9 Stereotypes About The British That Simply Aren't True

11/08/2014 09:36 | Updated 14 August 2014

Britain! Land of thatched cottages, red telephone boxes and Hugh Grant.


Not exactly, no. Whilst we hate to rain on anyone's parade, we don't mind doing it if they're foreigners (and we don't really mind rain in general). So, dear non-British readers, here's a myth-busting list of nine stereotypes about the British that simply aren't true. Sorry about that.

  • 1. We're all English
    Not true. Some of us are Welsh or Scottish or Northern Irish. That's because 'the British' are 'nationals of the United Kingdom'. Trust us, it's true. We're British, we know these things (also, Wikipedia says so).
  • 2. We all live in London...
    We don't. Some of us live at least seven hours' drive away. (We realise that's the same as popping out for fries in the States, but to us it's a whole world away from our capital. Also: what are 'fries'?)
  • 3. ...or in a thatched cottage in the country
    Sadly not. We're more likely to live in a flatshare with our mates or a semi-detached house with our family. It's only in Hollywood movies (and jigsaw puzzles) that we live in places like this.
  • 4. Our accents are either 'Costume drama cut-glass' or 'Guy Ritchie Cockney'
    At one end of the spectrum, there's Eliza Doolittle after she met Henry Higgins, Julie Andrews in 'Mary Poppins' and Emma Thompson in anything. At the other: Eliza Doolittle before she met Henry Higgins, Dick Van Dyke in 'Mary Poppins' and every bloke in every Guy Ritchie movie. That's right: we're blaming Hollywood again. (And ourselves. Guy Ritchie is British, after all.)
  • 5. We're all related to the royal family
    Oh, that we were! Then we would all have been invited to The Wedding Of The Century rather than watching/enduring it on telly. No, don't ever make a British friend in the hope that they'll be able introduce you to Kate and Wills one day. They won't. They'll just be squashing their nose up against the railings of Buckingham Palace like the rest of you plebs.
  • 6. All British men are like Hugh Grant or Colin Firth
    Oh, that they were! Not only would they be handsome, dashing and impeccably well-mannered, they'd also fight in the street. Oh, hang on...
  • 7. Our country is littered with red telephone boxes...
  • cabs...
  • ...and men in bowler hats
    No, no and no. The chances of seeing a man wearing a bowler hat emerging from a red telephone box and hopping in a black cab in Britain are slimmer than seeing Hugh Grant and Colin Firth fight in the street (unless filming on 'Bridget Jones 3' has started already).
  • 8. We all have terrible teeth
    We don't. Honestly. Just look at Kate! And Pippa! And Simon Cowell! (Unfortunately, he wasn't in the VIP box at Wimbledon that day. But we know you know what his teeth look like.) We Brits have come a long way, dentistry-speaking: overcrowded snaggletooths are a thing of the past. Or at least the 1980s.
  • 9. We're all clever
    No, we're not. We didn't all study at Oxford or Cambridge, and our accent isn't an automatic sign of intelligence. We blame Sherlock Holmes. Trust us: we're not as smart as him. Most of us aren't even as smart as Benedict Cumberbatch.

SEE ALSO: 11 British Stereotypes That Are Actually True

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