The UK and the USA may share a language (mostly) in common, but when it comes to a number of cultural customs, the Atlantic Ocean seems like the smallest thing separating them.

Whether it's their unique accent that somehow carries over into their typing, their obsession with tea, or the fact that they put baked beans on their toast, Brits certainly have a way of making those of us on the Western side of the world scratch our heads with confusion. That's not to say that Americans don't have quirks of their own, but here at Bored Panda, we think Great Britain deserves some special recognition this time around.

Check out the top British moments that left Americans completely stumped below, and be sure to vote for the ones that you're still trying to understand as well.

#1

American Vs British

tommowar Report

Lottie Park
Community Member
3 years ago

Survival of the Brittest

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#2

American Vs British

iwillmindfuckyou Report

Yumeko
Community Member
3 years ago

Lol 😂

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#3

American Vs British

a-thousand-words Report

didi
Community Member
3 years ago

Actually quite useful: "biweekly" is confusing as some may consider that as twice a week or every 2 weeks. "Fortnightly" can only mean once every 2 weeks.

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#4

American Vs British

the-funkiest-penguin Report

Neeraj Jha
Community Member
3 years ago

why not BBC Radio 5? Just curious

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#5

American Vs British

brigwife Report

E Menendez
Community Member
3 years ago

I am from the US and I have thought the same thing ( why do we call it math when it should be maths) and always assumed I was just overthinking. Then I learned that Brits use maths and now I feel less foolish. Also, I love eagle fucker. Laughed out loud on that.

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#6

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

aphcanada-remade Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

And Frooty Loop to musicians! Sorry, I had to.

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#7

American Vs British

supremequeenofthenerds Report

Nicola Morley
Community Member
3 years ago

Us British can sneak up on you like a ninja in the night or even an iceberg in open water

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#8

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

claudiaboleyn Report

loveandbones
Community Member
3 years ago

Translation: Friend it's hard to explain, it's just like one day you will be with your friends having a look in a sports shop (called JD) and you might fancy the curry offer that's on at the local pub (called Wetherspoons) but your friend Calum, who is a legend and awesome will be like "Guys let's go to Nando's (a resturant chain in the UK, cheap and good tasting food, hence it feeling a bit cheeky) instead." and you'll think "Great idea. Let's go for it."

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#9

American Vs British

neisner Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
3 years ago

As a french, I find this....bizarre

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#10

American Vs British

grincham-n-larry Report

Xmayze
Community Member
3 years ago

Someone told me a lot of Americans don't even own a kettle, I'm slightly scared to ask if that's true....?

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#11

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

squiddleprincess Report

Sakata Gintoki
Community Member
3 years ago

That's probably because they never had to become an independent country.

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#12

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

snorlaxatives Report

Claire Kidd
Community Member
3 years ago

Why is that so weird to Americans? You know what I find weird? That Americans make everything sickly sweet and have an unhealthy relationship with Maple Syrup. On bacon? Really people?

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#13

American Vs British

MasterDrank Report

Steve
Community Member
3 years ago

"Pulp" is a band. "Juicy bits" are simply juicy and awesome. I'm ok with this one :D

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#14

American Vs British

keelahtequila Report

TC
Community Member
3 years ago

I suppose people in the USA get a compulsory tip because the don't earn enough from their employers and have to life on their clients charity...?

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#15

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

infinityonfries Report

Mateusz Mróz
Community Member
3 years ago

Same in Poland

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#16

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

DestinyDreadful Report

Fire Bird
Community Member
3 years ago

If you youtube Anglophenia she explains why there are two taps. They didnt want the hot water being contaminated by the cold water as they had seperate tanks. This was back in the day, they just do it now as nostalgia thing.

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#17

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

fialleril Report

Anete Evelone
Community Member
3 years ago

That still would make a sick tattoo with a STORY

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#18

American Vs British

emmybeezyk Report

Nicola Morley
Community Member
3 years ago

And you thought us Brits were straight laced and uppity. Mr Blobby is proof, do not mess with the Brits if you don't want the nightmares Freddy Kruger gets when sick.

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#19

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

nymerosmartell Report

Wanda Queen
Community Member
3 years ago

*also true in the North Eastern US

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#20

American Vs British

flomation Report

didi
Community Member
3 years ago

Due to the common market trade agreements, there was something of a campaign a while back for food terminology in Europe: They basically wanted all British chocolate renaming as chocolate candy because it wasn't pure enough by their standards (too much milk fat and sugar, not enough cocoa).

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#21

American Vs British

hahahhahanono Report

I❤️My cat
Community Member
3 years ago

Wtf is wrong w ur name!

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#22

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

selenasbieber Report

Vlad Horobet
Community Member
3 years ago

They see me rolling, they hatin'...

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#23

American Vs British

broderick Report

Brigitte
Community Member
3 years ago

Actually all over Europe it's pretty common to have your washing machine in the kitchen. If the bathroom is too small and there is no extra room, where else would you put it? Also in some apartments the water/drain pipes for washing machines are installed in the kitchen only, so you really have no other choice.

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#24

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

worldsenough Report

ispeak catanese
Community Member
3 years ago

We've been watching Vera, The Loch, Unforgotten, Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey & Shetland and have added so many great new insults and idioms to our speech! It's fun yelling knobhead and calling each other cow. I think I have developed a Scottish, Yorkshire, Puerto Rican accent.

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#25

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

flapperwitch Report

Aegon VI Targaryen
Community Member
3 years ago

can't beat a good chip butty :P

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#26

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

freetobegrace Report

Ninshi TheImp
Community Member
3 years ago

That reminds me of something I read. In germany the waterworks have to perpare for the breaks during important football games.

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#27

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

imgur Report

Alex Chobanyan
Community Member
3 years ago

oh, the grammar

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#28

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

actuallyiscoops Report

Kori K. Warriner
Community Member
3 years ago

I like knobjockey. I might have to use it.

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#29

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

tyleroakley Report

Daria B
Community Member
3 years ago

Makes sense, but.... I'm sure U.S.A. doesn't have the same accent in each state, just like the U.K. accents vary by countries and regions. Even in one single city of London you can differentiate between particular accents depending on the part of the city, no? Sorry, I'm an overthinker. *shrug*

Joe Sauer
Community Member
3 years ago

You hit the nail on the head Daria. There's the east coast accent, which differs from city to city, the southern draw, and if you live in the northern U.S., you start sounding like you're Canadian. Plus lots of others.

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Stu McKenzie
Community Member
3 years ago

Not the case, the various accents in the US are an amalgam of the various accents of those that left Europe and moved to the US. Lots of Irish and Scottish influence for example

Jonathan Ferguson
Community Member
3 years ago

Yes, there are isolated US accents that are probably close to the "levelled" accent originally developed, but the generic mid-west accent is very different to the southern English 16th century accent. The only thing in common is the rhotic R.

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Adam Gibson
Community Member
3 years ago

This just isn't true

David Thalenberg
Community Member
3 years ago

The American Southern drawl is an English upper-class accent from the 18th century. The old Brooklyn accent, heard in films from the Thirties, is similar to a lower-class English accent from the same century. The standard American accent of today is not far off the accent you hear in parts of western Ireland. The American South was heavily populated by English debtors, working off their prison sentences, so there are a few variations in the Southern accent, corresponding to upper and lower classes. Maryland and Delaware were settled before New England. The New England accents? No idea, but they may have been from the East of England.

Stille20
Community Member
3 years ago

Language evolves over time; so really this is untrue.

DE Ray
Community Member
3 years ago

Specifically the northern Virginian accent is suspected to be the closest to Shakespearean English - however, that accent is dying in the US as well. Far fewer speakers than there used to be.

Charlotte Powell
Community Member
3 years ago

How do you exoplain Australian accent then?

Jonathan Ferguson
Community Member
3 years ago

Its basically a modified amalgam of early 19th century London accents. Australia, NZ, S. Africa etc were settled after English standardised on the non-Rhotic pronunciation of the letter "R", the US & Canada before it, hence the major difference.

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Judit Thoma
Community Member
3 years ago

Actually, most of the USA was not speaking English when they sailed over so I would think it is some mixture of accents. For example French has a clear influance on it in words like fiancé, genre, etc.

Jonathan Ferguson
Community Member
3 years ago

The original 13 colonies very much did speak English as the dominant language. The French influence on English comes from the Norman invasion and later loanwords that are common to both British & American English.

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Blue Cicada
Community Member
3 years ago

Ahem. There is no one British accent!! Manchester doesn't sound like London or S England. Then you've got Welsh, Cornish, Scottish, N Irish.

Ben Weaver
Community Member
3 years ago

True, all those are distinct accents, each with their own unique characteristics and in that context they're all very different, but when compared to, say, Jamaican English it quickly becomes clear that those various English accents, different as they are, are all one thing and Jamaican is something else altogether.

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Mark Penrice
Community Member
3 years ago

Shakespeare actually would have had something similar to a Brummie or rural midlands accent. Not only is that the most logical assumption but the material seems to flow and sound better when spoken that way, even explains some of the stranger neologisms which suddenly make more obvious rhymes or near homophones with other parts of the passage... And of course those still existing accents are hardly what you'd call deliberate upper class affects. (what's described here I expect is the kind of RP that is often over emphasised by an "English" character in a US TV show or movie, and thought of as the universal English accent when it's actually just the vaguely aristocratic dialect put on by professional broadcasters and actors in the mid 20th century. There's a lot of US accents that still sound quite a lot like genuine everyday British ones... And many that very much don't. But then you had genuine multiculturalism on a wide scale long before we did, so there's been a lot of remixing)

Judy Marie
Community Member
2 years ago

I must admit, that really irritates me.. How alot of Americans think all us English sound like Sherlock homes, or something out of a Shakespearian play. No, its only the upper class that talk like that and even still you don't hear it much. I'm from a place called Yorkshire.. If anyone has hear Sean Bean speak his own dialect, yep, that's my accent.

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Elena Rogers
Community Member
3 years ago

That's just bollocks. When I went to the Outer Banks, they sounded like people from the South of England; they might have retained the accent, but a Texan is sure as shit not the same as Shakespeare spoke. 😂

Andi Townsend
Community Member
3 years ago

British dialect differentiation is the whole basis for Pygmalion (aka the musical My Fair Lady).

Master Markus
Community Member
3 years ago

Yeah, though it depends on the state, as some accents have more Spanish or French influence. Also, some people, such as Bostonians and Southerners have accents influenced by received pronunciation, so while they aren't like the modern British "standard", they are more similar to that than the more "natural" British accents that colonists would have had.

Suzanne Haigh
Community Member
1 week ago

What a load of rubbish

Sofia Khomssi-Bell
Community Member
1 year ago

what a load of tripe, who is this wanker ???

Bryan Chavis
Community Member
2 years ago

just the south have a slightly more loose accent in the U.S.A.

Nick Bissel
Community Member
3 years ago

The US has multiple accents, not necessarily by state, but by region. The North East accent, most notably the Boston accent, is supposedly the closest American accent to British.

Leah Boule
Community Member
3 years ago

Bill Bryson wrote that he thinks early Americans sounded like Yosemite Sam.

Emily Vaughn
Community Member
3 years ago

I've heard our southern drawl we have in our more southern states is the closest we have to the English accent, that if you were to speed up the drawl you can hear the English in it. just what I;ve heard

BlakCircleGirl
Community Member
3 years ago

OMG. The Shakespeare thing. I never thought about it like that before. Or that Americans have the original British accent. Too cool. :)

Cheryl Hopper
Community Member
3 years ago

It's the Southeast U.S. that has the closest thing to what the English sounded like in Colonial times.

Oliver Laxton
Community Member
3 years ago

Depends on the British accent, OP is actually closer to most traditional west country dialects than any American. Rhoticity is the key distinction to RP and American; which hence leads to the "better" performance of Shakespear (As standard American is rhotic, and RP is non-rhotic; whereas west country accents - and OP - are some of the many examples of rhotic English accents). However many of the linguistic characteristics found in OP are found in neither RP or Standard American. In short, language is a tree that grows in four dimensions, both over distance and time. We speak two near twigs of the same branch, both have grown apart, neither has remained.

George Alexander
Community Member
3 years ago

If there are a lot of people in the city like New York City or Los Angeles you will find different accents. If water separates parts of the city, like Charleston, South Carolina, you will find different accents. Sometimes it's like they come from a different country. The same can be said of Northern Germany and Southerh Germany. It's like they are from different countries.

cpd228
Community Member
3 years ago

And if you live in the Appalachians around the east Tennessee and North Carolina border you'll REALLY see a language get all screwed up! And yes, I live in that area! LOL!

Daniel Popescu
Community Member
3 years ago

Hearing American women say ''Oh ma Gawd'' is really funny to me. Which area do they come from?

Aine
Community Member
3 years ago

Same with the Québec French accent, which is close to the Île-de-France area's accent in the 1600-1700. It's that specific area, as that's where many boat captains were from. The other folks came from areas that sometimes didn't speak French, so they picked it up with the captains' accent. We also kept folk songs and stories that have been lost over there.

Jonathan Bruford
Community Member
3 years ago

you think all the great heroes from out west sounded like that? they had English accents! if you made an accurate western, it would have to be subtitled for american audiences!

Darryl Kerrigan
Community Member
3 years ago

No way in hell Shakespeare would say 'A loo mi nom'

Cheryl Birkhimer
Community Member
3 years ago

No! Will is turning over in his grave at the mere suggestion that his words, or Marlowe's, sound better with an American accent. Daria B, I agree. There are many different accents in most countries.

Michael Tangonan
Community Member
3 years ago

Wouldn't it be the other way around? A lot of people who did move to the colonies (i.e. the Thirteen Colonies, the Antilles, and Canada were generally Puritans who were considered to be too overzealous and extremist according to Anglican doctrines and were persecuted to the point they left the country for a better life ... ?

Heather Robinett
Community Member
3 years ago

We definitely do have different accents. Here in the southern US it's more prominate. I am a native Texan and we do have the southern drawl although we don't hear it when others Texans talk.

Rik Kellerman
Community Member
3 years ago

"But soft, what light on yonder window done breaks.."

Marie-Louise Chenois
Community Member
3 years ago

Also heard that ppl from Québec still have the french accent of 18th century in fact, and the french are making much fun of it....(i'm belgian btw =D)

Peter Bear
Community Member
3 years ago

Depends very, very greatly on where in America you are. A Bostonian sounds nothing like a Minnesotan or an Alabaman. And there's plenty of regional accents in the UK too. So... your question is invalid, because said 'British accent' doesn't actually exist.

Cherie
Community Member
3 years ago

I've heard this before. Still makes sense. No dropping of Haitches and Arrrs here.

Shari H
Community Member
3 years ago

Look up Smith Island Maryland to hear an old English accent in the US today. They are said to still have the vocabulary and accent of 1700's England.

Shan
Community Member
3 years ago

That's Smith Island, VIRGINIA, not Maryland. I know this because my family originally owned the island. My family still inhabits Smith island and Eastern Shore, Va. And yes, they do speak with an Elizabethan accent. On The Shore, it's a mix.

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Amanda Sango Hibbs
Community Member
3 years ago

Then where did the Australian accent come from?!

alexandra laurita
Community Member
3 years ago

This is certainly true to New England. Especially, Maine.

Marty BlackEagle-Carl
Community Member
3 years ago

new englanders have the most original British 'accent'

Dharmamitra Smon Gorvin
Community Member
3 years ago

This isn't correct. The american accent doesn't sound like Shakespeare's English would have sounded, but then neither do any regional British dialects of the modern day. Extensive studies have been done into what it would have sounded like and its a sort of cross between brummy, west country, Irish, Yorkshire and American with a bit of jack sparrow thrown in lol.... No one modern accent sounded right and both modern American and modern British sounds just as different from Shakespeare's English as the other. If you look on YouTube you'll find plenty of examples of Shakespeare's original pronunciation... As for an original British accent, well even Shakespeare's original pronunciation would have just been a regional dialect of the time

Dharmamitra Smon Gorvin
Community Member
3 years ago

This isn't correct. The american accent doesn't sound like Shakespeare's English would have sounded, but then neither do any regional British dialects of the modern day. Extensive studies have been done into what it would have sounded like and its a sort of cross between brummy, west country, Irish, Yorkshire and American with a bit of jack sparrow thrown in lol.... No one modern accent sounded right and both modern American and modern British sounds just as different from Shakespeare's English as the other. If you looknon YouTube you'll find plenty of examples of Shakespeare's original pronunciation

Katie Smith
Community Member
3 years ago

And Shakespeare most certainly does not sound better in an American accent.

Katie Smith
Community Member
3 years ago

There are as many British accents as there are American accents.

Fay
Community Member
3 years ago

The typical US New England accent is closest to the accent spoke by Shakespeare. There's been studies and plays performed with it. Google it

Ben Weaver
Community Member
3 years ago

Bullshit, for the most part anyway. There is a small island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island, Virginia. It's an hour by ferry from the mainland and the community there is so isolated that the people retain not just an English accent, but specifically a West Country English accent. In the surrounding communities they're known as "hoy toid-ers" because that's how they say "high tide." English accents were retained in parts of New England for a long time and some of it still remains. It was also retained among certain socio-economic classes. (Watch some clips of Eleanor Roosevelt and listen to her voice.) But for the most part Americans sound very little like their English ancestors.

Elizabeth Molloy
Community Member
3 years ago

Bollocks, it's mostly Irish.

Wanda Sochacki-Suridge
Community Member
3 years ago

The American accent came into being after the Irish Migrations, particularly after the Great Potato Famine.

E Menendez
Community Member
3 years ago

This is actually very true. Here is a persistent myth in the US that if you go to remote villages in the Ozarks you will find people that "speak the Queens English" but it is just a myth of ignorance.

Ben Weaver
Community Member
3 years ago

Definitely not "Queen's English", but some of them do retain some distinctly English characteristics. In some parts of Kentucky people still pronounce "join" as "jine." If I remember right, that is supposed to have come from East Anglia. I have no idea if that's how they sound now.

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Allie Orona
Community Member
3 years ago

WHAAAT

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#30

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

obeyknowles Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

I have NEVER heard of this sandwich! Where the hell was this dug up from? A 'toasted sandwich' is two slices of bread,toasted,with a filling of either meats,cheese or vegetables,etc... A 'thin slice of bread inbetween two slices of thicker bread' ?..... Seriously?

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#31

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

beta-sheratan Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Sandy is more cool than Frank? o_O

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#32

American Vs British

megganrenayorf_ Report

Andrew Smith
Community Member
3 years ago

Um. Yeah. Maybe because a "fanny" is something else.

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#33

American Vs British

beyoneeche Report

Steve
Community Member
3 years ago

Because it saves on plug-ware. I save pounds every year on not having to replace plugs for my sink.

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#34

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

seavaynay Report

Cynthia McDonald
Community Member
3 years ago

so... you know those little plastic packs that hot dogs come in have a salty liquid in them, right? They're not vacuum sealed in there all dry.

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#35

American Vs British

CrossRdsCollins Report

Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

faith sadly did not understand the concept of an egg cup. They are for boiled eggs, which are then eaten with a spoon.

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#36

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

jokebud Report

Claire Kidd
Community Member
3 years ago

Yeah, Americans have this weird view of the British. In their TV shows EVERY British person either speaks in a really posh voice or is a cockney. WE DON'T TALK LIKE THAT!

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#37

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

cheikothings Report

Allana Rose
Community Member
3 years ago

Isnt a willy a dick?

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#38

American Vs British

britishjoe Report

Steve
Community Member
3 years ago

Celebrating the day King James I survived what was essentially a terrorist plot to blow up the House of Lords. Interestingly we celebrate by blowing stuff up whilst freezing our collective backsides off and waving sparklers about.

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#39

American Vs British

brokeymcpoverty Report

Ines Äffchen
Community Member
3 years ago

when I first moved to the UK and switched on the TV I learned that this is a show about people who have some complaint that's "too embarrassing to show your doctor". But yeah, let's ALL have a look at that on national TV, why not.

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#40

American Vs British

cloandfriends Report

Rose Jones
Community Member
3 years ago

It's actually quite delicious, economical and takes 5 min to prepare

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#41

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

obvz Report

John Doe
Community Member
3 years ago

exactly, that's just what you say!! or may be "past midnight" as well

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#42

American Vs British

written-is-written Report

Wanda Sochacki-Suridge
Community Member
3 years ago

I'm Australian - we grew up with Freddo Frogs!

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#43

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

verityglasses Report

Neil Adams
Community Member
3 years ago

It's correctly pronounced 'aitch', without the aspirant. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/aitch

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#44

American Vs British

bathadah Report

Lottie Park
Community Member
3 years ago

Says the Americans with their VERY dodgy definition of a biscuit.

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#45

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

theonlyvun Report

Kori K. Warriner
Community Member
3 years ago

Americans do that too. All the time.

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#46

American-british-cultural-differences-confusion

anbrll00 Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
3 years ago

They don't....It's called Polo and mainly played by the very wealthy in the UK and completely different.

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#47

American Vs British

moteIboy Report

Sherlock Holmes
Community Member
3 years ago

X = kiss. xoxo

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