Heritage

8 Words the Royal Family Never Uses

You definitely won't hear the Duchess say "living room."
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Living like royalty is no easy task. Besides courtesies and fancy hats, the upper echelons of British society adopt a very specific vocabulary—a secret code, if you will. A slip of the tongue can instantly reveal some not-so-noble origins, according to Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and author of Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior. ($15, amazon.com)

Fox studied the ins and outs of British elites to reveal a particular set of quirks, with a few phrases standing out as dead giveaways. As a ruling class, the House of Windsor likely follows those implicit guidelines to a T.

If you'd ever like to mingle with the cream of English society, avoid these eight words and you'll be worthy of an audience with the Queen.

1. TOILET

When it's time to go, head to the "lavatory," advises royal etiquette expert Myka Meier. The Duchess would never excuse herself to the "toilet," "bathroom" or even "ladies."

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2. PARDON

If Prince William missed what you said, he'd interject with a "what?" Words such as "sorry" and "pardon" don't see much use among the upper class, no matter how polite they sound.

3. COUCH

Queen Elizabeth can spend a lazy day on the "sofa," but HM wouldn't be caught dead on a "settee" or "couch."

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4. LIVING ROOM

As for rooms with a sofa, Buckingham Palace likely includes "drawing rooms" and "sitting rooms," but not "lounges," "dens" or comfy, ol' "living rooms."

5. DAD

Your average Brit calls their parents "mum" and "dad." But like any self-respecting royal, Prince Charles referred to the Queen as "Mummy" during her Diamond Jubilee celebration, the Daily Mail reports. That makes Prince Philip "Daddy," of course.

6. PERFUME

Diana, Princess of Wales, loved to wear a signature "scent" (Quelques Fleurs, to be exact) but she didn't dab on "perfume."

7. PATIO

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If Prince George and Princess Charlotte want to go outside, their parents would take them to the "terrace," not a "patio."

8. POSH

If learning all of these subtleties makes you feel "posh," stop right there. "The correct upper-class word is 'smart,'" Fox says. "In upper-middle and upper-class circles, 'posh' can only be used ironically, in a jokey tone, to show that you know it's a low-class word." Righttt, we totally knew that.

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

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Caroline Picard
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