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Vistors to the UK

By neilb@uk ·
A number of people on the various threads have expressed a desire to visit the UK. I've posted a few tips to enable you to "blend-in". I live in London - which occupies about 60% of Englands non-mountainous land - so most of what I've written applies to the capital.


If you do get out of London then the University Towns are worth a visit. A delightful way of spending an afternoon in Oxford or Cambridge is gliding down the river in a flat-bottomed boat called a Yerinal. This practice is known as cottaging. The poles used to move the yerinals must be treated with vegetable oil to protect them from the water, so it's a good idea to buy a can of Crisco and have it on you when you ask directions to the yerinals. That way people will know you are an experienced cottager. Some places rent such craft by the hour, so if you'd like a go simply tell a policeman you'd like
to know where the public Yerinals are because you'd like to do some cottaging. He may even offer to accompany you to the (boat) station.

Dining in Great Britain is as convenient as in America, perhaps more so! When the bill comes it will show a suggested amount. Pay what you think is fair, unless you plan to dine there again in which case you should tell the waiter "I am doing a runner", and simply walk out. He will understand that he should "run" a tab for you from now on.

Vocabulary: If you want to sound cool then Money is referred to as "goolies" in slang, so you should for instance say "I'd love to come to the pub but I haven't got any goolies." "Quid" is the modern word for what was once called a "shilling" - the equivalent of about 15cents US. Underpants are called "wellies" and friends are called "tossers." If you are fond of someone British, you should tell him he is a "big tosser" - he will be touched. Buses are called "prams" in England, and trains are called "bumbershoots" - it's a little confusing at first. Motorcycles are called "lorries" and the hospital, for reasons unknown, is called the "off-license." It's also very important to know that a "doctor" only means a PhD in England, not a physician. If you want a physician, you must ask for an "MP" (which stands for "master physician").

We English are a demonstrative, tactile people but reticent about "normal" sex. So, if you want to fit in you should hold hands with your acquaintances and tossers when you walk down the street. Public nuzzling and licking are also encouraged, but only between people of the same sex.

Taxis are subsidized by the Government. A taxi ride in London costs two pounds, no matter how far you travel. If a taxi driver tries to overcharge you, you should yell the traditional "I think not, you charlatan!", then grab the nearest bobby and have the driver arrested. All taxis are black, to distinguish them from prams - which are all red. Taxi drivers (or "cabbies") are recruited from British universities and colleges, and normally have degrees in Politics, Theology or Social Sciences. Taxi driving is a lonely job, and cabbies will enjoy answering any of your questions on issues such as immigration, Trades Unions and taxation. One of the requirements of taxi companies is that 90% of their drivers be homosexual. If you are the same way inclined, an offer of sex in lieu of the fare will be welcomed with open arms.

It is rarely necessary to take a taxi, though, since pram drivers are required to make detours at patrons' requests. Just board any pram, pay your fare of thruppence (the heavy gold-colored coins are "pence"), and state your destination clearly to the driver, e.g.: "Please take me to the British Library." A driver will frequently try to have a bit of harmless fun by pretending he doesn't go to your requested destination. Ignore him, as he is only teasing the American tourist (little does he know you're not so ignorant!). Most pram drivers are specially recruited from India. These dusky chaps are very diligent, and are proud of their traditional calling. On entry to Britain, new drivers are christened "Pakkee" (the Hindu word for "doughty driver"); help them to feel at home by using their name as much as possible in conversation.

The London Tube is the most economical way to get about. If you are a woman, chivalry is alive and well in Britain, and ladies still travel for free on the Tube. Simply take some tokens from the containers at the base of the escalators or on the platforms; you will find one near any of the state-sponsored Tube musicians. Once on the platform, though, beware! Approaching bumbershoots sometimes disurb the large Gappe bats that roost in the tunnels. The Gappes were smuggled into London in the early 19th century by French saboteurs and have proved impossible to exterminate. The announcement "Mind the Gappe!" is a signal that you should grab your hair and look towards the ceiling whilst shouting loudly to ward of the Gappes. Very few people have ever been killed by Gappes, though, and they are considered only a minor drawback to an otherwise excellent means of transportation. If you have difficulty locating the Tube station, merely follow the signs that say "Subway" and ask one of the full-time attendants where you can catch the bumbershoot. As it is a very popular attraction, those of you who dislike crowds should take the tube at "off-peak" times, that is, 8-9am and 5-6pm. Every bumbershoot car has maps on the wall. Check that the curves in the track correspond to the map; this is the only way to be sure that you've boarded the right car.

Our automobiles are very small, and have a maximum engine capacity of 500cc. In the cities, young men like to go "joyriding" in their (or someone else's) cars. Joyriding is a popular pursuit in some of the poorer areas of urban Britain, and provides a quick and inexpensive way of seeing the local attractions. Ask any young chap to take you joyriding - it's an experience you'll never forget!

Horse-back riding is a little-known, traditional and fun way to travel. Horses are provided at football matches for travel anywhere in Britain for free. Simply turn up before 3pm or after 4:30pm on a Saturday, find a horse that isn't taken, and jump up behind the traditional British bobby. He will be delighted to take you to your destination - be sure to hang on tight!

The pub is one of the most important meeting-places in England. These are, of course, renowned the world over as places to get to know the local people. To ensure a pleasant evening's drinking, follow these tips:

The best pubs are those in the inner cities, around some of the least salubrious housing. The people here cannot afford to go out, so pubs in these districts are full of upper-crust Englishmen who travel here in their Bentley cars to get away from the hustle and bustle of country pubs. These "toffs" often put on a coarse accent after a glass or two of beer; do not be intimidated, they are resting their throats after talking "posh" all day. They will be glad to play Eton college word-games: "Get Up, That's My Seat", "You look a puff-to-me!" and "Is-she-for sale?" Call out one of these games to any large chap, and have fun.

Order your drinks carefully. Bartenders are notoriously dishonest (indeed, they are proud of this tradition, and enjoy having their "leg pulled"). If you order a spirit drink, they will pour a little into your glass; insist on it being topped up to the brim. When tasting your first sip of beer, exclaim that there must be water in it. They will admire you for your candour, and will offer to buy you a drink "on the house". Pubs that sell "real ale" are attempting to emulate Budweiser beer; let the landlord know where he is going wrong. He will be very grateful for advice from an American.

"Darts" is a common pub game. Your opponent will throw darts at the circular board - your object is to pull them out faster than he can throw them. If you see a game in progress, reserve your place by rubbing out all the numbers on the blackboard.

It is common to find pool tables in pubs. Beware, they are not playing to American rules! To join a game of pool already in progress, simply pick up one of the cues provided, walk to the table, and quickly cue the black ball into the nearest pocket. You are now in the game. The object is to pot all your balls as quickly as possible without disturbing the white. Don't be disheartened if you miss a shot; quickly move on to the next. You score extra points for "blocking" your opponent's attempts to shoot, using your hands.

Remember that free snacks, such as crisps and peanuts, are kept behind the bar to retain freshness. For goodness' sake, don't let them "rip you off" by demanding money!

At about 11 o'clock, it is traditional for the barpeople to call the game of "time", leave their posts and wander around the pub, shouting at people. Do not be alarmed - they may sound like they want you to leave, but in fact the reverse is the case. English pubs close after dawn, and the staff are shouting to stimulate drinkers to continue spending their money. The object of this game is to remain where you are! To ensure you don't get thirsty during this period, buy a few rounds just before 11 o'clock (it's a slow time for the staff, so use this opportunity to chat). Drink slowly. You'll have ample opportunity to catch up when the barman returns to his post.

When you do leave the pub, you are likely to find a small crowd of happy revellers outside, singing traditional songs as they await their chauffeurs. This is known as "chucking-out time" The ladies in these crowds are sad and lonely; why not ask the male chaperones if their lady friends would like to come back to your hotel? Offer to make them very happy. The men will probably ask you to discuss the pedigree of their charges in the privacy of the pub car park.

After the pub, it is traditional to enjoy an Indian meal. There are many Indian restaurants in Britain. Although the staff may be from the Indian sub-continent, they serve subtle, delicate "British Raj" fare. Ask for the Vindaloo or - if you don't like spicy food - the Phal. Better still, ask the waiter to instruct the chef to make the "special" phal as this is particularly subtle. Go at about 11:30pm and you will be surrounded by jolly young ladies and gentlemen in high spirits. Feel free to indulge in banter with them - call them tossers, of course - and to tell the chaps about your boxing training at High School. Suggest a contest - they will politely decline, and offer to pay for your meal.

To answer some final questions:

We call ourselves English when somebody English wins something, and we call ourselves British when somebody Scottish, Welsh or Irish wins something.

We invented the language, we can spell it how we want and we like u's in our words - the spelling was dumbed down in the US supposedly to make it easier to teach English to American Indians - though I suspect that's an excuse.

We drive on the left because we like driving holidays abroad with added danger. Because we drive on the right side of the road i.e. the left, you might think that we would walk on the oposite side of a hall, pathway or escalator to our distinguished visitors. However, on escalators, most clueless Americans park their fat asses any place they feel like it, blocking the way for people who want to climb the stairs. Get out of the bloody way, you fools.

As for the royal family - well you'll find most English regard them as a bad joke that should be abolished to the distant depths of history. If you Americans envy us for having royalty, you can have them, - shame they weren?t all guillotined when we had the chance.

Enjoy your stay.


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by CuteElf In reply to thanks Neil

Tsk Tsk Tsk!

you forgot everyone's favorite hello!

Hey Wanker!
When finding a person you recognize, but may not remember their name, you can yell HEY WANKER and get their attention immedately! You will be rewarded with a high-five and a enthusiastic grunt.

On the ohter hand, can I please copy this text you so poshily put together and show my English/Brit/UK friends how much we Americans love them? I think my buddies would get a good laugh outta this, and spill their Black Sheep on their keyboard.



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Of course, my Dear Slapper

by neilb@uk In reply to Neil

It's not copyright material. I would have posted the sources but there's quite a few (including me) wankers who contributed.

Most of the research was done in the British Museum Reading Room - all Americans should go there and check out the famous echo!

Now Fox Hunting has been banned in the country they are moving into the towns. Instead of a group of toffs chasing a fox across the countryside on horseback we have groups of 20 chavs in Ford Escorts chasing a fox through the streets of Dagenham shouting " 'ERE, FOX! YOU WANT SOME!?!" and "OI! YOU LOOKING AT MY BIRD YOU LITTLE RED *******". Instead of a using beagles the hunt is supported by gangs of youths with baseball caps and knives. The start of the hunt is signalled, not with a hunting horn, but with the sound of a 24 inch Bass Speaker played out of the boot of a 1980's Vauxhall Nova with a cheap plastic body-kit. Once the fox is caught it is surrounded and nutted to death.

Join in - you will be welcome.

Neil :)

I edited the post as I inadvertently addressed you as Tosser. I am from a previous generation where the term was one of general endearment.

"Slapper" is now the correct usage when addressing a beautiful woman - particularly one who exhibits a righteous or demure demeanour.

When in the Pub, addressing any large man and his good lady with "Hello, you Big Tosser. Who is the Slapper?", followed by an invitation to play "Who's the DOG?" will surely get you an immediate invitation.

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by Jellimonsta In reply to Of course, my Dear Slappe ...

Slapper.... haven't heard that in yonks! Wot, no split ar$e? :)

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and I thought

by CuteElf In reply to Of course, my Dear Slappe ...

slip me one

was discreetly handing something off to another person

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One big problem for me

by jck In reply to Vistors to the UK

when I go to England is that I won't have but a few days. So, going to London is totally out since I understand you need several weeks to see everything there.

I am just going to be travelling point-to-point seeing friends and having pints and enjoying the view. Being locked up in an office and a house all day makes looking out of a window on a train an absolute luxury.

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A recommended pram route

by neilb@uk In reply to One big problem for me

Where are you likely to be going? I may have some less dangerous tips! If you've got friends who know where they're at then you're probably OK.

E.g. The No 11 bus route in London is a very cheap sightseeing tour if you've a good map and guidebook. Start at Fulham Broadway, Kings Road, Chelsea Physic Garden, Sloane Square, go close to New Scotland Yard and Buckingham Palace, past Westminster Cathedral and Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Horseguards, Whitehall (past the entrance to Downing Street and the Cabinet War Rooms), around Trafalgar Square and Nelsons Column (close to Piccadilly, Leicester Square and Covent Garden), up the Strand, Fleet Street, past St Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of England, finishing up at Liverpool Street.


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OOh ooh

by CuteElf In reply to A recommended pram route

I paid 3.50 to get on a tour bus.
double decker, with tourist factoids told by a live human.

Damn sunshine, I got sunburnt that day
I never did get on the proper bus routes..was bloody scared. Staying in King's X was interesting.


PS get a tube map and just go. I'd get on one station, get off random and start walking.

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The cheaper alternative

by Oz_Media In reply to OOh ooh

Visit Victoria B.C., originally it was purely old English pubs and taverns built in teh heritage homes. Now they have confused it slightly, you get remodeled architecture from the Rennaissance era on one end, and Victorian heritage on another end.

the middle is a mix of parliment buildings, teh classic Empree Hotel and a bunch of overpriced sightseeing and tourist crap. The miniature musem, costs $10.00 to walk around looking at this miniature world some model train fanatic built when he retired.
Or it's $10 to see a FAIR bit miniature version of Madam Tussauds Wax Museum in London (Josephine Tussaud's was museum). $10 to wander through the undersea gardens, about the same size as most pet stores fish tanks in the mall. $10 to see any freashow you can possibly imagine.

Yeah, it's a real taste of England all right.

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I'd visit BC

by jck In reply to The cheaper alternative

if you'd adopt me, Oz.

I'd even wash your dishes as soon as I got there!

I'm a good kid, I swear...despite what ITgirli says. :)

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by Oz_Media In reply to I'd visit BC

Had one, he grew up, he has his life I have mine and we enjoy the time we do get to see each other.

I now live MY life and enjoy MY recreation and MY things. No more room in that canoe, sorry.

But you are more than welcome to come and tip a few brews anyday!

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