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AFTERNOON TEA (The traditional 4 o'clock tea)

This is a small meal, not a drink. Traditionally it consists of Tea (or coffee) served with either of
the following:
Freshly baked scones served with cream and jam (Known
as a cream tea)
Afternoon tea sandwiches often thinly sliced cucumber
sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
Assorted pastries
Today ritish !amilies do not have time !or a!ternoon tea at home, but in the past it was a
tradition. t became popular about one hundred and fifty years ago, when rich ladies invited their
friends to their houses for an afternoon cup of tea. They started offering their visitors sandwiches
and cakes too. !oon everyone was en"oying Afternoon tea.
"#$" TEA (The traditional % o'clock tea)
The #ritish working population did not have Afternoon Tea. They had a meal about midday, and
a meal after work, between five and seven o$clock. This meal was called $hi&h tea$ or "ust $tea$.
(Today, most people refer to the evening meal as dinner or supper.)
Traditionally eaten early evening, %igh tea was a substantial meal that combined delicious sweet
foods, such as scones, cakes, buns or tea breads, with tempting savouries, such as cheese on
toast, toasted cr'm(ets, cold meats and pickles or poached eggs on toast. This meal is now
often replaced with a supper due to people eating their main meal in the evenings rather than at
midday.
&hen it comes to customs, #ritish are reputed to follow the strictest of rules. The traditional '
o(clock tea is something the average )nglishman wouldn(t want to miss. This custom was
formed about *+, years ago, when #ritish aristocrats would invite each other to their homes for a
brief cup of tea, at e-actly ' o(clock (punctuality being another great tradition for the #ritish).
.enerally, the #ritish are though as punctual, elegant, sophisticated, phlegmatic and undisturbed
folk, having strict rules for their dress code, manners, gestures and overall presence. Their
conservative nature gives them the look and feel of the lords and ladies that roamed the #ritish
counties one or two hundred years ago. This fact is strengthened by their custom of holding on to
the very old nobility titles of /ord0/ady, #aron0#aroness and !ir (this is a title given to men
only, not having a similar title for women).
TA)E A*A+ FOO, (Eat o't !ood)
Take1away meals are very popular and most towns have a selection of ndian, talian, 2hinese
and .reek 3estaurants.
Fish and chi(s is the classic En&lish take-away !ood and is the traditional national !ood o!
En&land. t became popular in the *45,$s when railways began to bring fresh fish straight from
the east coast to the our cities over night.
The fish (cod, haddock, huss, plaice) is deep fried in flour batter and is eaten with chips.
Traditionally, the fish and chips are covered with salt and malt vinegar and, using your fingers,
eaten straight out of the newspaper which they were wrapped in. 6ow1a1days small wooden
forks are provided and the fish and chips are wrapped in more hygienic paper.
n the north of )ngland, fish and chips is often served with 7mushy peas7 (mashed processed
peas).
Fish and /hi(s is traditionally En&land's national !ood.
0EA12 and 0EA1 T#0E2
!ome people have their biggest meal in the middle of the day and some have it in the evening,
but most people today have a small mid1day meal 1 usually sandwiches, and perhaps some crisps
and some fruit.
*e have three main meals a day3
reak!ast 1 between 8:,, and 9:,,,
1'nch 1 between *::,, and *:;, p.m.
,inner (sometimes called 2'((er) 1 The main meal. )aten anytime between 5:;, and 4:,, p.m.
()vening meal)
Traditionally, and for some people still, the meals are called3
reak!ast 1 between 8:,, and 9:,,,
,inner (The main meal) 1 between *::,, and *:;, p.m.
Tea 1 anywhere from +:;, at night to 5:;, p.m.
<n !undays the main meal of the day is often eaten at midday instead of in the evening. This
meal usually is a Roast ,inner consisting of a roast meat, =orkshire pudding and two kinds of
vegetables.
REA)FA2T
*hat is a ty(ical En&lish reak!ast4
>ost people around the world seem to think a typical )nglish breakfast consists of
eggs, bacon, sausages, fried bread, mushrooms and baked beans all washed down
with a cup of coffee. 6owadays, however, a ty(ical En&lish break!ast is more
likely to be a bowl o! cereals5 a slice o! toast5 oran&e j'ice and a c'( o! co!!ee.
The Traditional )nglish #reakfast without the fried bread.
The traditional )nglish breakfast consists o! e&&s5 bacon5 sa'sa&es5 !ried bread5 baked beans
and m'shrooms. )ven though not many people will eat this for breakfast today, it is always
served in hotels and guest houses around #ritain.
The traditional )nglish breakfast is called the F'll En&lish and sometimes referred to as The
?ull )nglish ?ry1up.
>any people, especially children, in )ngland will eat a bowl of cereal. They are made with
different grains such as corn, wheat, oats etc.
n the winter many people will eat 7porridge7 or boiled oats.
#ack to Armchair Travel
16N/"
*hat is a ty(ical En&lish l'nch4
>any children at school and adults at work will have a $packed lunch$. This typically consists of
a sandwich, a (acket o! cris(s, a (iece o! !r'it and a drink. The $packed lunch$ is kept in a
plastic container.
2andwiches are also known as a b'tty or sarnie in some parts of the @K.
>y favourite sandwich is prawn and mayonaise. also love tuna and mayonaise and ham and
pickle sandwiches.
!ee a sample menu of food served in pubs
!ample menu of food served for !chool Ainners
,#NNER
The evening meal is usually called $tea$, $dinner$ or $supper$.
*hat is a traditional En&lish ,inner4
A typical #ritish meal for dinner is meat and 7two veg7. &e put hot brown gravy, traditionally
made from the "uices of the roast meat (but more often today from a packetB) on the meat and
usally the vegetables. <ne of the vegetables is almost always potatoes.
This traditional meal is rarely eaten nowadays, a recent survey found that most people in #ritain
eat curryB 3ice or pasta are now favoured as the $#ritish Ainner$.
7e&etables grown in )ngland, like potatoes, carrots, peas, cabbages and onions, are still very
popular. &e can also buy vegetables from many countries all through the year
The 2'nday Roast ,inner
!unday lunch time is a typical time to eat the traditional 2'nday Roast. Traditionally it consists
of roast meat, (cooked in the oven for about two hours), two di!!erent kinds o! ve&etables and
(otatoes with a =orkshire pudding. The most common "oints are beef, lamb or porkC chicken is
also popular.
#eef is eaten with hot white horseradish sauce, pork with sweet apple sauce and lamb with green
mint sauce. .ravy is poured over the meat.
*hich o! the !ollowin& social c'stoms are similar or di!!erent to yo'r co'ntry4
The #ritish are said to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. &e are famous for our
politeness, self1discipline and especially for our sense of humour. #asic politeness (please,
thank1you, e-cuse me) is e-pected.
"ow to &reet someone english etiDuette
#ritish people are Duite reserved when greeting one another. .reeting can be a bright $"ello$ '"i'
or $$ood mornin&$, when you arrive at work or at school.
?ind out more about greetings ....
Terms o! Endearment - Names we may call yo'
=ou may be called by many different $affectionate$ names, according to which part of the #ritain
you are in. Ao not be offended, this is Duite normal. ?or e-ample, you may be called dear, dearie,
flower, love, chick, chuck, me duck, me duckie, mate, guv, son, ma$am, madam, miss, sir, or
treacle, according to your se-, age and location.
7isitin& (eo(le in their ho'ses
&hen being entertained at someone$s home it is nice to take a gift for the host and hostess. A
bottle of wine, bunch of flowers or chocolates are all acceptable.
!ee also our other page on !ocial 2ustoms
!ending a thank yo' note is also considered appropriate.
Eatin&
&e eat continental style, with fork in the left hand and the knife in the right.
"ow to $reet someone in ritain
The "andshake
A handshake is the most common form of greeting among the )nglish and #ritish people and is
customary when you are introduced to somebody new.
The )iss
t is only when you meet friends, whom you haven$t seen for a long time, that you would kiss the
cheek of the opposite se-. n #ritain one kiss is generally enough.
Formal &reetin&s
The usual formal greeting is a $%ow do you doE$ and a firm handshake, but with a lighter touch
between men and women.
F"ow do yo' do4( is a greeting not a Duestion and the correct response is to repeat F"ow do yo'
do4$ =ou say this when shaking hands with someone.
%ow do you doE G %ow do you doE
$"ow are yo'4$ is a Duestion and the most common and polite response is 7# am !ine thank yo'
and yo'47
%ow are youE G am fine thank you and youE
6ice to meet you G 6ice to meet you too. (<ften said whilst shaking hands)
Aelighted to meet youG Aelighted to meet you too.
Hleased to meet you G Hleased to meet you too.
.ood >orning 0 .ood Afternoon 0 .ood )vening
#n!ormal &reetin&s
%i 1 %i or hello
>orning 0 Afternoon 0 )vening ( &e drop the word $.ood$ in informal situations).
%ow$s youE 1 ?ine thanks. =ouE
Thank you 0 thanks 0 cheers
&e sometime say $cheers$ instead of thank you. =ou may hear $cheers$ said instead of $good bye$,
what we are really saying is $thanks and bye$.
*hat sho'ld # do or not do
when # am eatin& in ritain4
The #ritish generally pay a lot of attention to good table manners. )ven young children are
e-pected to eat properly with knife and fork.
&e eat most of our food with cutlery. The foods we don$t eat with a knife, fork or spoon include
sandwiches, crisps, corn on the cob, and fruit.
Thin&s yo' sho'ld do3
f you cannot eat a certain type of food or have some special needs, tell your host several days
before the dinner party.
f you are a guest, it is polite to wait until your host starts eating or indicates you should do so. t
shows consideration.
Always chew and swallow all the food in your mouth be!ore taking more or taking a drink.
=ou may eat chicken and (i88a with yo'r !in&ers if you are at a barbecue, finger buffet or very
informal setting. Otherwise always 'se a kni!e and !ork.
Always say thank yo' when served something. t shows appreciation.
&hen eatin& rolls, break off a piece of bread before buttering. )ating it whole looks tacky.
&hen eating so'(, tip the bowl away from you and scoop the soup up with your spoon.
&hen you have finished eating, and to let
others know that you have, (lace yo'r
kni!e and !olk to&ether5 with the prongs
(tines) on the fork facing upwards, on
your plate.
n a restaurant, it is normal to pay for your food by putting your money on the plate the bill
comes on.
Thin&s yo' sho'ld not do3
Never lick or ('t yo'r kni!e in yo'r mo'th.
t is im(olite to start eatin& be!ore everyone has been served.
Never chew with yo'r mo'th o(en. 6o one wants to see food being chewed or hearing it being
chomped on.
t is impolite to have your elbows on the table while you are eating.
,on't reach over someone$s plate for something, ask for the item to be passed.
Never talk with !ood in yo'r mo'th.
t is im(olite to ('t too m'ch !ood in yo'r mo'th.
6ever use your fingers to push food onto your spoon or fork.
t is im(olite to sl'r( yo'r !ood or eat noisily.
6ever blow yo'r nose on a na(kin (serviette). 6apkins are for dabbing your lips and only for
that.
6ever take food from your neighbours plate.
Never (ick !ood o't o! yo'r teeth with your fingernails.
Thin&s that are ok to do3
t is ok to eat and drink somethin& while walkin& down the street, unless you want to seem
posh.
t is ok to (o'r yo'r own drink when eatin& with other (eo(le, but it is more polite to offer
pouring drinks to the people sitting on either side of you.
t is ok to ('t milk and s'&ar in yo'r tea and co!!ee or to drink them both without either.
# am not 'sed to eatin& with a kni!e and !ork. *hat do # need to know4
&e eat continental style, with fork in the left hand and the knife in the right (or the other way
round if you are left handed). At the top of your plate will be a dessert spoon and dessert fork.
f you are eating at a formal dinner party, you will come across many knives and forks. !tart
with the utensils on the outside and work your way inward with each subseDuent course
"ow to eat with a kni!e and !ork in En&land
The fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right.
f you have a knife in one hand, it is wrong to have a fork in the other with the prongs (tines)
pointed up.
%old your knife with the handle in your palm and your folk in the other hand with the prongs
pointing downwards.
%ow to hold a fork %ow to hold a knife
&hen eating in formal situations, rest the fork and knife on the plate between mouthfuls, or for a
break for conversation.
f you put your knife down, you can turn your fork over. t$s correct to change hands when you
do this, too, so if you are right handed you would switch and eat with the fork in your right hand.
f it is your sole eating instrument, the fork
should be held with the handle between the
inde- finger and the thumb and resting on the
side of your middle finger.
"ow to eat (eas
To be very polite, peas should be crushed onto the fork 1 a fork with the prongs pointing down.
The best way is to have load the fork with something to which they will stick, such as potato or a
soft vegetable that sDuashes easily onto the fork. t$s sometimes easier to put down your knife
and then switch your fork to the other hand, so you can shovel the peas against something else on
the plate, thus ensuring they end up on your fork.
"ow to eat ('ddin& (desserts)
To eat dessert, break the dessert with the spoon, one bite at a time. Hush the food with the fork
(optional) into the spoon. )at from the spoon. (?ork in left handC spoon in right.)
"ow to 'se a na(kin or serviette
The golden rule is that a napkin should never be used to blow your nose on. This is a definite no1
no. 6apkins should be placed across the lap 1 tucking them into your clothing may be considered
$common$.
ritish ank "olidays 9::; - 9::<
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='blic "olidays
#ritain has relatively few public holidays compared with other
)uropean countries. They are usually described as #ank
%olidays because they are days when banks are officially
closed.
#ank holiday dates :,,8 1 :,,9
&hat are bank holidaysE
%istory of #ank %olidays
6) ank "oliday ,ates
9::%5 9::;5 9::> and 9::<
#ank and Hublic %olidays in )ngland, &ales, !cotland and
6orthern reland
The e-pected dates of bank and public holidays in )ngland,
&ales, !cotland and 6orthern reland are shown below for the
years :,,51:,,9 inclusive are listed below on this page.
En&land and *ales
9::% 9::; 9::> 9::<
New +ear's ,ay : Kan ? * Kan * Kan * Kan
$ood Friday ank "oliday *' Apr 5 Apr :* >ar *, Apr
Easter 0onday ank "oliday *8 Apr 9 Apr :' >ar *; Apr
Early 0ay ank "oliday
(First 0onday in 0ay)
* >ay 8 >ay + >ay ' >ay
2(rin& ank "oliday
(/ast >onday in >ay)
:9 >ay :4 >ay :5 >ay :+ >ay
2'mmer ank "oliday
(/ast >onday in August)
:4 Aug :8 Aug :+ Aug ;* Aug
/hristmas ,ay ank "oliday :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec
o@in& ,ay ank "oliday :5 Aec :5 Aec :5 Aec :4 Aec L
? !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of *st Kan
M !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :+th Aec because :+th falls at the weekend
L !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :5th Aec because :5th falls at the weekend
#ack to the top
2cotland
9::% 9::; 9::> 9::<
New +ear's ,ay ; Kan ? * Kan * Kan * Kan
2econd o! Aan'ary : Kan : Kan : Kan : Kan
$ood Friday ank "oliday *' Apr 5 Apr :* >ar *, Apr
Easter 0onday ank "oliday *8 Apr 9 Apr :' >ar *; Apr
Early 0ay ank "oliday
(?irst >onday in >ay)
* >ay
8 >ay + >ay ' >ay
2(rin& ank "oliday
(/ast >onday in >ay)
:9 >ay :4 >ay :5 >ay :+ >ay
2'mmer ank "oliday
(?3!T >onday in August)
8 Aug 5 Aug ' Aug ; Aug
/hristmas ,ay ank "oliday :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec
o@in& ,ay ank "oliday :5 Aec :5 Aec :5 Aec :4 Aec L
? !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of *st Kan or :nd Kan
M !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :+th Aec because :+th falls at the weekend
L !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :5th Aec because :5th falls at the weekend
#ack to the top
Northern #reland
9::% 9::; 9::> 9::<
New +ear's ,ay : Kan ? * Kan * Kan * Kan
2t =atrick's ,ay *8 >ar *9 >ar *8 >ar *8 >ar
$ood Friday *' Apr 5 Apr :* >ar *, Apr
Easter 0onday *8 Apr 9 Apr :' >ar *; Apr
Early 0ay ank "oliday * >ay 8 >ay + >ay ' >ay
2(rin& ank "oliday :9 >ay :4 >ay :5 >ay :+ >ay
attle o! the oyne (Oran&emen's ,ay) *: Kuly *: Kuly *' Kuly *; Kuly
2'mmer ank "oliday :4 Aug :8 Aug :+ Aug ;* Aug
/hristmas ,ay :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec :+ Aec
o@in& ,ay :5 Aec :5 Aec :5 Aec :4 Aec L
? !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of *st Kan
? Substitute Bank Holiday in lieu of 17 Mar (St Patrick's Day)
M !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :+th Aec
L !ubstitute #ank %oliday in lieu of :5th Aec because :5th falls at the weekend
#ack to the top
*hat are ('blic holidays4
.enerally, public holidays include bank holidays, holidays by 3oyal Hroclamation and
$common law holidays$. #anks are not allowed to operate on bank holidays. &hen public
holidays in the 2hristmas and 6ew =ear period fall on !aturdays and !undays, alternative
week days are declared public holidays.
*hat are 'bank' holidays4
#ritish bank holidays are Hublic %olidays and have been recogniNed since *48*. The name
#ank %oliday comes from the time when banks were shut and so no trading could take
place.
The *48* Act designated four holidays in )ngland, &ales and reland (then wholly part of
the @K), and five in !cotland. (?or an historical look at #ank %olidays, please visit our
/iving in )ngland #log.)
There are currently 4 permanent bank and public holidays in )ngland, &ales and !cotland
and *, in 6orthern reland. These include 2hristmas Aay and .ood ?riday, which in
)ngland, &ales and 6orthern reland are common law$ holidays (they are not specified by
law as bank holidays but have become customary holidays because of common observance).
Are sho(s o(en on bank holidays4
)ven though banks are still closed on these days many shops today now remain open.
!hops, museums and other public attractions, such as historic houses and sports centres,
may close on certain public holidays, particularly 2hristmas Aay.
Traditionally many businesses close on #ank %olidays to enable the workers to have a
holiday. This time is often spent with the family on mini breaks and outings. #ecause of
this, anyone who works on #ank %olidays usually gets paid e-tra 1 7time1and1a1half7 or
even 7double time,7 negotiated for them by the Trades @nions.
!ee shops opening times on a bank holiday
,o workers a'tomatically &et a day o!! on ank "olidays4
&orkers do not have a statutory right to paid leave on bank and public holidays. f paid
leave is given on a bank or public holiday, this may count towards the four weeks minimum
holiday entitlement.
ank "olidays in En&land and *ales august bank holiday
n )ngland and &ales there are si- bank holidays and two common law holidays.
#ank %olidays:
6ew =ear$s Aay ,
)aster >onday,
>ay Aay (not necessarily * >ay),
!pring %oliday at the end of >ay
/ate !ummer %oliday at the end of August, and
#o-ing Aay (:5 Aecember or the >onday nearest)
2ommon /aw %olidays (6ational holidays)
.ood ?riday
2hristmas Aay
(n )ngland, &ales O reland, both 2hristmas Aay and .ood ?riday were traditional $days
of rest$ and 2hristian worship .. as were !undays, and did not need to be included in the
*48* Act .. unlike for !cotland )
#ank %olidays in !cotland
!cotland has eight public holidays:
6ew =ear$s Aay,
Kanuary :,
.ood ?riday,
>ay Aay (not necessarily * >ay),
!pring %oliday at the end of >ay
/ate !ummer %oliday at the beginning of August
2hristmas Aay
#o-ing Aay.
#ank %olidays in 6orthern reland
n 6orthern reland there are seven bank holidays:
6ew =ear$s Aay,
!t. Hatrick$s Aay (*8 >arch),
)aster >onday,
>ay Aay (not necessarily * >ay),
!pring %oliday at the end of >ay
/ate !ummer %oliday at the end of August, and
#o-ing Aay.
There are also two common law holidays on .ood ?riday and 2hristmas Aay and a public
holiday on the anniversary of the #attle of the #oyne (*: Kuly).
*hat ha((ens when bank holidays !all on a weekend4
There are holidays in lieu of those public holidays which fall at weekends.
!pecial Aays and ?estivals in )ngland (with dates).
?ind out how the #ritish celebrate traditional and religious holidays.
#ack to the top
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ack to C'estions abo't En&land and the rest o! ritain and
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#ritain is full of culture and traditions which have been around for hundreds of years. #ritish
customs and traditions are famous all over the world. &hen people think of #ritain they often
think of people drinking tea, eating fish and chips and wearing bowler hats, but there is more to
#ritain than "ust those things. &e have )nglish and #ritish traditions of sport, music, food and
many royal occasions. There are also songs, sayings and superstitions. &ho was .uy ?awkesE
&hy does the Queen have two birthdaysE =ou can find the answers here in our pages on life in
#ritain
ritish 2ayin&s and =roverbs
Every clo'd has a silver linin&.
There$s always something good in bad times.
A stitch in time saves nine.
Act early and you can save a lot of time.
Nothin& vent'red nothin& &ained.
=ou have to try or you won$t get anything.
O't o! the !ryin& (an into the !ire.
?rom one problem to another.
One man's meat is another man's (oison.
Heople often don$t like the same things.
,on't look a &i!t horse in the mo'th.
Aon$t Duestion good luck.
+o' can lead a horse to water b't yo' cannot make it drink.
=ou can give a person a chance, but you can$t make him or her take it.
The &rass is always &reener on the other side.
=ou always think that other people$s lives are better than yours.
The best thin&s in li!e are !ree.
&e don$t have to pay for the things that are really valuable, like love, friendship, good health etc.
,on't cross yo'r brid&es be!ore yo' come to them.
Aon$t worry about problems before they arrive.
#t was the last straw that broke the camel's back.
There is a limit to everything. &e can load the camel with lots of straw, but finally it will be too
much and the camel$s back will break. And it is only a single straw that breaks its back 1 the last
straw.
This can be applied to many things in life. Heople often say 7That$s the last strawB7 when they
will not accept any more of something.
*here there's a will there's a way.
f we have the determination to do something, we can always find the path or method to do it.
0arry in haste5 and re(ent at leis're.
f we get married Duickly, without thinking carefully, we may be sorry later. And we will have
plenty of time to be sorry.
The best advice is !o'nd on the (illow.
f we have a problem, we may find the answer after a good night$s sleep.
Heople also often say: 7$ll sleep on it.7
+o' can't tell a book by its cover.
&e need to read a book to know if it$s good or bad. &e cannot know what it$s like "ust by
looking at the front or back cover. This proverb is applied to everything, not only books.
ad news travels !ast.
7 #ad news7 means news about 7bad7 things like accidents, death, illness etc. Heople tend to tell
this type of news Duickly. #ut 7good news7 (passing an e-am, winning some money, getting a
"ob etc) travels more slowly.
irds o! a !eather !lock to&ether.
7 #irds of a feather7 means 7birds of the same type7. The whole proverb means that people of the
same type or sort stay together. They don$t mi- with people of another type
1ive and let live.
This proverb suggest that we should not interfere in other people$s business. &e should live our
own lives and let others live their lives.
The way to a man's heart is thro'&h his stomach.
>any women have won a man$s love by cooking delicious meals for him. They fed his stomach
and found love in his heart.
etter 'nta'&ht than ill ta'&ht.
This proverb drops the verb 7to be7. #ut we understand: 7t is better not to be taught at all than to
be taught badly.7 t$s better not to learn something than to learn it badly.
2oon learnt5 soon !or&otten.
!omething that is easy to learn is easy to forget.
#ritish !ayings
ob's yo'r 'ncle.
t is added to the end of sentences a bit like and that$s itB
<rigin of #ob$s your @ncle
7#ob$s your @ncle7 is a way of saying 7you$re all set7 or 7you$ve got it made.7 #t's a catch
(hrase datin& back to D>>;, when #ritish Hrime >inister 3obert 2ecil (a.k.a. /ord
!alisbury) decided to appoint a certain Arthur #alfour to the prestigious and sensitive post
of 2hief !ecretary for reland.
6ot lost on the #ritish public was the fact that /ord !alisbury "ust happened to be better
known to Arthur #alfour as 7@ncle #ob.7 n the resulting furor over what was seen as an act
of blatant nepotism, 7#ob$s your uncle7 became a popular sarcastic comment applied to any
situation where the outcome was preordained by favoritism. As the scandal faded in public
memory, the phrase lost its edge and became "ust a synonym for 7no problem.7
#y Kames %arris
'rnin& the /andle at oth Ends - working for many hours without getting enough rest
Eyes are bi&&er than yo'r belly - think you can eat more than you can
$>y eyes were bigger than my belly, couldn$t eat every thing had put on my plate$
2lee( Ti&ht - %ave a good nights sleep
Tie the )not - .et >arried
*hat are ritain's 2ocial /'stoms4
Time
#ritish people place considerable value on punctuality. f you agree to meet friends at
three o$clock, you can bet that they$ll be there "ust after three. !ince #ritons are so time
conscious, the pace of life may seem very rushed. n #ritain, people make great effort
to arrive on time. t is often considered impolite to arrive even a few minutes late. f
you are unable to keep an appointment, it is e-pected that you call the person you are
meeting. !ome general tips follow.
+o' sho'ld arrive3
R At the e-act time specified G for dinner, lunch, or appointments with professors, doctors, and
other professionals.
R Any time during the hours specified for teas, receptions, and cocktail parties.
R A few minutes early: for public meetings, plays, concerts, movies, sporting events, classes,
church services, and weddings.
f you are invited to someone$s house for dinner at half past seven, they will not e-pect you to be
there on the dot. t is considered good manners to arrive ten to fifteen minutes 7late7. An
invitation might state 78.;, for 47, in which case you should arrive no later than 8.+,. %owever,
if an invitation says 7sharp7, you must arrive in plenty of time.
#nvitations
S Arop in anytimeT and Scome see me soonT are idioms often used in social settings but seldom
meant to be taken literally. t is wise to telephone before visiting someone at home. f you
receive a written invitation to an event that says SR27=T, you should respond to let the person
who sent the invitation know whether or not you plan to attend.
6ever accept an invitation unless you really plan to go. =ou may refuse by saying, SThank you
for inviting me, but will not be able to come.T f, after accepting, you are unable to attend, be
sure to tell those e-pecting you as far in advance as possible that you will not be there.
Although it is not necessarily e-pected that you give a gift to your host, it is considered polite to
do so, especially if you have been invited for a meal. ?lowers, chocolate, or a small gift are all
appropriate. A thank1you note or telephone call after the visit is also considered polite and is an
appropriate means to e-press your appreciation for the invitation.
,ress
)veryday dress is appropriate for most visits to peoples$ homes. =ou may want to dress more
formally when attending a holiday dinner or cultural event, such as a concert or theatre
performance.
#ntrod'ction and $reetin&
t is proper to shake hands with everyone to whom you are introduced, both men and women. An
appropriate response to an introduction is 7 am happy to meet you7. f you want to introduce
yourself to someone, e-tend you hand for a handshake and say 7%ello, am....7. %ugging is only
for friends.
,inin&
&hen you accept a dinner invitation, tell your host if you have any dietary restrictions. %e or she
will want to plan a meal that you can en"oy. The evening meal is the main meal of the day in
most parts of #ritain.
?ood may be served in one of several ways: 7!amily style,7 by passing the serving plates from
one to another around the dining tableC 7b'!!et style,7 with guests serving themselves at the
buffetC and 7servin& style,7 with the host filling each plate and passing it to each person. .uests
usually wait until everyone at their table has been served before they begin to eat. ?ood is eaten
with a knife and fork and dessert with a spoon and fork.
*hich o! the !ollowin& social c'stoms are similar or di!!erent to yo'r co'ntry4
The #ritish are said to be reserved in manners, dress and speech. &e are famous for our
politeness, self1discipline and especially for our sense of humour. #asic politeness (please,
thank1you, e-cuse me) is e-pected.
"ow to &reet someone english etiDuette
#ritish people are Duite reserved when greeting one another. .reeting can be a bright $"ello$ '"i'
or $$ood mornin&$, when you arrive at work or at school.
?ind out more about greetings ....
Terms o! Endearment - Names we may call yo'
=ou may be called by many different $affectionate$ names, according to which part of the #ritain
you are in. Ao not be offended, this is Duite normal. ?or e-ample, you may be called dear, dearie,
flower, love, chick, chuck, me duck, me duckie, mate, guv, son, ma$am, madam, miss, sir, or
treacle, according to your se-, age and location.
7isitin& (eo(le in their ho'ses
&hen being entertained at someone$s home it is nice to take a gift for the host and hostess. A
bottle of wine, bunch of flowers or chocolates are all acceptable.