Thursday, 20 February 2014

An English Rose // True National Stereotypes

An ‘English Rose’ is a term often used to say that a woman is quintessentially English

It was a few days ago now when my boyfriend Phil was watching the Ricky Gervais Show and they started talking about your typical English person. English stereotypes are something that actually come up quite a bit in the media (has anybody else noticed how the English are often portrayed as the 'baddies' in American television and film?). The Ricky Gervais Show discussed a very different type of English person than the extremes that we're used to seeing on television; the posh, refined character, and let's not forget the extrovert cockney chimney-sweep type.

It got me thinking; what does being English mean to me? Over the years I've come to be very proud of my nationality, and although our country is far from perfect, I'll just say that I've found a few drops of patriotism within me that I didn't know were there before.

SARCASM - OK, maybe I haven't strayed too far from the stereotype for this one but it's so true. Sarcasm is a huge part of British humour, and I think it's something that is often lost on some people of other nationalities. My dad is incredibly sarcastic - embarrassingly so - and I think that it's really rubbed off on me. Although I'm not the most sarcastic person in the world I really appreciate sarcastic humour.

APOLOGISING - For me at least, being apologetic seems to be synonymous with being polite. It's actually a bit annoying. Somebody forgets to get back to you on something? "Sorry, but I was just wondering...". I am so guilty of this one - if I don't include at least one apology in an email I feel like I'm being blunt. I like to think that this is me being humble rather than a pushover, but I think maybe I need to tone it down a bit.

THE LOOK - If you're English and you're reading this then I'm fairly certain that you'll have used 'the look' before. You know the one. It's the same look that you use on that person playing loud music in the quiet carriage of the train and the guy who ‘accidentally’ pushed in front of you in the queue. Of course if we’re caught making the look, we’re sure to quickly look in the opposite direction - but that’s all a part of the plan!

WHINING - We like a good whine, don't we? I do try not to moan, but in a country where people love to talk about the weather it can be difficult not to be negative (yes, it really does rain as much as we claim). Compared to a lot of other countries we are extremely lucky, but what's England without a bit of a grump?

DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? - Of course this is a huge generalisation, but it’s definitely something that I associate with people who speak English as a first language. I’m talking, of course, about our inability to speak another language. And why should we? With an enormous choice of holiday destinations, all where the majority of people are able to speak at least a bit of English, many people don’t see the need to learn another language. This can lead to some embarrassing situations where people will repeat the same question louder and louder in the hope that a non-English speaker will suddenly catch onto what they mean. Personally I really hate traveling to another country and not being able to communicate at least a little bit in the people's native tongue, but then again I did choose to study languages at university!

I hope that this post has injected a little bit of humour into your day and given you some insight into ‘English-ness’ as I see it. I don’t often see other bloggers chatting about their nationality, so I’d love to see some of you writing a similar post!

What does your nationality mean to you?

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Beautyqueenuk said...

I am fluent in sarcasm ;) x

BigMummah said...

Fun post - and I'm not being sarcastic ... maybe ironic ...?

Emily said...

Haha, love it! x

Charlotte said...

I love your blog, and I found this post really interesting. A lot of these things are true for me too - especially sarcasm! - so I wrote my own post about Scottish-ness and how we might differ from the English (

Emily said...

Aww thanks Charlotte! I found your post really interesting to read, thanks for commenting :) x

Emily said...

Unfortunately most of us don't have the time to learn a new language, but I agree! I think that learning just a couple of words can show your intent :) xx

Emily said...

My family and I lived in the US briefly when I was younger, and most Americans really didn't get my dad's jokes haha!

I was a bit too young to miss the UK culture, but I don't think that I could be without some of the witty sarcasm you get on a day to day basis here!

Thanks for commenting :) x