British - American manners

Something I have noticed over many years is that Americans seem to be more polite that us British, sometimes far more polite than is necessary. Being British I think the level of politeness I experience my country to be about right, but then I would, it's what I am used to. I do wonder if Americans find us Brits to be a bit rude.


The British engineers that I worked with that came to the US in the mid-80s were always polite. Had/overheard funny conversations at times with the different words ‘you chaps’ used. Like the time one of them asked our younger secretary if she had a rubber, to which she really blushed, when all he wanted was an eraser. Or the mixing of words and the Boston accent. Altho not being from Boston (or Massachusetts even) myself, that got me too. Like one of the local gals asking me if was to going to the pub to play dots as some of the Brits were. Dots? Yes, dots. Like the game where you draw dots on paper and connect them up with lines? No, dots (with arm motion this time). Oh, you mean Darts! That’s what I said! Uh huh.

All depends.

Have found most of the professionals I have dealt with to be as polite as the Brits.

Take that down a level and that's where I have seen the brash shoot first ask later ignorance of the world.

But given that we brits don't always put our best foot forward its a little hard to fully quantify.

Only thing that really bugs me is the polytricks down there which seem to be bent on corruption, grift and polarisation regardless of party.

As for SLANG that has been my GOTO for years here in Canada (pinnacle of politeness) and more so when dealing with Americans.
Always makes for decent ice breakers in conversations. More so when you remind them we have sh oles older than thier "democracy"

Ok, I get "polytricks", but what is "sh oles"?

crapper, outhouse, hole in the floor, dung bin, etc.

crapper, outhouse, hole in the floor, dung bin, etc.

Some of the oldest are called garderobes.

An English manager was appointed to a senior position in a USA company. At an early management meeting the HR manager brought up the issue of an underperforming staff member. There was general agreement that X needed to improve his performance. The English manager, after considering this for a few moments said "At the end of the day he's gotta go"

The English manager was flabbergasted when, at 4.30 PM that same day, the HR manager came in with a pile of redundancy forms to be signed.


I noticed that American colleagues were less likely to use even mild “bad” language than British colleagues.

I noticed that American colleagues were less likely to use even mild "bad" language than British colleagues.

I would bear some of that out too.
Very mild yes from the yanks but outright expletives Brits and Canadians use a lot more.
Would put some of that down to a lot of the entertainment they watch too where all the best words get canned.
Even a lot of thier comedy fails to take advantage of some good blue.