When British people say one thing, they often really mean the exact opposite!

  1. ‘I might join you later’ — Translation: I’m not leaving the house today unless it’s on fire.
  2. ‘Excuse me, sorry, is anyone sitting here?’ — Translation: You have 3 seconds to move your bag before I get really annoyed.
  3. ‘Not to worry.’ — Translation: I will never forget this!
  4. Saying ‘Sorry’ as a way of introducing yourself.
  5. ‘Bit wet out there.’ — Translation: You’re going to need a snorkel because it’s absolutely pissing it down out there!
  6. Ending an email with ‘Thanks’. — Translation: I’m perilously close to losing my temper!
  7. ‘Right then, I really should start to think about possibly making a move.’ — Translation: Bye!
  8. ‘It’s fine.’ — Translation: It really couldn’t get any worse, but it probably will do…
  9. ‘Perfect.’ — Translation: Well that’s ruined then!
  10. ‘A bit of a pickle.’ — Translation: A catastrophically bad situation with potentially fatal consequences.
  11. ‘Not too bad, actually.’ — Translation: I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been.
  12. ‘Honestly, it doesn’t matter.’ — Translation: Nothing has ever mattered more than this.
  13. ‘You’ve caught the sun.’ — Translation: You look like you’ve been swimming in a volcano.
  14. ‘That’s certainly one way of looking at it.’ — Translation: That’s certainly the wrong way of looking at it.
  15. Saying ‘I have the 5p if it helps.’ and never knowing if it ever does help.
  16. ‘If you say so.’ — Translation: I’m afraid that what you’re saying is the height of idiocy.
  17. ‘With all due respect…’ — Translation: You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.
  18. Saying ‘You’re welcome’ as quietly as possible to people that don’t say thank you, but using it as a form of punishment.
  19. Meanings of ‘I beg your pardon’ — Translation: a) I didn’t hear you; b) I apologise; c) What you’re saying is making me absolutely livid!
  20. ‘It could be worse.’ — Translation: It couldn’t possibly be any worse.
  21. ‘Each to their own.’ — Translation: You’re wrong, but never mind.
  22. ‘Pop around anytime.’ — Translation: Please stay away from my house.
  23. ‘I’m just popping out for lunch; does anyone else want anything?’ — Translation: I’m getting my own lunch now, please don’t ask me to get you anything!
  24. Saying: ‘I might get some cash out, actually’, despite approaching the cash machine and being 100% certain of getting some cash out.
  25. ‘No, no, honestly it was my fault.’ — Translation: It was absolutely your fault and we both know it!
  26. ‘No, yeah, that’s very interesting!’ — Translation: You are boring me to death!
  27. ‘No harm done.’ — Translation: You have ruined everything!
  28. ‘Just whenever you get a minute…’ — Translation: Now!
  29. ‘I’m sure it’ll be fine.’ — Translation: I fully expect the situation to deteriorate rapidly!
  30. ‘Sorry, I think you might have dropped something…’ — Translation: You have definitely dropped that specific item!

Inspired by the book Very British Problems.


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