The Brits absolutely love rhyming and / or alliteration. From Cockney slang to the ubiquitous “See it. Say it. Sorted.” campaign, the Brits excel in turn of phrases.
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The Customer Has Not Always Been Right
Harry Gordon Selfridge. Ever hear of him? No, right? Well it’s his fault that Apple employees smile so damn much and that shopkeepers hover over you offering unwanted help with you having to repeat, “Really, I’m just browsing,” but thinking LEAVE ME THE FECK ALONE, MOTHER FECKERS. (Then again, maybe that’s just me.)
Because it was Harry Gordon Selfridge who didn’t simply coin the phrase, “The customer is always right” but he embodied it and threw it (up) on the world. Specifically, on London, on Oxford Street.
THE FUNNIEST VIDEO EVER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD EVER EVER: “Unless Your Want to Park Your Horse in the Cupboard…”
You disagree, do you? G’head. Show us something funnier. Ged.(that’s the even shorter version of “G’head”.)
Piccadilly is Such a Cute British Word. (Question: Does it actually mean something?) (Answer: Yes.)
Piccadilly Circus. We’ve all heard of it — the London (much smaller) version of Times Square. But where does the word “piccadilly” come from?
Morecombe and Wise Having Breakfast.
As an American Shewolf in London, I feel it is my duty to bring you some excellent British classics worth watching or even, for some of you, re-watching:
He Played with Her Hair
I was atop the bus guiding on the last tour of the day and there was a middle-aged guy who raised his hand and asked, “Hey, are we gonna go by that changing-of-the-guards place?”
I couldn’t stifle my giggle and said, “You mean Buckingham Palace,”
and he said, “Yea! That!”
You’re Quite the Wanker, Aren’t You?
I taught English in Italy for a long time. You don’t even know your language has structure until you teach it. Present tense vs present continuous, past vs present perfect blah blah blah.
Well there’s something called a “question tag.” The idea being you think something’s a certain way but you wanna be sure. Or, you think something’s not a certain way and you want to be sure. In either case, you want to be sure — you want confirmation.
When I first moved to uk, being the cheapskate I am, I used websites where people want to offer stuff for free that they don’t need anymore. Websites like Freecyle and Freegle.
I remember the first time I saw an ad for “hardcore”. They were giving it away! And I thought, “Those quirky Brits! They’re supposedly so uptight and yet they are just letting the entire world know they’ve finished ‘reading’ their porn magazines and want TO GIVE THEM AWAY!” Then again, I thought, why should they discard two large black bags of the stuff when someone else might want it? Who am I to judge? Two bags though. But you never know what’s going on with people. Lost his wife? Got fired? Horny bastard? None of my business.
Then i saw this ad:
Everything’s a Roundabout
Note to reader. I don’t know how to put footnotes in so I used * and ** and ***. Footnotes at end of post.
While studying for my driving theory test, I noticed that there’s lots of material about the darn roundabouts.* This is a very roundabout-oriented country.
Then I started to notice that in general Brits like round things. They love that London Eye thing. Lots of buildings in London are round.
The Steak is So Nice
If you ask a Brit if they are enjoying their meal, they might say:
“Oh it’s lovely!”
Food is “lovely”? Really? Is it wearing a pink bow?
Or they might say it’s “delightful”. Huh. Did the pudding tell a good story?
Or even, “nice”. Did the ribeye pick itself off the plate and open the door for you?