Weird things about the UK

Now that I have been living in the United Kingdom for almost seven months now, there are a few different things that I have picked up that you can only recognize when you have lived somewhere for a while that are different from the way we do things in the United States. For the most part I have found that the UK culture is very similar to our own but there are a few minor differences that you can pick up on that just seem strange to an American.

1. Their lemonade is clear and bubbly.
Instead of the lemonade that we know and love, their lemonade tastes like Sprite. They have a thing called “cloudy lemonade” which looks like our lemonade, but it is still carbonated. The only thing that I have found that comes close to our lemonade is lemon squash. What is squash you may ask?

What the UK’s lemonade looks like

What the US’s lemonade looks like

2. Suash, is not a yellow vegetable over here in the UK. Instead it is a juice concentrate. It comes in a normal juice bottle but you only add a little bit to your glass and then add cold water and then poof! You have a delicious glass of juice. There are tons of different flavors (I’ve found that my favorite is either orange and mango or apple and blackcurrant) and no one really buys juice that you pour straight from the bottle into your glass. Don’t just pour a full glass of squash because that would be ridiculously strong and you may as well just put 20 oranges in your mouth at once.

US squash- aka a vegetable

UK “squash”- aka a juice concentrate

3. They call calendars, diaries.
This one really through me off for a little bit until I found out what it was. You would ask someone to do something and they would reply with, “Let me check my diary and get back with you.” At first I was thinking, “Do you have to check your diary and do some deep reflection on if you like coffee or not or what is going on?” But it makes a lot more sense that they would have to check their calendar to see if they were free or not.

4. Rain boots are called Wellies/wellingtons.
I am pretty sure that Wellingtons are just a specific brand, but they call all rain boots wellies.

5. They have chip barms or chip baps which is chips (aka french fries) in a roll with butter.
This one is weird because you would never think to have a bread roll with french fries and butter, but apparently it’s pretty common over here.

6. Their purple skittles are black currant flavored instead of grape.
The first time I tried skittles over here I knew they tasted different but I could not put my finger on why. Now I know it is because the purple flavor is different. Also the UK’s skittles don’t use as many artificial flavors and preservatives (shocker).

7. Pancakes are actually crepes and “American pancakes” are called Scotch pancakes.
They have a holiday called pancake day and of course, all you do is eat pancakes all day. Well when my friends made me a “pancake” it was actually a crepe. It was super thin and extra big. What we would typically call pancakes they would consider “Scotch pancakes”.

An English Pancake

A “Scotch” Pancake

8. The typical greeting to say hello is “Yallright?”
This has messed me up SO many times. Whenever you see someone the typical way to say hello over here is “Yallright?” I feel like back at home if you first see someone and ask if they are all right, you immediately assume they are asking if you are okay because you obviously do NOT look okay. Maybe you have been sick, or haven’t gotten enough sleep, or you just look absolutely terrible. When people first said it to me over here, I was like of course I’m alright, are you alright? But I have found that it is apparently just a way of saying hello to which you are supposed to answer with “Yallright?” because they are not actually asking how you are doing. Even after living here over half a year I still say, “I’m good, how are you?” and every single time they get confused as to why I am actually asking how they are doing.

There are obviously a few other things that I have come across that have been very curious as I have been living in a foreign country, but these have been the main ones! It has been brilliant learning all of these different things and seeing how the other half of the world lives. Until next week! x
P.s. Everyone puts an x after all of their messages over here and I have started doing that as well. xx

About the author

Briana Hindle

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