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 cheeks. Make sure you kiss on the 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 life is pretty awesome. Interestingly, this can be both a complement or a stinging criticism-at the same time. Beware if any English person says this to you. I’m just saying…
“What’s the weather doing?” Let me tell you something, it will rain later. For sure. But this conversation starter is a seamless segue to all topics including politics, religion and the ban on fox hunting.
In 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).