Oh there are so many English pleasantries, and I adore all of them. Here are a few…
Kissing on both cheeks is so European, at best, British. This simple act can unhinge any American, especially this one. Upon meeting and being introduced to a stranger, it is common and perfectly acceptable to greet them-by kissing on both of their cheeks. Make sure you kiss said person on their cheeks…or prepare for a quick exit. Fast.
“All right?” simply means “How are you?”
“Hello love” this gets me every time. Usually spoken by my binman (trashman), postie (postman) or local butcher. I find it sweet and endearing in equal measure. Say it twice to me and I just may name my first born after you. Kidding. Not really.
“Fancy a cuppa?” simply means: ‘do you want a cup of tea?’ Always say ‘yes’ and indicate how many sugars you want. And ALWAYS have a biscuit with your tea. If not, you will easily reveal yourself as a foreigner. Your British host will think: ‘Stranger-Danger!’
“Life of Reilly” means you are happy-go-lucky. Not sure who ‘Reilly’ is or was, but his/her life was apparently… pretty awesome. Interestingly, this can be both a complement or a stinging criticism-at the same time. Confused? Yep…ditto, mate. FYI: Beware if any English person says this Reilly phrase to you. I’m just sayin’
“What’s the weather doing?” Let me tell you something: it will rain later. For sure. 100%. But this conversation starter is a surprisingly seamless segue to ALl mega important topics including: politics, religion, the ban on fox hunting, the price of: petrol, cheese, watermelon….I think you get the point. Ha.
Also, by saying: “you have a lovely garden” to someone, just know that you will have a ‘forever friend’. Think Charlotte’s Web.
Of course there are tons more English pleasantries but my throat is parched and I could ‘murder’ a cup of tea (Am thirsty and I want a cup of tea).
Cheers/Tally Ho (yup…some people *actually* say ‘tally ho’…but they are either joking or drunk. Not.A.Word.Of.A.Lie