Stereotypes of the British

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Stereotypes of British people are found in several cultures.[1] Some of these stereotypes are completely untrue,[2] while others have some truth to them.

Positive stereotypes[edit]


Many British people are seen as polite,[3] similar to Canadians.[4]


British people are proud of their local community and the country they live in, [5] although some are afraid to show their pride in their cultures and politics publicly.[6] While national pride relating to the United Kingdom is rarely displayed, pride in the nations and regions of the United Kingdom is often evident, particularly in Wales and Scotland, where patron saints' days and sporting events associated with the Welsh and Scottish respectively are celebrated.


British people are well known for their use of sarcasm and irony.[7] Some of the best comedy shows, such as Fawlty Towers and Mr. Bean, are British.[8]


British music is often seen as being better than American music[9], including the best rock bands.[10]


Football is very popular in the United Kingdom, and has some of the best players in the world.[11][12]


Tea is seen as a key part of British culture.[13]

Negative stereotypes[edit]

Bigotry and racism[edit]

In the past, many British people were seen as bigoted.[14] Some modern British people in politics are often accused of being racist.[15] In addition, some British people have a negative view of Americans[16], though this is not universal.[17] British people overall are welcoming to people of different nationalities and sexualities.[18]


Weather in the United Kingdom is seen as poor,[1] mostly consisting of heavy rain.[19] In reality, however, the UK has seen some record-breaking sunny weather as well and also it rains less quantity in London than Sydney or Miami.[20]


Americans often joke about the British having bad or even bucked teeth, however, this is mostly untrue.[2]


There are often jokes about British food being either poor quality or inedible. In reality, especially in recent times, this is false[2] and British people eat a huge variety of dishes from a great wealth of cultures.


The British are only able to speak English and expect speakers of foreign languages to communicate with them in English.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b "12 Stereotypes of British People You Need to Know About". Gap Year. 3 March 2017. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Finnis, Alex (24 April 2018). "The stereotypes Americans have about Britain which are actually completely wrong". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  3. ^ Mills, Sara (19 October 2017). "English Politeness and Class". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ Paget, Antonia (10 May 2016). "What makes Brits proud? Biggest ever study of national pride reveals all". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Patriotic Britons are increasingly afraid of showing national pride in public, says study". The Independent. 19 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Most Common Cultural British Stereotypes". 15 July 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ Barrie, Joshua (24 October 2016). "American lists everything the British do better – it takes a while". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  10. ^ Young, Rob (19 August 2010). "Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music". Faber & Faber. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  11. ^ "Why is football so popular in England? - There are reasons". 16 May 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  12. ^ Mitchell, Colin; Reeves, Jon; Tyler, Daniel (20 May 2019). "The History of English Football Clubs". New Holland Publishers. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "English Stereotypes: Fact or Fiction?". Tandem - Speak Any Language. 2017-08-30. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  14. ^ "Not all British memsahibs were racist snobs". The Spectator. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  15. ^ Shabi, Rachel (7 May 2019). "Racism in political parties reflects pervasive prejudice in Brexit Britain - Rachel Shabi". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  16. ^ "A bizarre view of Americans". 4 January 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  17. ^ "British Views of American Society". 20 September 1864. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Murdoch, H. Adlai (20 May 2019). "Creolizing the Metropole: Migrant Caribbean Identities in Literature and Film". Indiana University Press. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  20. ^ Nobbs, Patrick (15 January 2015). "The Story of the British and Their Weather: From Frost Fairs to Indian Summers". Amberley Publishing Limited. Retrieved 20 May 2019 – via Google Books.
  21. ^ "Why Britons are 'language barbarians'". July 29, 2004 – via
  22. ^ "Parlez-vous English? British holidaymakers embarrassed by poor language skills | British Council".