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AIBU to be really annoyed when people say sorry when they mean excuse me?

(33 Posts)
rjgmummy Tue 30-May-17 17:45:56

I was in the supermarket today looking at shampoo when I heard someone behind me say 'sorry' I didn't react as nothing had happened to me, second 'sorry' came and again I didn't react, I hadn't been hit or bumped or had something dropped on me so wasn't aware it was directed at me. She then shouted 'SORRY' right in my ear clearly to get my attention that she wanted to get past me with her buggy. I immediately said oh I'm so sorry and moved out of her way and she pushed past muttering about rudeness to her companion. Had she have said excuse me at the start I would have turned immediately to see what I was being asked for or even tapped me on the arm. AIBU sorry and excuse me are not the same thing.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Tue 30-May-17 17:48:58

YANBU, annoying AF.

Around here people say 'our' when they mean 'are'. "We our off on holiday..." One of these people is a teacher and she frequently writes it on FB.

justpoppingby Tue 30-May-17 17:51:21

No no no! Y.A.N.B.U.
Annoys the hell out of me!
If feel like shouting , what! What have you done!? Do you mean excuse me please? Aargh.....breatheeee

NotYoda Tue 30-May-17 17:54:31

Well, literally-speaking they are

"Excuse me," means "Forgive me" which sort of mean "am sorry". It's an apology. In practice, we think pf it as means "please get out of the way'

I say 'excuse me please' because excuse me sounds too blunt - a command not request.

NotYoda Tue 30-May-17 17:55:30

Jeez that was the worst typing EVER

Basically, "Excuse me" means "sorry"

MumsGoneToYonderLand Tue 30-May-17 17:58:10

I have raised this phenomenon with friends before! when did it start? I once made a point of ignoring the 'sorry' until I get an 'excuse me please' (but life is too short to do it much).

I also hate that people have stopped queueing for busses in London. Everyone just swarms and the closest to the door gets on. So rude!

love from Granny Yonderland

MumsGoneToYonderLand Tue 30-May-17 17:58:33


sorry. I can spell!

arethereanyleftatall Tue 30-May-17 17:59:56

I think yabu.
You knew exactly what she meant, you knew it was directed at you, and were deliberately obtuse.

KC225 Tue 30-May-17 18:00:54

It's a totally British thing. It's charming. I LOVE IT

NotYoda Tue 30-May-17 18:03:11

OP have you never heard people saying "sorry" when they want to get past you? I guess not

Here's something worse - a man laughed and took the piss out of me to his wife when I gave him a polite smile in the street the other day

Very hurtful it was. Then it rained on the car he was cleaning so Karma got him

MerlinEmrys Tue 30-May-17 18:04:26


Also sick of people who say 'sorry' when they mean 'fuck off' e.g. me to the person who muttered to her partner that I was stalking her with my trolley and all I was doing was trying to get around them. Annoyed with myself that I said sorry when really mean fuck the hell off bitch!

Onemorewonthurt Tue 30-May-17 18:11:33

I think YAB a little U.

I say sorry sometimes, excuse me others. I guess I mean 'sorry to ask you to move'. How polite of me grin

melj1213 Tue 30-May-17 18:13:05

YANBU this annoys me as well ... I have been known to respond with "Since you were saying 'sorry' rather than 'excuse me' I didn't realise you were talking to me"

It's the same at work - I work in a supermarket and whenever it's quiet, especially on the customer service desk I'll catch up with my paperwork and log damages etc onto our online database on the computer. Unfortunately my workstation is an L shape - the customer area, with refund till and workspace is one one "leg" of the L and my computer is shoved down at the other end of the L, so I only have a direct line of sight to customers if they come to the desk right as they come in, if they stop by at the other end of the desk, it's easy not to notice them straight away.

The number of customers who will come up to the desk, see I'm working and couldn't have noticed them but just stand there silently getting pissed off that they're waiting and then start huffing and puffing and tapping, coughing or making various other "noises" for attention rather than just saying "excuse me" is astronomical. I've started being just as passive aggressive back, "Oh, you should have said you were waiting, I was in my own little world there. I'm going to have to put a bell on all you ninja customers so I can hear you sneaking up on me in future! Anyway, you have my full attention now so how can I help?"

NotYoda Tue 30-May-17 18:15:39

Frome the OED online:

Excuse me:
Used as a polite apology in various contexts, such as when attempting to get someone's attention, asking someone to move so that one may pass, or interrupting a speaker.

HildaOg Tue 30-May-17 18:15:58

Yabu. It's something everybody says and everybody knows what's meant by it.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Tue 30-May-17 18:21:00

Tbh I think good manners consist in making sure social interactions run smoothly and everybody feels comfortable.

Saying "sorry" may not be the correct term in your view, but unless it was said huffily, it was polite and you knew what she meant.

So YABU and being difficult to make a point.

slavingaway Tue 30-May-17 18:25:31

Does it really matter? At least this person had manners and didn't just barge you out of the way..?

happyinherts Tue 30-May-17 18:27:24

Totally with you OP.

Sorry is a term to be used if one has something to apologise for.

Excuse me (preferably with please) to be used to grant access, move, etc.

The two are not interchangeable, and I really don't understand the use of sorry instead of excuse me. Very odd use of vocabulary.

NotYoda Tue 30-May-17 18:28:39

Maybe in herts, but here in London, it's fairly commonplace

user1490395938 Tue 30-May-17 18:29:49

Agree with slavingaway. She was polite, be it she didn't use the exact phrase you wanted her to. If she'd have said "get out of my bloody way!" then yes, I could see tour point.

user1490395938 Tue 30-May-17 18:30:32

Your not tour! Sorry, keyboard sticking!

melj1213 Tue 30-May-17 18:35:10

OP have you never heard people saying "sorry" when they want to get past you? I guess not

I use sorry as part of a request but never by itself in the same way "Excuse me" can be used as a complete sentence.

So if I want to get past someone who is blocking the way I might say "Excuse me", "Excuse me sir/madam", "Excuse me can I get past?" or "Sorry, can I just squeeze past you there?" but "Sorry" doesn't work on it's own in the context of getting my attention.

"Excuse me" is a phrase pretty much everyone acknowledges can mean "Can I get your attention, please" and if I hear it in my vicinity I will look round to see if it is being addressed to me by a stranger who has no other way of getting my attention. "Sorry" by itself, when I am not already interacting with the other person does not have those connotations, and whilst I will hear it I will filter it out in assumption that it is an apology between two other people, especially in a shop or something when you're likely in close quarters with other people and it's possible that someone has bumped another customer with their basket, or nudged them when they leaned over to get something off a shelf and a quick "Sorry" is all the acknowledgement/apology that is needed in that situation.

LockedOutOfMN Tue 30-May-17 18:35:38

In Holland people say sorry to mean excuse me.

Never seen it anywhere else, though.

myusernameisnotmyusername Tue 30-May-17 18:37:23

At least they're not saying 'scuse!' I've had that before. But yes the 'sorry' is annoying!

blankface Tue 30-May-17 18:59:40

It's something everybody says and everybody knows what's meant by it

Not this everybody, I've never heard sorry used instead of excuse me. I'd definitely not twig that's what someone meant.

Is it a regional thing?

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