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London Stereotypes

All posts, European Culture & Traditions, Funny

Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner… Ok, so maybe some of these London stereotypes are a bit too closely linked to English stereotypes… but after all, it is the capital of England!

Given you enjoyed our other stereotype posts, we thought we’d go a bit more specific and talk about London stereotypes! Enjoy!

london stereotypes

We apologise all the time

“Sorry” might be every other word a Londoner says. Whether he means it or not, well, that’s a different story. In fact, the average Brit says sorry 8 times a day. You’ll likely hear it on the tube if someone is trying to get past you as it is often used instead of saying, or in combination with ‘excuse me’. It is also used to express empathy. Next time someone says ‘sorry you had a bad day’, they know it’s not their fault, but they just want to let you know that they feel bad for you. 

London is dirty

Sadly, this London stereotype is kindof… maybe… definitely true. Despite our good sanitation systems and fairly efficient recycling system, we have some pretty dirty problems. Rats are a common problem across London, there have even been reports of rats the size of cats! In case you need any more dissuading against ever stepping foot in London, our levels of air pollution are definitely nothing to brag about. Every part of London breaches the global guidelines for dangerous pollution levels. Hey, at least we’re not still throwing our sewage in the Thames anymore!

Red buses, black cabs and the Queen

If you were to name 3 things associated with London stereotypes, these would likely be pretty high on everyone’s list. And, to be fair, almost everyone does travel in big red buses, black cabs or the tube. London has black cabs a plenty, and the red buses are everywhere – so in this case, London is just like the postcard.

However, the whole Queen thing has really gotten old. Yes, she *sometimes* lives in London, but there are also 8 million+ other people living in London. Despite the common myth, only a select few in London have actually met the Queen.

london stereotypes queen

It’s expensive.

I’m not crying, you are! Yes, London is so eye wateringly expensive that even going a few hours north feels like you’re getting an amazing deal if you’re paying anything less than £3 (€3,30) for a pint. Time and time again London is ranked top of the most expensive places to rent. In 2018, an unfurnished 3 bedroom apartment would set you back £5,398 (€5.884) a month! As a Londoner, going on holiday can be a little sad when you realise just how expensive your home town is in comparison with most of Europe.

London is very international

This is one of the London stereotypes that is absolutely correct. The face of an average Londoner has changed a lot over the last century, going from almost all white-British to an amazing array of cultures. It actually has the smallest percentage of White British people in the country – at just 44.9% of the London population. 18.5% of the population is Asian and 13.3% is Black. This ‘multicultural tapestry’ has helped mould London into the culture-rich place it is today – and us Londoners wouldn’t have it any other way! 

London is the only place in the UK

One of the most ANNOYING things to the Brits is that everywhere else seems to think that we all come from London, or near London, or just outside of London. This is absolutely FALSE and the fastest way to annoy a non-Londoner. In fact, it’s more common that Londoners separate themselves from the rest of England, as they prefer to call themselves Londoners over British. Whether you’re talking to a Londoner or someone else from the UK please remember that London ≠ UK!!

British accent = Only accent

Following on from this, it’s also pretty weird when people talk about a ‘British’ accent. A British accent almost always means a slightly posh London accent. But, we hate to break it to you, there’s not even one accent specific to London, let alone the rest of Britain! As London is such an ethnically diverse place, you have a large array of native accents. The most common accents in London are actually:

  • Received English: sounds most similar to the Queen. Also known as BBC English as news reporters for BBC News used to get trained to speak this way. 
  • Cockney: Traditionally from the East End. The popular English TV show Eastenders has some of the best examples of this accent – although I wouldn’t say the dramatics are too reflective to real East End life.
  • Multicultural London English: influenced by Asian and African immigrants over the last few decades. This accent is increasingly common in London and arguably overtaking the cockney accent. The London rapper Stormzy has a good example of a Multicultural London English accent.

I guess to some of us Londoner’s it’s a bit of a compliment to think of our accent representing the whole nation, so thanks. However, you might want to be aware that referring to a ‘Received English’ accent as a British accent is leaving out 90% of British people’s accents!

london stereotypes

We hope you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to comment your thoughts below! Let us know what stereotypes you want to hear about next!

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