  • offers you something naughty or considered to be naughty, "Go on then, go on then." I

  • wonder if you have a similar phrase in your own language, I would love to hear it. Because

  • I think that's just such a key phrase in our vocabulary. Number six, Colin, the Caterpillar

  • Cake. Need I say more. Yes, I need to say more so that my viewers understand. Any British

  • person watching this will understand Colin, the Caterpillar Cake. They will probably feel

  • excitement running through their veins. Okay? A Collin, the Caterpillar Cake is a long chocolate

  • roll. I think that's what you call it.

  • It's a roll of cake, covered in chocolate with the face of a caterpillar on the end.

  • And if it was your birthday at school, your mum would buy you a Colin the Caterpillar

  • Cake. It was very easy to slice and lots of slices for all of the children. And if it

  • was your birthday, you got to eat the face. I remember my first Colin, the Caterpillar

  • Cake. I remember being served the face of this cake, and I remember it being disgusting,

  • but I ate it anyway because it was my birthday and because I'd earned it and I'd spent the

  • whole year watching everyone else eat their caterpillar faces. These are typically sold

  • in Marks & Spencers, a shop here, food shop here, quite a posh food shop here as far as

  • I'm aware. And if you ever go to a British person's birthday party, I really think you

  • should bring one.

  • It will make them so excited, probably. Number seven, something else we find ridiculously

  • exciting, way more exciting than it should be, J2O's. I don't know if you have these

  • in other countries, but they are a non alcoholic juice drink. Not juice, juice drink. That

  • means it's not 100% juice. The most famous flavour is orange and passion fruit. But the

  • thing is they came in glass bottles that were the same size as beer bottles. So when you're

  • a child and you were at a party, an adult party, you could feel like an adult with a

  • similar beer bottle. Very exciting. I remember taking it a step too far when I was younger

  • and taking my parents beers bottles that were green, Stella Artois always and refilling

  • them with Apple juice and carrying that around with me and completely confused when my parents

  • were so angry with me and saying, "No, Lucy you don't do that. Don't do that."

  • We also had another drink called Schloer, which was alcohol free, like a sweet grape

  • juice, fizzy as well. And I felt like such an adult when I had a glass of Schloer at

  • Christmas. Do you have any drinks that you used to have as a child that made you feel

  • grown up? I bet there are. Number eight is the phrase to pop. Okay? Sounds a bit random.

  • But we use pop in many phrasal verbs and it's a very warm way of asking somebody to come

  • or go somewhere. Do you want me to pop over? Do you want me to come over? It implies a

  • short amount of time. Why don't we pop down the road for a coffee? Why don't we just quickly

  • go down the road for a coffee? I remember one of my Spanish students in London, they

  • were appearing for a British family and they were so confused by the word pop because you

  • can pop around, pop up, pop down, pop over, just treat it as come and go.

  • Number nine, British people like to base the entire country's economic state on the price

  • inflation of a frog shaped chocolate bar called a Freddo. Yes, you heard that correctly. We

  • base our economics on a frog shaped chocolate bar called a Freddo. When we were young, Freddos

  • were known to be the most affordable chocolate bar. They were a little frog and they were

  • typically, I think 10 P when I was young, I remember being given a pound to spend on

  • sweets at a party. I could have one big packet of sweets or I could have 10 Freddos. The

  • logical answer is to go for all of the Freddos. However, every time I see the price of a Freddo

  • rise, I am outraged and the rest of the nation is too. I'm going to search now, current price

  • of Freddos. 25 P, 25 P. So what... That means I could have bought 10 and now I can only

  • buy four. That is outrageous.

  • Okay. Number 10, pigs in blankets, we get so excited about this particular food called

  • a pig in blankets. It is a little cocktail sausage wrapped in bacon. And typically we

  • only have them at Christmas. There's no reason for this. We could have them every Sunday,

  • but if you go to a pub and your Sunday roast comes with a pig in blanket or some pigs in

  • blankets, it's the best roast ever. We absolutely love them. "Oh, you already have them at Christmas,

  • why is that?" Number 11 one of our most popular TV shows is a TV show of people watching TV

  • shows. It's called Gogglebox. I imagine this concept has arrived in other countries now.

  • They basically film families, watching the TV highlights, and then they compile their

  • witty remarks and then we watched them. It's a very good programme. It's very metta. Number

  • 12 dog poop in Facebook groups.

  • Okay. In the UK. And I imagine in lots of places in the world, we have Facebook Groups

  • for our local community. So I'm in quite a few of the surrounding villages and towns.

  • And there is a new phenomenon and it is the people that are getting so frustrated with

  • people not picking up their dog poop, especially if it's on someone's property or on their

  • front lawn. People are taking to taking pictures of the dog poop and posting it in these community

  • groups. I don't know about you, but I normally check my phone for the first time in the morning

  • when I'm about to take my first bite of breakfast, normally porridge, and to have porridge approaching

  • my mouth, opening my phone and seeing a massive dog poop, it's just not ideal. So now people

  • are rebelling against the dog poop posters and there is just, Oh, there's just huge civil

  • unrest online at the moment.

  • Those who want to shame the dog poop leavers and those who want to shame the dog poop posters.

  • It's very complex. I hate dog poop, it's absolutely horrendous, but I also don't want to see it

  • all over my Facebook Timeline. I've seen enough. We know it's a problem. Number 13, drinking

  • in rounds. When we go on a night out with a group of friends, we drink in rounds, which

  • means if there are five of us, instead of everyone buying their individual drinks, one

  • person will buy five drinks and the next person will buy five drinks. I'm sure many of you

  • are aware of this concept. I'm sure it has a different name where you're from, but the

  • very British thing to do is to shout, "Whose round is it?" When you know exactly whose

  • round it is, and you just are trying to make them actually by their round. Because there

  • are a lots of people who will participate in rounds, wait till last and hope that they

  • won't actually have to buy that round.

  • Thus escaping with a lot of free drinks and a very full wallet. And it's very annoying.

  • Now we can be considered quite passive aggressive. So instead of saying, "It's your round, go

  • and buy your round," just shouting, "Whose round is it?" Is a much easier way to avoid

  • confrontation. However, my fiance, he said at university, there was one guy who was so

  • bad at buying or paying for his fair share of drinks that they actually grabbed him,

  • marched him to an ATM, a bank, took his card out and forced him to take out the money.

  • Some people are adjust what we would call here, tight. If somebody's tight, they don't

  • like spending a lot of money. Number 14 is we can't always be bothered to use an umbrella.

  • It rains so often, and not unless it is absolutely pummeling it down, I didn't mind getting a

  • bit wet.

  • I remember when I was in Spain, the minute the first drop hit anyone's hair, they would

  • whip out their umbrella. Everyone had it. Everyone knew the weather. I just never knew

  • how people kept track of whether it was going to rain that day or not, but it was more of

  • a rare occasion there. And it's very, very common here. So I did use to walk into my

  • classrooms, soaking wet sometimes just normal. Number 15, we don't put fridges in the eggs,

  • wrong. Number 15, we don't always put our eggs in the fridge. I don't know if this is

  • weird for you. I remember going abroad and seeing fridges in the eggs, fridges in the

  • eggs. I remember going abroad and seeing eggs in the fridges. I remember some fridges arriving

  • with egg holders. I thought that was so weird. Now, I like a nice room temperature, egg.

  • Oh, yes.

  • Why does that sound like a nuendo? 16, this one goes without saying we are obsessed with

  • the weather, even if it's so boring, "Oh, it's slightly grand windy today." We will

  • tell you that, "Oh it's a bit grand windy. Isn't it?" It does change so much that it

  • is quite entertaining. We've got, sometimes we don't have that much in our lives to talk

  • about. So the weather is just a really good one to go for. Number 17 scone or scone. Okay.

  • This is the conundrum. And actually there's a part two to this conundrum as well. That

  • is a baked good, which I call a scone, but other people call it a scone. And there's

  • a big fight, a big divide in the UK about whether it is a scone or a scone. I don't

  • want to get involved in that.

  • I'm not going to say scone is wrong, but I do prefer scone. Scone [inaudible 00:17:01].

  • The other part of this conundrum is the order in which you put toppings. Typically we serve

  • scones or scones with jam and clotted cream. They are absolutely to die for. If you come

  • to the UK, make sure you have an afternoon tea with scones or scones. Now I always put

  • clotted cream first, then jam. But some people will swear you have to put the jam first,

  • then the clotted cream. I'm not going to tell you, which is right.

  • You're just going to have to try it out for yourself. But I think logistically cream first,

  • then jam. Number 18. We are terrible at ending conversations. Honestly, this is the most

  • annoying thing ever. There is a huge culprit of this, and this is my fiance, Will. Typically,

  • when we want to end a conversation, we will say, "Right," and kind of, "I need to be heading

  • off." Or, "I must get a move on." Or, "I need to get going." But for some reason, some people

  • really struggle with this. And when you have two people that struggle with ending conversations

  • coming together, you could just go on for eternity. It's really, really troubling.

  • You all right?

  • Yeah. Could you hear that?

  • Yes.

  • Come and say, hello. Admit to your problem. This is Will, don't worry about his face.

  • You know your problem. You're almost perfect.

  • Is it on ending conversations?

  • It was ending conversations.

  • Yeah, it's a tricky one.

  • It's fine if you were talking to someone who can end the conversation, but it's when you

  • are with another person that also finds ending conversations difficult.

  • Well, it's nice to get out. Isn't it? [crosstalk 00:18:51]. It's really tough here for everyone.

  • Maybe to it.

  • All right. I'm almost done.

  • Cool.

  • Number 19, we really overuse the word, sorry. This was further solidified in my mind last

  • night. We watched Bridget Jones and there was the scene where Mark Darcy or Colin Firth

  • and Hugh Grant were fighting and they were knocking over things on people's tables, in

  • a restaurant and they were still apologising. We just can't help it. I find myself apologising

  • for apologising too much.

  • Number 20. The final weird thing that British people do is consume a lot of pre-made sandwiches.

  • It's a bit of a random one, but there is something very exciting about going on a short car journey

  • and stopping off for lunch. And lunch will be a pre-made sandwich in a box. You can get

  • them from petrol stations or you can get them from supermarkets. I know Tesco does something

  • called a meal deal, where for a certain amount of money, you get a sandwich, a snack and

  • a drink, and people absolutely love it. And they try to get the most value from that meal

  • deal. They say, you can tell a lot about a person from what they choose for their meal

  • deal, but I've travelled to a couple of countries and I've never seen the sheer amount of options

  • for pre-made sandwiches that we have in the UK.

  • It's crazy. Every flavour, every feeling so creative as well. Prawn is my favourite, Prawn

  • Mayonnaise. I absolutely love it. The Christmas range is in full swing at the moment. We have

  • turkey and stuffing sandwiches. Awesome. I saw a [reduct 00:20:34] La Roche sandwich

  • the other day. I wouldn't say it's something I recommend. Actually, if you want to have

  • a British experience, when you come over to the UK, go to a petrol station, buy a sandwich,

  • then you will feel like a Brit, right? On that note, that's the end of today's lesson.