Manners & Misdemeanors

What British People Say Vs. What They Really Mean

Novelists (and native Brits) Lucy and Plum Sykes give us a primer on Brit speak.
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British journalist-turned-novelist Lucy Sykes has become known for her snarky social commentary, thanks to her bestseller The Knockoff, a satirical take on the budding fashion tech world. Now, she and co-author Jo Piazza are at it again with their forthcoming novel Fitness Junkie (out July 11), which comically tackles society's wellness obsession.

Given Sykes' British background—and her penchant for keeping it real—we asked her and her sister, author Plum Sykes, to give us a breakdown of popular British phrases, and what they really mean.

1. 'You look amazing.' = Is that dress a good idea?

2. 'Another cup of tea?' = Give me more time.

3. 'Glass of shampoo?' = Would you like a glass of champagne?

4. 'That is a very brave proposal.' = You are insane.

5. 'Maybe.' = No.

6. 'She's very smart.' = She's very upper class.

7. 'Could we consider some other options?' = I don't like your idea.

8. 'I hear what you say.' = I disagree and do not want to discuss it further.

9. 'With the greatest respect...' = You are an idiot.

10. 'Let's keep in touch.' = Most likely we'll never see each other again.

11. 'Let's meet for lunch tomorrow at 1 p.m.' = I really will see you tomorrow for lunch.

12. 'That's not bad.' = That's good.

13. 'Quite good.' = A bit disappointing.

14. 'I almost agree.' = I don't agree at all.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Lindsay Silberman
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