What are the most common stereotypes abut the English and Britain?
Article by Link School of English in London
What are the first thoughts that come into your mind to give examples of stereotypical English customs? Are stereotypes about the English true?
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The English are one of the nations, for which people all across the world have created countless stereotypes and opinions involving their country, culture and character. This might be due to the wide-spread political power, which Britain used to exercise throughout the previous centuries, when the country boasted numerous colonies and conquests both on land and sea. But what are some of the most popular myths and stereotypes surrounding them to this day? Are these concepts true?
1. It constantly rains in England
Perhaps the most popular stereotype about the British isles has to do with its notoriously bad weather. All over the world people are convinced that it rains constantly all across the country. The bad weather has turned into the trademark of England, but it’s more a myth than reality. In fact, the climate in the region is soft and humid, because, even though the isles are located in the north, they benefit from the direct influence of the warm ocean current Gulfstream. Despite the weather being fickle and often rainy, it is not nearly as rainy as people seem to claim: the country lists only 46th in the world in rainfall, further back even than countries like New Zealand (29th) and the USA (25th). The belief about the English bad weather is most likely due to the cold winters, much longer than the summer on the isles.
And speaking of the weather…
2. All people ever talk about is the weather
While there is an element of truth in this particular English stereotype, it is not hard to understand why. British weather is not prone to remain unsurprising for any long period of time. In fact, it is often the case that the weather would change twice or thrice within a single day, with weather forecasts informing people by the hour, rather than by the day. That is why it is no strange occurrence to see an Englishman leaving his house on a bright sunny morning, tightly wrapped in a cloak and carrying an umbrella! The constantly changing weather conditions do provide people with a safe and varied source of small talk in order to avoid the much dreaded awkward silence in social encounters.
You may be also interested in: Understanding British Humour
3. The English have terrible teeth
This stereotype of the English people probably originated from the popular comedian shows across Britain, which would often accentuate a certain character’s flaws for comedic effect. Unfortunately, many foreigners still think this stereotype to be a fact. Naturally, like in any other country, a part of the population cannot boast with perfect dental health, medical care at http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com, but this percentage does not vary drastically from the situation on most other European countries. Like most other people, the English also brush their teeth daily, floss and visit the dentist annually – the rest is just good genes and a bit of luck.
4. The English drink warm beer
It is not perfectly clear where this opinion originated from, but even if it once held true, it is very far from the truth nowadays. If you walk into a pub today and order a beer specifically instructing the waiter to bring you a cold one, you would receive the same uncomprehending look that you would get anywhere else in the world!
5. The English drink huge amounts of tea
Upon hearing the word tea, most people do not picture the endless tea plantations in China and Sri Lanka, but porcelain cups and biscuits in London instead. The English have carefully nurtured the stereotypes surrounding their love of tea and let’s face it: it’s partially true, we do love our tea. Surprising as it may be, however, England comes only third in the world in its tea consumption, following Turkey and India, and mostly likely China as well. According to statistics, the English drink just as much coffee as they drink tea, so it would be hard to claim tea time as a national trait.
Other stereotypes of the English include:
- English people apologise a lot
- Stiff upper lip
- English food is terrible
- We love queues
- We love Doctor Who
These are just a few examples of English stereotypes. What other myths about the Brits do you know? Which of them are true? Please share your comments below…