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Afternoon Tea

You Know You’re British When…

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From drinking your own weight in tea and apologising for it to complaining about the weather to anyone who’ll listen, here are 14 hilarious telltale signs that you’re definitely British. 

How many of these do you do on a daily basis?

You Know You’re British When…

1. You drink a lot of tea

“Ahh time for another cuppa”, you say… even though your last cup of tea was only an hour or two ago. 

Apparently, the average Brit drinks 876 cups of tea per year – that’s enough to fill two whole bathtubs!

English Breakfast Tea

2. You believe tea MUST come with milk

While other European countries drink tea sans milk, British people think this is blasphemy!

Thus, tea must ALWAYS be served with milk.

Milk - The Holy Grail of British Tea
Ahh milk! The Holy Grail of British Tea

3. You use the weather as the perfect ice breaker

British people love to use the weather as an ice breaker. 

Here are a few examples of what you might say:

  • “Isn’t the weather awful today?”
  • “Wasn’t the weather strange yesterday?”
  • “Eurgh it’s so hot today!”
  • “It’s freezing today!”

Whatever the weather is doing in the UK, we apparently also love to hate it.

4. People who don’t know you think you’re standoffish

The average Brit is more than a little awkward and is sometimes accused of being “standoffish” by people who don’t know them. 

But really, deep down, you know and the people who love you know that you’re a decent person and not at all standoffish. 

5. You keep getting asked if you know the Queen

People from other countries (especially America) love to ask us if we know the Queen. 

And this is even more the case if you have a “posh” accent.

Chipping Campden in the Cotswolds

6. You’ve learned how to murder people with your eyes and tut effectively

British people are so polite that if you’ve been upset by someone, you won’t say anything and will quietly murder them with your eyes… and maybe even tut a little.

7. You say sorry a lot!

Someone bumps into you in the street and YOU say “Sorry!” quicker than the other person even notices they’ve bumped into you. 

You even say sorry when someone complains about something that isn’t your fault.

And when someone tells you about their misfortunes, you also say something like “Oh I’m so sorry to hear that!”

8. You think Americans have butchered our language

You know you’re British when you cringe and die a little inside every time you see something spelt with a ‘z’ when it should be an ‘s’ or ‘or’ when it should really be ‘our’.

Exhibit A: BEHAVIOR, COLOR, EMPHASIZE – did reading that hurt a little bit? Then you’re definitely British.

9. You look forward to warm summers because it’s the perfect time for an afternoon tea

Even more cups of tea than usual. Tasty and cute little cakes. Finger sandwiches with several different fillings. Scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

If you’re drooling even a little right now then you’re definitely British!

RELATED: Traditional British Food You Must Try At Least Once

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Afternoon Tea

10. Speaking of scones, you love a good jam or cream first debate

Debates over whether you put cream or jam on scones first have divided households, caused outrage on social media and is a favourite conversation starter between Brits.

For reference, the answer is cream first if you’re from Devon and jam first if you’re from Cornwall.

If you’re from elsewhere in the UK, good luck choosing! 

Scott prefers jam first as it’s easier to spread than cream and I prefer cream first as I love a great big dollop of jam. 

As you can imagine, afternoon tea in our house results in a strongly worded debate every single time!

11. You frequently say “You alright?” instead of “Hello”

… and you secretly hope the other person doesn’t actually tell you how they are.

12. You join a queue 

… and then realise you don’t actually know why you’re queuing or if you’re even in the right queue.

But you do tut and sigh loudly if someone dares jump the queue you’re in!

13. “To tip or not to tip” – that is ALWAYS the question

While other countries tip for everything, you’re not sure when to tip or how much. 

Say you didn’t enjoy your meal in a restaurant or didn’t like some service you received; should you tip or not? 

You don’t want to appear to be a cheapskate but you also don’t want to pretend everything’s okay either.

And before you know it, you’ve been staring at the bill or chip and pin machine for well over ten minutes and are still not any closer to deciding whether you should leave a tip.

So you end up tipping 10% anyway.

14. You agree with EVERYTHING in the Very British Problems books and Twitter feed

If you’ve ever read the Very British Problems books or VBP tweets and nodded along after every paragraph, then I’m SORRY but you’re definitely British!


What are some other telltale signs that you’re totally and utterly British? Let us know in the comments below…

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