30 things British people say vs. what we actually mean (a humorous observation about the British character)

This is a bit of fun - poking fun at our own compatriots!


The original list can be found here: http://www.idealmagazine.co.uk/30-things-british-people-say-vs-what-they-actually-mean/


1. "I might join you later"  Translation: I'm not leaving the house today unless it's on fire

2. "Excuse me, sorry, is anyone sitting here?" Translation: You have 3 seconds to move your bag before I get really annoyed

3. "Not to worry." Translation: I will never forget this! 

4. "Sorry." Translation: My name is...

5. "Bit wet out there." Translation: You're going to need a snorkel because it's absolutely pissing it down out there!

6. Ending an email with "Thanks". Translation: I'm perilously close to losing my temper!

7. "Right then, I really should start to think about possibly making a move." Translation: Bye!

8. "It's fine." Translation: I really couldn't get any worse, but it probably will do...

9. "Perfect." Translation: Well that's ruined then!

10. "A bit of a pickle." Translation: A catastrophically bad situation with potentially fatal consequences

11: "Not too bad, actually." Translation:  I'm probably the happiest I've ever been.

12. "Honestly, it doesn't matter." Translation: Nothing has ever mattered more than this. 

13. "You've caught the sun." Translation: You look like you've been swimming in a volcano.

14. "That's certainly one way of looking at it." Translation: That's certainly the wrong way of looking at it. 

15. Saying to shop assistants: "I have the 5p if it helps." and never knowing if it ever does help...

16: "If you say so." Translation: I'm afraid that what you're saying is the height of idiocy.

17. "With all due respect..." Translation:You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

18. Saying "You're welcome" as quietly as possible to people that don't say thank you, but using it as a form of punishment. 

19. Meanings of "I beg your pardon" Translation: a) I didn't hear you; b) I apologise; c) What you're saying is making me absolutely livid!

20. "It could be worse." Translation:It couldn't possibly be any worse.

21. "Each to their own." Translation: You're wrong, but never mind. 

22. "Pop around anytime." Translation: Please stay away from my house.

23. "I'm just popping out for lunch, does anyone else want anything?" Translation: I'm getting my own lunch now, please don't ask me to get you anything!

24. Saying: "I might get some cash out, actually", despite approaching the cash machine and being 100% certain of getting some cash out. 

25. "No, no, honestly it was my fault." Translation: It was absolutely your fault and we both know it!

26. "No, yeah, that's very interesting!" Translation:You are boring me to death!

27. "Just whenever you get a minute..." Translation: Now! (also applies to: "No rush..."

28. "No harm done." Translation: You have ruined everything!

29. "I'm sure it'll be fine." Translation: I fully expect the situation to deteriorate rapidly!

30. "Sorry, I think you might have dropped something..." Translation: You have definitely dropped that specific item!


Any Brit will recognise themselves in this list. Passive aggressive, us? Surely not.....


This is why learning British English is so hard...we say one thing and often really mean the exact opposite! Anyone that doesn't realise this is treading a social minefield.... :-) ;-) 

Aug 8, 2014 6:43 PM
Comments · 5

I love how people say "With all due respect" and then come up with something absolutely horrendous, completely lacking in any respect at all.  With all due respect, I think you are an idiot... something like that.  It's as if they think by saying "With all due respect" it absolves them of the insult that follows.

August 9, 2014

can i know why do english people say the sentence and they mean the opposite of it ?

i think that u can say what ever u want directely

this is better for me

August 9, 2014

That's certainly one way of looking at it...... 

August 9, 2014

Number 27 is my personal favourite.... ;-)

August 8, 2014

I couldn't agree more :-)

August 8, 2014