Ricky Gervais makes good money offending everyone in sight, but if you just want to make friends and not alienate people in America, here are 10 things to avoid. (Rex Features via AP Images)
Admit it Britishers — subtly is not our strong suit, and it’s alarmingly easy to insult Americans if you’re unaware of their etiquette. To get on in polite company, try to avoid the following faux pas.
10 Things That Brits Don?t Realize Are Offensive to Americans | Mind The Gap | BBC America
Folks here tend to dismiss cursing as coarse and vulgar whereas, for Brits, it can signify affection or a well-rounded sense of humor. I have to confess, I don’t even notice how much I swear anymore — it must be getting on for every other word.
Sex talk and toilet humor
Like swearing, discussing what goes on between the sheets or on the loo is a lot less common among friends in the U.S. I only get to talk toilet trash when I’m back in the U.K., where I’ll happily spend an evening necking a full-bodied Rioja and discussing orifices.
Brits exchange jovial insults because we’re too uptight and emotionally stunted to say how we really feel. The stronger your friendship, the more you can lay into each other and still come away with a warm feeling. This is not how Americans roll. Tell your U.S. pal he’s a moron, a twat or a daft f***, and you likely won’t get invited to his wedding.
I pause here for a word from my sponsor. The expression in question is known to every Canadian man, woman and child over the age of ten. It rhymes with truck, pluck, luck, duck and muck. It is quite often found in mainstream publications, but it is not a word I'm allowed to say on the radio without approval from on high. It's a bit different in Radio Canada, where the phrase is not all that uncommon.