Some terms are considered too improper to be spoken by royalty. In her book Watching the English, social anthropologist Kate Fox explains which words are banned from the royal family’s vocabulary and the surprising reasons why.
FYI, we’re talking about the meal, not the soothing, healthy drink.
In many parts of the United Kingdom, the evening meal that takes place between 5pm to 7pm is called tea.
However, this term is typically associated with the working class.
Members of upper social classes, including the royal family, call this meal dinner or supper.
On April 21,2016, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 90th birthday. As the longest-reigning British monarch, mother of four, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of five, her life has been devoted to service – and doing it with flair.
The royals don’t watch their portion sizes to lose weight.
Instead, they watch their helping sizes, using another upper-class term.
This is one thing the British people – and royal watchers everywhere – don’t want to think about. The 16 things that will happen once Queen Elizabeth II dies.
If and when (we can be optimistic!) you get the honour of meeting anyone in the royal family, you’ll want to act on your most polite behaviour, excusing yourself when necessary.
But whatever you do, don’t say “pardon”.
We may think it’s formal, but apparently, it’s like a curse word to the royals.
Instead, say “sorry” or “sorry, what?”
If you ever find yourself making idle chatter with Prince Phillip, here’s what you should know about him.
Blame this word’s French origin for why it’s banned in royal circles.
If you’re looking for a restroom in Buckingham Palace, ask for the loo or the lavatory.
And when you find the loo, here’s the etiqutte you should follow.
Some Brits have a patio in their backyards. The royal family, however, accents their landscaping with a terrace.
We, on the other hand, have decks. And here’s how to plan a deck that will be enjoyed by your family for years to come.
While some Brits use the phrase “living room” to describe the main front room, the more common term is lounge.
The royal family, on the other hand, uses neither. They refer to it as a drawing room or sitting room.
Living rooms, family rooms, game rooms, and dens are all wonderful gathering places for our friends and families. Here’s how to keep them clean.
And what do members of the British upper class sit on when they relax in their sitting rooms?
It’s certainly not a settee or a couch, two words used by those in the middle class or lower.
Instead, the royal family would sit on a sofa.
When your friend says she found the secret to making perfume last longer, stop her mid-sentence.
The royals don’t say “perfume,” remind her.
They say “scent”, as odd as that might sound.
Elsewhere, the only person we can imagine saying, “I love your scent” is an obsessed stalker… but maybe if we say it enough, we’ll get used to it. Maybe.
Mark this as one of the British slang words you didn’t realise you knew.
Sadly, the royal family doesn’t use it – nor does the rest of upper-class society, even though their lifestyle is the epitome of the word.
They replace posh with smart.
Most of us know that attending a work function simply means going to an event hosted by or relating to your workplace.
But the way British people refer to social gatherings is a telltale sign of what class they are in.
Here’s how Kate Fox breaks it down: Lower-class people go to a “do.” Those in the middle class usually call it a “function.” Upper-class people just call it a party.
“Refreshments” sounds like a refined word to most ears, something you’d see printed on an invitation to a fancy party or wedding.
However, Fox says that refreshments are only served at middle-class events.
The royal family and others in the upper class simply have “food and drink.”
Despite the particularities in their vocabulary, the members of the British royal family are still human.
Like any humans, they occasionally like to indulge in something sweet after a meal.
But while elsewhere it might be called, they call it pudding (which includes all types of sweet treats, including actual pudding).
According to Fox, dessert is becoming slightly more acceptable to say, as younger people in the upper-middle class are influenced by other forms of non-British English.
However, asking if anyone “wants a sweet” after a meal “will get you immediately classified as middle-middle or below.”
However, here are 9 things that Queen Elizabeth II would NEVER eat.
Ma, Pops, Mummy, Daddy – we all had different names for our parents growing up, but for the most part, they turned into “Mum and Dad” as we got older.
Not so for the royal family.
They call their parents Mummy and Daddy even as adults.
Isn’t it endearing to think of Prince Charles calling Queen Elizabeth Mummy?
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