How Accurate are English Stereotypes?

Is England a nation of tea guzzling, football-loving, heavy drinkers? Do English people all have bad teeth and charming accents? If you have ever wondered whether English people live up to their stereotypes, then take a look with me. Is it myth, legend or reality that the population of England loves queues and apologising?


The English Love Their Tea

Most of these stereotypes apply to the whole of Britain and not just the English, and this one is no exception. British people do indeed love their tea. In fact, studies show that the Brits consume over 60 billion cups of it every year. It is no surprise that English drink menus are so long, what with the hundreds of tea options available. With everything from ordinary English Breakfast tea, to Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling, you can bet all you have that there is a tea for literally everyone. And, of course there are rules to follow when you are drinking it. But, Sunny friends the blog has a complete guide to afternoon tea etiquette in London, if that’s something you fancy.


English People Have Bad Teeth

In films, English people are often made fun of because of their supposedly ‘bad teeth’. So, do English people really have bad teeth? Well, it depends on what you mean by bad teeth. The English certainly don’t go gravitate to the bleached white Hollywood smile. But on the whole, their teeth are healthy.

The truth is that America’s obsession with teeth straightening and whitening can be dangerous, what with reducing enamel and increasing tooth sensitivity. The UK and EU have strict health and safety laws which prevent many of the American topical whitening products from being sold in England. This means teeth may be a little yellower than their American counterparts, but they’re probably healthier. The NHS England (the national health care system) also doesn’t offer dental care to everyone as a part of its benefits.

Everyone Has Met the Queen

Does anyone actually believe this stereotype? Of course most English people haven’t actually met the Queen. Most English people have never even seen the Queen. Despite being a lot smaller than the US, England is still pretty large and spread out. London and the areas surrounding royal buildings encompass only a tiny fraction of the landmass of England. So, the chances of seeing or speaking to the Queen as you pop out for groceries are next to none.

For more details about this, you can watch the Sunny News feature about myth busting.

The English Live for Football and Beer

One of the best ways to fit in with locals is to simply do as the locals do. So, if you are in England, then this means going to the pub and having a few pints as the local football team is playing on the TV above the bar. Although football (soccer) and beer are both popular in England, this isn’t so much a national stereotype as a global one. In most countries the people enjoy beer and sports.


The English are Polite

Much like Canadians, the English have a reputation for being polite. If you visit England, you’re almost guaranteed to find a local willing to have a pleasant conversation about the weather with you. Of course, there are rude people wherever you go, but in England, you are much more likely to be met with a disapproving glance than be subject to verbal or physical abuse. English reserve is a very real thing, and people will often suffer in silence rather than offend anyone or cause a scene. But, be warned – if you push into a queue, you may be met with several sighs and disapproving looks.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re worried about what to do while in London, I have you covered on that too.

Sunny friends, what stereotypes about the English do you think are true? Are there any American stereotypes that come to mind? Please, add your ideas and questions in the comments.

And how many of these do you agree with, Sunny friends?

This is a collaborative post on Sunny in London.

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