Foreigners list Brits’ weirdest habits – but some of them are completely normal

After moving to the UK, some were surprised by these British quirks.

Britain truly is a unique place – there is nowhere quite like it. From our food habits to our penchant for politeness, the UK can be quite a baffling place for foreigners. 

One online thread, posted to forum site Quora, has proven this. It asked the crucial question: “What are some weird British habits?”

Clearly, this question was a rich one, as it received nearly 100 responses from Brits and non-Brits alike, with the latter sharing their baffling observations after moving here. 

One Spanish person, who had apparently lived in North East England for 12 years, commented on our intricate tea culture. She said: “Tea… that’s an art in the UK. If you like it with too much milk or sugar (like me) you are uncultured.

“The stronger the tea the better you look and if you leave the bag in the whole time you’re fully English,” she joked. 


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Our cuisine also came under fire during this discussion, receiving praise and dismay in equal measures. Apparently, our fondness for mustard is odd, admits one born-and raised Brit. 

Edward, a self-described “very British Brit” says our mustard culture is “strange”. He writes: “It is normal in Britain to take a large dollop of mustard and put it on the side of the plate. You then eat a few nano-portions of it and leave the rest.

“So why do we take so much? It is to confuse foreigners,” he joked. 

Another aspect of British food that was described as “weird”, by home-grown Brit James was the classic “chip butty” (or a chip cob depending on where you’re from…), as well as the “curry sauce” that accompanies a traditional fish supper in the UK. 

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    Another element of British life that inspired much confusion amongst immigrants was the politeness of our language. 

    According to one Italian expat, we have a love for the “understatement.” Marco -the Italian in question – even provided viewers with a handy ‘translation’ sheet for foreigners, humorously informing them that “quite good” was British slang for “a bit disappointing”. 

    Similarly, it was also pointed out that Brits have a tendency to “say thank you multiple times to the same person” in a display of extreme politeness, according to one Londoner. 

    Another expat, who moved to the UK in 2010, said: “A short time after I moved to the UK, I went into work one morning to find an assortment of cakes cookies and doughnuts laid out. I asked what the occasion was and was told – “Oh, it’s Anna’s Birthday”. I remarked that it was very kind o folks to bring in such nice treats for her birthday, they laughed and said, “On no, she brought it all in for us!” – this was my first time seeing the – you bring in cakes for your co workers on your birthday ritual. I look forward to my birthday every year and what odd cake I can bring in.”

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