Top 10 British stereotypes (that are actually true!)

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Top 10 British stereotypes (that are actually true!)

I absolutely love being British and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m pretty much guilty of every stereotype on this list! That’s not to say that every Brit is guilty of these stereotypes of course but it’s what we’re most known and loved for around the world. Here are the top 10 British stereotypes that are actually true!


1) We love our tea

The British drink 100 million cups of tea EVERY day. That’s almost 36 billion cups per year, divided amongst British men, women and children (that’s right, we start them young over here!).

You’ll be hard pressed to find a Brit who doesn’t love a good ‘ol cuppa. Come rain or shine the kettle is on and the biscuits are out, ready for dunking. If you enter the home of a Brit you’ll be immediately asked upon arrival if you’d like a cup of tea.

Tea is a kind of love language amongst Brits too. Having a cup of tea always makes things better and is pretty much the answer to everything!

If you’ve had a bad day, a bad break up, a bad anything, the kettle goes on and our troubles fade away momentarily as we chat over a nice cup of tea.

Morticia Adams drinking tea with a wry smile

2) We’re all sarcastic

Sarcasm is like a second language in Britain. It’s also one of those British stereotypes that I believe is true for most Brits!

Tourists may wonder at first whether we’re being serious or not. But it’s all in good fun I promise!

You’ll find it’s a big part of British humour and before you know it, you’ll be quipping right back at us 😉.

Rowan Atkinson being sarcastic

3) We are a nation of queuers

Of course people in other countries queue. But it doesn’t seem to be as big a deal in some countries if there is an absence of an orderly line. So why is it so ingrained in British culture?

Well, what largely shaped us as a nation of queuers came from World War II. During the war it was all about ‘doing your duty’ and ‘taking your turn’ and it’s stayed with us ever since!

For Brits it’s a crime to push in a queue and a social faux pas that you should never risk if you’re coming to visit!

Martin Freeman getting into a queue

4) We always talk about the weather

I’d say that 99% of Brits are guilty of talking about the weather as it’s a true maker or breaker of your day.

Weather in Britain is just glorious (see earlier point about sarcasm). You can wake up in the morning to summer time and be coming home in the evening to snow.

The weather is something we all have in common in Britain, so don’t be surprised if you’re waiting for a bus and someone turns to you and says: “gosh isn’t this rain terrible?”. There is a high chance that a 10 minute conversation will then ensue where both sides will have a good moan.

To be fair though, our weather is so unpredictable it’s always something worth commentating on!

Cartoon surfers running into the ocean on a sunny day and turning back as it starts to snow

5) We’re always polite

Britain has traditionally been quite a reserved place. We’re raised to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and that “manners matter”. But you’ll find that we’re so polite that we hold back on telling you what we’re really feeling.

A Brit in a restaurant is a great example. The waitress will come round to do her check and says: “How is everything?” and we’ll respond with: “Oh it’s lovely thank you”.

The food could be cold, tasteless and overpriced, but we’d rather secretly complain and never go back then actually say anything and come across as rude.

Similarly if someone bumps into us on the street or public transport. You’ll find a Brit apologising to you for bumping into them than the other way around!

Alice in Wonderland curtsying

6) We love our pubs (and booze!)

Pubs, bars, beer gardens – it’s all on the weekend menu in Britain! If we’re not drinking tea, we’re having a pint down the pub catching up with our mates. It’s ingrained in us from childhood!

Ever wondered why we have so many slang terms for ‘drunk’? Look no further than the famous British drinking culture. Also, it’s one of those British stereotypes that visitors from overseas seem to love joining in on too! 😂

People saying cheers in a pub

7) We’re not great at other languages

Unless you’re lucky enough to have been brought up in a dual nationality household or speak another language as part of your heritage, typically Brits aren’t great at learning second languages.

As most of the world has come to know as we try to attempt to speak a little of their language when we are travelling abroad and epically fail!

It seems to be a cultural thing as German and French are only required to be taught in schools up until the age of 14. But then still, ask anyone who took GCSE French at school if they remember anything and chances are they will respond with “Non”.

I really admire other countries for the value they put in learning multiple languages. Belgium for example teaches French, German, English and Flemish at school. Belgian school kids are fluent in at least two languages by the time they leave school, which is amazing!

Why isn’t it a thing for us? *sighs*

Someone having a problem communicating with someone who speaks a different language

8) We are complete sun worshippers

We may complain about the weather a lot but we still enjoy those two full days of sunshine we get a year. As a result of our national vitamin D deficiency, it’s turned us into a nation of absolute sun worshippers!

The second a bit of sun is out, the coats are off and the shorts are on – whether it’s just above freezing or 30°C and humid. We never know how long it’s going to last, so we savour every last minute of those heavenly rays!

And when we’re abroad? Forget it! We’re risking third degree burns to get as tanned as possible.

How else will people know we’ve been on holiday?

A woman laying down happy on a sun lounger tanning by a pool

9) We struggle to express our emotions

Ever heard of the British ‘stiff upper lip’? Yeah, it’s a real thing. Similarly to queueing, the ‘stiff upper lip’ is a legacy from our war days where we were told to “keep calm and carry on”.

Although this motivational war phrase was intended to prevent panic and raise morale, it has led to generations of post-war adults struggling to express their emotions.

We’re much more mental health aware these days so the ‘stiff upper lip’ is definitely relaxing. You only have to watch the outpouring of grief that the nation expressed when we sadly lost the Queen.

The royal family seems to keep this British stereotype alive but the rest of the nation are slowly coming round.

We may not be the cuddliest or most upfront with our emotions but we will put the kettle on and slowly open up the more we get to know you.

Andy Samberg saying he's uncomfortable with emotions

10) We love our National dishes

Every national dish seems to be a heart attack in a meal – but we love our British junk food classics!

Fish and chips, full English breakfasts, pies and afternoon tea with multiple rounds of cake and cream-laden scones.

Is it any wonder that we find it near impossible to stick to a diet in Britain?

British junk food is another legacy from the war where ingredients and a lack of flavour-enhancing spices were available. Brits worked with what they had available to them or what they could grow themselves.

It’s often said that one of the biggest British stereotypes is that our food is bad. But I fundamentally disagree – and not just because I’m a proud Brit!

Our food isn’t bad, it’s just really unhealthy! But we love it because our classic British dishes are hearty, delicious and hold such fond memories.

You’ll always remember Mum making you sausage and mash after school, your family treating themselves to a chippy tea on a Friday night and taking your Gran for afternoon tea on Mother’s Day.

Tourists may be perplexed by what food we call ‘classics’ but they are an integral part of British culture and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Boris Johnson saying he loves fish and chips on a beach

Disclaimer on the gif: I think fish and chips is the only thing that Boris and the nation sees eye to eye on!


What British stereotypes have you heard on your travels? Or if you’re British, which stereotypes are you most guilty of? 😉

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