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To hate being recognised as a Brit when I'm abroad before I've even spoken?

(100 Posts)
Hammy02 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:30:23

I'm not ashamed to be British but I'm aware of how the typical Brit is often perceived by Europeans (boozers, overweight & un-chic) so I ain't a happy bunny when I'm spotted immediately. I am not overweight, nor a heavy drinker and dress well so what is it that makes me stand out as a Brit abroad?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Tue 20-Sep-11 10:34:46

Do you take a teapot and teabags with you? Hanky knotted in four corners and plonked on your head? Tartan trolleybag? Tins of foodstuffs and 'cardis'? Could that be it?

Hardgoing Tue 20-Sep-11 10:35:56

Red hair and pasty complexion? (I speak of myself of course)

Hammy02 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:36:31

I am as pale as they come so probably that!

mumblechum1 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:36:49

M&S per una wardrobe?

White legs and sensible sandals?

PortBlackSandWitchIsThere Tue 20-Sep-11 10:38:23

Think of yourself as a pale English Rose ....

...and holiday in the USA - they love us there grin

YusMilady Tue 20-Sep-11 10:39:00

It'll be your complexion OP. I asked a Spanish friend once how come everyone knew immediately I was English and she said 'Tienes la pinta muy inglesa'. It's not an insult - be a proud English rose <twirl>

Hammy02 Tue 20-Sep-11 10:39:08

My orange Juicy Couture tracksuit?!

YusMilady Tue 20-Sep-11 10:40:29

SNAP PortBlack !

Lots of furriners go crazy for that typical English complexion - pale eyes, pink cheeks etc.

BluddyMoFo Tue 20-Sep-11 10:41:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kladdkaka Tue 20-Sep-11 10:42:17

Eau de marmite!

TheBreadstick Tue 20-Sep-11 10:42:36

Perhaps it's your white socks and sandals combo? grin

If it's any consolation, I often get asked if I'm from Scotland when abroad, not sure why ... I don't even have ginger hair! Oh, and I'm not from Scotland!

substantiallycompromised Tue 20-Sep-11 10:43:01

Do you sit with your friends in large groups in restaurants and "bray" loudly?

[In public, people speak in very modulated tones over here]

Do you wear navy in winter? (That's often a give away. Navy seen as a summer colour only.)

Do you smile too much and apologise when you haven't done anything wrong?

Do you try and form an orderly queue?

(I do all the above btw - well - I try not to bray and start off quietly - but then our table always seems to end up being the loudest)

thisisyesterday Tue 20-Sep-11 10:45:06

how do you know people know you're a brit without talking to them??

maybbe they've overheard you talking and know?

SwingingBetty Tue 20-Sep-11 10:59:37

probably your swearing with a fag hanging out ya marf like

ChooChooWowWow Tue 20-Sep-11 11:15:28

I think queuing whilst abroad makes someone instantly recognisable as being British. It takes me the first week of any holiday to relax and stop wanting to maim all the queue jumpers.

People always seem to think we are German because Dh is very tall and we are all blonde.

Hullygully Tue 20-Sep-11 11:17:35

You can always, always spot the English.

It's a mystery, but you can.

And the Germans, and the Dutch.

Bit harder to guess French/Spanish/Italian

squeakytoy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:20:19

I get the opposite, and when in Spain or Italy, I am always handed the local menu, or spoken to in the local language.. neither of which I am very fluent in.. smile .. my husband is always assumed to be british though (which we is) and never gets mistaken for a local. I would say it is simply down to your looks. I look mediteranean, and my husband looks english.

limitedperiodonly Tue 20-Sep-11 11:30:18

Do you carry a WH Smiths bag off the plane, take it to the beach every day until it splits and then replace it with a Spar bag from the supermarket round the corner from your hotel?

Mumwithadragontattoo Tue 20-Sep-11 11:33:42

Yes we are always mistaken for German's too. My husband is large and blond also. Everyone spoke to us in Swedish in Stockholm even though most people speak perfect English and address tourists in English. I am not tall and blonde much as I'd like to be.

TheBride Tue 20-Sep-11 11:36:31

I'm always mistaken for a Dutch/Danish person too. When I was backpacking people always said "Wow, Your English is really really good."

Bartimaeus Tue 20-Sep-11 11:36:33

I play spot the Brits where I live (Paris) grin
Fairly easy to be honest.
a) Stick out as tourists
b) Often wearing raincoats and sensible shoes OR shorts and t-shirts even though its freezing wink
c) Pale - pale hair and skin
d) Not necessarily overweight but fairly chunky/well-covered, especially when you're used to slim Parisiens
e) Not very tall or tanned (so not confused with Americans)
f) Not talking very loudly (again so not confused with Americans)
g) Not having an air of surpeme confidence/owning everything around them - more a bit lost and puzzled
h) I know when it's school holidays in the UK - that always gives me a clue!

Hammy02 Tue 20-Sep-11 11:39:54

d) Not necessarily overweight but fairly chunky/well-covered, especially when you're used to slim Parisiens
Totally agree on this point. What we would consider very very slim in the UK appears to be the norm across the Med.

bruffin Tue 20-Sep-11 11:39:55

I have dark colouring and usually get mistaken for greek/italian/french or whatever country I am in.

DS on the other hand often gets mistaken for german, he is't blonde but has grey eyes and black hair, but is very tall.

SchrodingersMew Tue 20-Sep-11 11:40:01

Whenever I go abroad people always think I am Dutch! (I'm actually Scottish)

Bartimaeus Could you spot the Dutch? And what would you say their characteristics would be like? Very curious!

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