I am a Londoner, through and through. For all you people out there I thought I would share what it means to be a Londoner and what living our beautiful city is really like. So whether you plan on visiting and just want to get to know the natives, or if you are just curious, have a read.
1) We tend to dress in smart clothes when going to work (suits and stuff), but jeans are very common. Black is worn A LOT. Obviously we wear casual clothes too, but the weather hasn’t been kind enough to us to allow us to feel confident about wearing shorts without a back up.
2) We use slang in our language all the time. “loos”, “gents” and “ladies” mean “toilet”. “I’m feeling peachy” means “I’m feeling good”. “Manky” means “disgusting”. “Tidy/sound” means “good”. “Porky pies” are “lies” (sometimes they can be pork pies). “Buff/peng/banging/mint/lush” mean “good looking”. “Sick” can mean “very good” as well as “sick”. “Beef” means “argument”, and “owned” means “beaten up/made a fool of”. They last few are terms used by younger generations, but are still useful.
3) We are health and safety ‘rebels’. London is extremely conscious about health and safety, which has turned us into school kids when it comes to obeying rules. We will often walk on the wrong side of the stairs and board the Tube (London Underground) without concern for those disembarking. Also, most of our meals include meat and fish, not exactly a health hazard…unless you’re a vegetarian.
4) Most Londoners and Brits are polite. We are quiet and reserved to strangers – especially on the Tube – but we still say “please” and “thank you” to everyone. And we’re not that bad, once you get to know us we are extremely sociable (and great drinkers).
5) Our humor is often difficult to understand. I didn’t realize this until some of my foreign friends and family didn’t understand why a said some of the things I did. We find comedy by being deliberately modest, sarcastic and dry/self-deprecating.
On a side note, London is probably the most multicultural city on the planet. We are extremely diverse, yet many of us are racist to each other. Not in a harmful way, we’re just teasing! Obviously some trust and friendship has to be built up before doing this is possible, you can’t just jump right in! I hope this helped you understand our culture a bit; hopefully you’ll come and visit soon!