A Bite of British Culture

The Brits (and Americans) love sarcasm. So, if you want to make friends with us, you’d better learn to recognise sarcasm because otherwise you’ll get pretty annoyed or maybe even quite hurt and offended. Honestly, we’re really nice people, we’ve just got a funny sense of humour!


It’s saying the opposite to what you really mean. Why? Mainly it’s to be funny, we think it’s hilarious; but it could be used to be cutting and hurtful.


It’s Friday night and there’s a crowd in the pub. An obviously unattractive person walks in, and what’s the comment?Ummmm, ‘pretty girl’ or ‘attractive guy’.

And the reaction is we all think it’s really funny.

You don’t now. You will when you’ve got used to us.

And there are some famous ones. Have you heard of Oscar Wilde, Groucho Marx, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain? You might like their witticisms.

‘Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.’ Mark Twain.

‘I never forget a face, but in your case I’d be glad to make an exception.’ Groucho Marx.

‘The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.’ George Bernard Shaw.

‘I didn’t attend the funeral but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.’ Mark Twain.

And a few others for when the romance fails but you’re being brave:

‘Sometimes I need what only you can provide, your absence.’ Ashleigh Brilliant.

‘I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.’ Stephen Bishop.

And the best of all, which I promise I will never use in class, but might be tempted with my friends...

‘What’s on your mind if you’ll allow the overstatement?’

Funny? Well you might have to think about them or talk about them to your friends.

We LOVE them. If you do too, you’ve learnt to be just a bit of a Brit.

This blog was written by Rebecca Sukkar

Published on 28 March, 2023