An American Visited UK and His 100 Observations Have Gone Viral!


It’s a year since Scott Waters visited the UK and made his brilliant but true observations about our little isle. A hundred things we know and love but take for granted. The observations went viral so he decided to repost them a year on. We have oohed and aahed over them all, so we’re sharing them with you here!

  1. Almost everyone is polite.
  2. The food is generally outstanding
  3. There are no guns
  4. There are too many narrow stairs
  5. Everything is just a little bit different
  6. The pubs close too early
  7. Pubs are not bars, they are community living rooms
  8. You’d better like peas, potatoes and sausage
  9. Refrigerators and washing machines are very small
  10. Everything is generally older, smaller and shorter


  11. There are very well-behaved dogs everywhere
  12. People don’t seem to be afraid of their neighbours or the government
  13. Their paper money makes sense, the coins don’t.
  14. Everyone has a washing machine but driers are rare.
  15. The reason they drive on the left is because all their cars are built backwards
  16. Hot and cold water taps (faucets). Remember them?
  17. Pants are called “trousers”, underwear are “pants” and sweaters are “jumpers”
  18. The bathroom light is a string hanging from the ceiling
  19. “Fanny” is a naughty word, as is “shag”
  20. The signs are well designed with beautiful typography and written in full sentences with proper grammar.
  21. There’s no dress code
  22. Doors close by themselves, but they don’t always open
  23. They eat with the forks upside down in their left hand
  24. English are as crazy about their gardens as Americans are about cars.
  25. They don’t seem to use face cloths or napkins, or maybe they’re less messy than we are
  26. The wall outlets all have switches, some don’t do anything
  27. There are hardly any cops or police cars
  28. There are 5,000 year old rocks still standing around. No one is sure why
  29. When you do see police they seem to be in male & female pairs and often smiling
  30. Black people are just people: they didn’t quite do slavery here unless you were Irish
  31. Everything comes with chips, which are French fries. You put vinegar on them
  32. Cookies are “biscuits” and potato chips are “crisps”
  33. HP sauce is better than catsup


  34. Obama is considered a hero, Bush is considered an idiot. Trump frightens them.
  35. After fish and chips, curry is the most popular food, with chips
  36. There are still small shops
  37. The water controls in showers require training and detailed instructions
  38. Folks don’t always lock their bikes
  39. It’s completely normal to see people dressing different and speaking different languages
  40. Modern electronic devices work fine with just a plug adaptor
  41. Nearly everyone is better educated than we are
  42. If someone buys you a drink, you must do the same
  43. There are no guns
  44. Look right, walk left. You’re welcome.
  45. It’s not that hard to eat with the fork in your left hand after a little practice. If you don’t, everyone knows you’re an American.
  46. Many of the roads are the size of our sidewalks
  47. There’s no AC
  48. Instead of turning the heat up, you put on a jumper
  49. Gas is “petrol”, it costs about $7 a gallon and is sold by the litre.
  50. If you speed on a motorway, you get a ticket. Always.
  51. You don’t have to tip, usually.
  52. Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall really are different countries, despite what anyone else says.


  53. Almost everyone has a passport, only 14% of Americans do.
  54. You pay the price marked on products because the taxes (VAT) are built-in.
  55. Walking is a national pastime.
  56. Their TV looks and sounds much better than ours
  57. They took the street signs down during WWII but haven’t put them all back up yet
  58. Everyone enjoys a good joke.
  59. There are no guns!
  60. Dogs seem very well-behaved and welcome almost everywhere
  61. There are no window screens
  62. You can get on a bus and end up in Paris
  63. Everyone knows more about our history than we do
  64. Radio is still a big deal. The BBC is quite good
  65. The newspapers can be awful
  66. Everything costs the same but our money is worth less so you have to add 50% to the price to figure what you’re paying.
  67. Everything is metric except distance which is in “miles” rather than kilometres.
  68. Beer comes in large, completely filled, imperial pint glasses and the closer the brewery, the better the beer.
  69. Butter and eggs aren’t refrigerated
  70. The beer isn’t warm, each style is served at the proper temperature.
  71. Cider (alcoholic) is quite good
  72. Excess cider consumption can be very painful
  73. The universal greeting is “Cheers” (pronounced “cheeahz” unless you are from Cornwall, then it’s “chairz”)
  74. The money is easy to understand: 1-2-5-10-20-50 pence, £1 & £2 coins, and £5-£10, etc bills There are no quarters.
  75. Their cash makes ours look like Monopoly money
  76. Cars don’t have bumper stickers.

    Hot and cold taps on a white background.

  77. Many doorknobs, buildings and tools are older than America
  78. By law, there are no crappy, old cars
  79. When the sign says something was built in 456, they didn’t lose the “1”
  80. BBC 4 is NPR
  81. Shops close at 1700 (5pm)
  82. Very few people smoke, those that do usually roll their own
  83. You’re defined by your accent
  84. No one in Cornwall knows what the hell a Cornish Game Hen is
  85. Soccer is a religion, religion is a sport
  86. Europeans dress better than the English, we dress worse
  87. The trains generally work: a three-minute delay is “regrettable”
  88. Drinks don’t come with ice
  89. There are far fewer fat English people
  90. There are a lot of healthy old folks wandering around participating in life instead of hiding at home watching tv.

    ©Scott Waters| An American in the UK


  91. The beer is fantastic, but they shouldn’t make wine.
  92. You pay a monthly fee for the BBC instead of having commercials
  93. If you’re over 60 and English, you can get a free bus pass
  94. Displaying your political or religious affiliation is considered very bad taste
  95. Every pub seems to have a pet drunk
  96. Their healthcare works, but they still bitch about it
  97. Cake is one of their major food groups
  98. The coffee is mediocre but their tea is wonderful
  99. There are still no guns
  100. Towel warmers!

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