Social Question

Kardamom's avatar

Will you Brits answer some questions?

Asked by Kardamom (31237points) May 5th, 2015

This question was partially based on @ucme’s Question, but mostly because I was thinking about food, when I was reading the responses. I was googling British food pictures.

So I’ve got a few questions for our resident Brits. I probably have a lot of romantic misconceptions about you folks, what you like, what you do on a regular basis, what you think about certain things. So feel free to clear up any confusion for me.

1. Do you specifically, or most people you that you know, generally, eat a full English breakfast on a regular basis? If so, do you or your spouse fix and eat this scrumptious meal at home, or do you eat it at a restaurant? If you don’t often eat a full English breakfast, what do you usually have for breakfast on a work day, and do you eat something different on your days off?

2. Do you specifically, like The Beatles? Do most Brits, that you know, like the Beatles? The reason I ask this question is because I recently ran into some lovely British ladies in Palm Springs who were waiting to take a tour of the home that Elvis Presley honeymooned in. They asked us if we liked Elvis, we said not so much, that we were only at the house because of it’s architectural history. We asked them if they like The Beatles and they said not so much. They could take them or leave them. When I visited England in 1986, I looked hard to find evidence of The Beatles in London. I was rather disappointed in the dis-interest. A friend of mine is currently visiting Japan and she says the Japanese are much more excited by The Beatles than even the Americans. She just saw Paul McCartney there.

3. Do you ever find that some Americans have a hard time understanding your accent? I love British accents, but my mom and I found it was a lot easier to understand them on “our” British TV shows when we turned on the closed captioning for the deaf (they don’t have English subtitles, because the shows are already in English! Ha ha ha).

4. How many regular meals do you specifically, or British folks in general, eat throughout the day and what do you call those meals. I’m still a little stuck on whether tea is similar (or the same) as what we call dinner/supper, or whether it’s a late afternoon meal, around 4:00 p.m.-ish with small sandwiches and cakes and cookies etc. and then another meal is had (supper?) around 8 or 9 p.m. I’m reading a book by Rosamunde Pilcher right now, so this is where this question is originating from. We Americans generally eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner/supper, and clearly, by the looks of us, we also eat a lot of junk food in between and during these meals.

5. Here are some popular (not necessarily by people on Fluther) things in the United States, what do you Brits think of the following things: Disneyland, Fox News, McDonald’s, President Obama, guns, The Kardashians, Hillary Clinton, Affordable Health Care?

6. If you were to visit the United States, what cities would you like to visit and what activities would you like to pursue?

7. Do you think Americans sound like idiots when when we talk? Either our accents, or our opinions, or both?

8. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about the United States?

9. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about Britain?

10. When referring to your country, are you more likely to say England, Britain, The United Kingdom, U.K. or does it depend upon the context?

Thank you to all you Brits, and others that currently live in England, for answering my questions. Feel free to answer any one, or all of them, or just a few of them. I know this list is long.

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19 Answers

Kropotkin's avatar

Oh. Fun.

1) I used to have one once in a while. Never regularly. I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, so it’s a thing of the past for me. I don’t know anyone who regularly eats a full English breakfast.

2) The Beatles are probably the greatest pop band of all time. They’re still highly regarded.

3) I speak slowly for Americans. (No.)

4) Now this one depends on which part of the UK one is from, and even one’s social class. Where I’m from, “dinner” is a midday meal. In southern parts of England, and among the middle and upper classes, “lunch” is the midday meal. So, for me breakfast would be the first meal, dinner around middday or early afternoon. “Tea” was always a light meal in the early evening, and “supper” a main meal later in the evening.

Personally—I just eat whenever the hell I’m hungry. I just made a pizza at 3am.

5) I fucking hate Disney and everything associated with it.

Fox News is corporate funded propaganda, and one of the most idiotic and racist things I’ve ever watched.

I detest McDonald’s. It’s bad enough that they sell shit food and cynically market it at children—but the buildings and facades are architectural and design monstrosities that should never see the light of day.

President Obama is exceptionally confident, charming, fearless and intelligent. This just tells me that’s he’s very likely a high-functioning psychopath. Same goes for Hillary Clinton. Both funded and backed heavily by Wall Street, by the way.

I don’t give a fuck about the Kardashians. They look like they’re not taxed enough. Do they even work?

I don’t care about guns.

Your healthcare system is demented. There’s nothing like compounding the stress of ill-health or an operation with the requirement to fill out insurance claims and find funds for one’s treatment. Mental.

6) I’d sooner visit Iran or North Korea.

7) Yes.

8) Alaska is the coolest thing about the US. Seriously—I’ve no idea. I get a kick out of listening to lunatic Christians in those mega-churches. There’s nothing like that in the UK.

9) The rich and long history.

10) UK if I’m being general. England if I’m being more geographically specific. And “British” when referring to my nationality.

Kardamom's avatar

@Kropotkin Thank you so much : )

I won’t go on and on about everything that I love about the U.K. because I’d be here all night.

Do you have any good TV series that I should look up. We’ve watched and loved Doc Martin, Downton Abbey, Call The Midwife, Midsomer Murders, Inspector George Gently, Larkrise to Candelford, The Barchester Chronicles, Cranford, The Paradise, Ripper Street and Copper.

gailcalled's avatar

Briitish series that I have enjoyed a lot.

The Hour
Broadchurch
inspector Morse
Lewis
Endeavor
William and Mary

gailcalled's avatar

Kingdom (starring Stephen Frye)

Kardamom's avatar

@gailcalled I’ve been wanting to watch William and Mary, but we don’t get it on any of our channels, or Netflix or Amazon Prime. I’ll look for the others, thanks : )

You were the one who turned me on to Doc Martin and I will be forever grateful for that. He’s supposed to be in a 3 part miniseries (he meaning Martin Clunes) on PBS playing Arthur Conan Doyle. Haven’t heard anything more about it since March.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

American here chiming in based upon seven years of spending almost half of that time in Lancashire with my British bloke and his clan.

1. Full English Breakfast a.k.a. “Heart attack on a plate”. The only time we have it is when the parents are with us over Christmas/New Year holiday. It’s time-consuming to make. My experience is that toast is the staple and porridge (oat meal) or cereal is more common. I could be wrong though…all of the ingredients for a Full English are sold at the shops (independently owned convenience stores) located in just about every neighborhood, meaning within walking distance.

2. Do you specifically, like The Beatles? My partner is still a Beatles fan, mainly due to growing up during their reign. Liverpool is their capital, not London. The UK has several great contributors to the world of music. The Beatles just are more globally appreciated.

3. Do you ever find that some Americans have a hard time understanding your accent? I do. It goes beyond the accent though. A lot of it has to do with the words and phrases. Take this test regarding Lancashire. I think I got four right and three were guesses.

4. How many regular meals do you specifically, or British folks in general, eat throughout the day and what do you call those meals. I’ll leave this one to the experts as I don’t fully understand it myself. All I know is that there is a difference in “tea” time based upon class, or at least there used to be.

5. Here are some popular (not necessarily by people on Fluther) things in the United States, what do you Brits think of the following things: Disneyland, Fox News, McDonald’s, President Obama, guns, The Kardashians, Hillary Clinton, Affordable Health Care?
– Disneyland: the ones I’ve met have only been to Disney World in Florida. They were shocked and awed by the following: how friendly people were, obesity of Americans, the overabundance of food, the fantastic weather.
– Fox News: A complete joke that they cannot imagine people might take seriously.
– McDonalds: An occasional treat for bad food.
– Obama and Clinton: Haven’t heard any opinions on them. The conservatives, like Sarah Palin, crop up more on the radar because they are laughable and scary at the same time.
– Kardashians: Not a whisper. They have their own Kardashian-type celebrities to worry about hitting the news stands.
– Affordable Health Care: Despite the numerous complaints they have about their own system, they realize that they have it better than the US citizens.
– Gun control: They have no concept of what we Americans experience in our daily lives. It’s so far beyond their thought process that I don’t recall it ever being brought up unless I ask them about it.

6. If you were to visit the United States, what cities would you like to visit and what activities would you like to pursue? It varies based upon the person. Most visit Disney World in Florida, New York City, and Las Vegas. One guy and a couple of his mates did Route 66 last fall. It was nice to hear his tales of American hospitality.

7. Do you think Americans sound like idiots when when we talk? It depends upon the receiver. Most keep their thoughts to themselves, at least to me. The one thing I most commonly hear, and I now get it, is that we are loud and opinionated.

8. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about the United States? No idea. Elvis?

9. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about Britain? If I had to take a wild guess upon the subjects that they discuss most often, it’s their history, particularly when it comes to The Great War.

10. When referring to your country, are you more likely to say England, Britain, The United Kingdom, U.K. or does it depend upon the context? It depends upon the context. All of the above are different, as well as the county. Each has their own identity and they are darn proud of it.

As for what to watch, it depends upon your interests. Dr. Who is the equivalent to America’s Star Trek if you are a sci-fi fan. Since you are a foodie, it might be worth your while to watch Come Dine With Me (British version). Most of the episodes are available on YouTube. It not only provides insight into the UK food, but the culture by region. I check in with the BBC News website on an almost daily basis because it not only provides better global news reports but can be drilled down to what’s happening in the UK.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

One more cultural difference that is interesting…I mentioned to a friend that the SO desired a KFC meal. We don’t drive and the closest one is far away. She called me up to say that she would be driving past it and offered to pick up an order. It was her first time attempting a drive-thru and was visibly shaken from it. They just aren’t as common as they are here in the US.

gailcalled's avatar

@Kardamom: I got all three seasons of William and Mary free from our library. You can buy the boxed set of DVD’s for $34.00 and then donate it to your library when you have watched it.
http://www.amazon.com/William-Mary-Complete-Collection/dp/B00HHYF5DE

ucme's avatar

Wow, that’s a jolly long list, but seeing as it’s you m’dear…

1) I hardly ever indulge in a fried breakfast, toast, cereal & coffee for me.

2) While I occasionally listen to Beatles music, i’m far from a huge fan, neither is anyone I know.

3) Why aye man, a canny few yanks ave nee clue worram tarkin aboot pet.

4) Breakfast – Dinner – Tea.

5) Disneyland – Fun but cheesy & expensive. Fox News – Hahahahaha. McDonalds – Meh.
Obama – Charisma. Guns – Want one. Kardashians – Hahahahaha. Hillary Clinton – Loon.
Affordable Health Care – Basic Human Right.

6) Not sure, maybe NY & Miami.

7) Not particularly, although as with most nations, some do/are.

8) Your movies I guess, some at least.

9) That we’re our own little island, strong, independent, take no shit.

10) Britain, but very much class myself as English.

Stinley's avatar

1. full English breakfast
We cook breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. Often this is bacon, eggs, sausage, baked beans, toast. Normal workdays it’s toast or crumpets with jam, marmite or nutella, My children sometimes eat cereal. I always have a cup of tea.

2. Do you specifically, like The Beatles? I like the Beatles. Lots of people are big Beatles fans. Some young people are too but it gets less with each generation

3. Do you ever find that some Americans have a hard time understanding your accent? We find it hard in general to understand regional accents. I have a scottish accent – not particularly strong – and when I moved to England I had to slow down my speech and anglicise my vowels.

4. How many regular meals do you specifically, or British folks in general, eat throughout the day and what do you call those meals.
3 meals and possibly one snack meal. Choose from the following Breakfast (meal), lunch or dinner (meal), tea (snack), tea, dinner or supper (meal), supper (snack). I eat breakfast lunch and tea. I don’t have a snack meal. Eating out in the evening is always called dinner (unless it’s high tea…). I hope this has cleared things up!

5. Disneyland – not for me but plenty of people like it
Fox News – no idea. We have our own news programmes
McDonald’s – again not for me but plenty of people like it,
President Obama – like his politics for an American
guns – hate guns. Why do you love them. I don’t understand
The Kardashians – not for me but plenty of people like the programmes
Hillary Clinton – seems a decent politician
Affordable Health Care – well yes, why wouldn’t you want that?

6. If you were to visit the United States, what cities would you like to visit and what activities would you like to pursue
Hiking in mountains, New Orleans, New York, New England (all the New places??)

7. Do you think Americans sound like idiots when when we talk? Either our accents, or our opinions, or both?
I find the christian fundamentalism hard to understand. I just don’t get how come it is so ingrained. I like american accents. I don’t notice them on the TV ir films but if I hear one in real life I spot it immediattely. I can’t really tell the difference between Canadian and USA accents.

8. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about the United States?
the geography – mountains, lakes,

9. What do you think is the coolest or most interesting thing about Britain?
History, scenery esp in Highlands of Scotland

10. When referring to your country, are you more likely to say England, Britain, The United Kingdom, U.K. or does it depend upon the context?
I never say england when I mean the whole of the UK. Lots of english people do. I am scottish so it is important to me. Britain and British generally, sometimes the UK. UK is the most correct since it’s The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland so if you say british you are not including NI

Kropotkin's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I just wanted to point out a couple of things regarding the Lancashire dialect test.

“Kecks” also refers to underwear. In fact, it was more commonly a reference to underwear when I was younger. I’m from Yorkshire rather than Lancashire, so maybe this is a regional difference.

About half the phrases there are common to the North of England, and not exclusively Lancashire.

A lot of that old dialect is simply dying out. I remember using a lot more regional slang words and terms when I was little—all 30 years ago. They’re practically not heard any more.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kropotkin Thank you for that information. I doubt that I’ve ever heard any of those phrases used by any of the old’uns or young’uns. What has become glaringly clear is that, be it accent or language or a combination of both, I struggle to follow some conversations, particularly when spoken by men. A few have picked up on it and slow down their speech. More often than not, my partner translates the conversation once we are alone.

Kropotkin's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I actually have the same difficulty. The Lancashire accent comes across as this rumbling mumble when spoken by men. It seems to be stronger from those in and around Bolton.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Kropotkin Thank goodness it’s not just me that struggles to understand the Lancashire accent. We are in the Blackburn area, not too far from Bolton. The SO has five uncles and his dad who are late 60s to early 80s in age. Get those boys together and I just stay in the kitchen. There is no chance of following that conversation.

janbb's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I was married to a Lancashire man for 40 years and spent a lot of time in England. I got 15 out of 22 on that test but a number of the phrases were not ones that I’d ever heard used. I was surprised that flummoxed was considered regional dialect though.

When I was over in England the first time in my early 20s some girls in a pub were exhorting me to talk “American” because they loved the way we sounded.

As someone (Winston Churchill? Flanders and Swann?) said Britain and the United States are two countries separated by a common language.

Kardamom's avatar

@everybody Thanks for the great answers!

Now I’m craving tatties and neeps

janbb's avatar

@Kardamom how about a chip buttie?

Kardamom's avatar

@janbb I had to look that up, but yes, please : )

ucme's avatar

Stottie Cake

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