Social faux pas can positively cripple a conversation, and Britain is especially good at prescribing rules and regulations to ensure ones' conduct remains civil and pleasant at all times.
Call it a remnant of our past, but here are nine things that will definitely elicit awkward shuffles and eye contact avoidance from Britons all over the isles:
1. Speaking in a "British" accent
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"You sound like you're from Landaaaaaaan..."
It's not funny, it's annoying. Plus, there are 56 recognised accents in the UK, with hundreds of variations, and you're doing a generic cockney impression. Badly.
2. Kissing as a greeting
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We are awkward beings, and can just about handle a kiss from mum. If we're meeting for the first time, stick your hand out, not your mouth.
3. Saying fanny
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In Britain, "fanny" is vagina. We know it means bag or bum in other places. It still makes us awkward.
4. Saying what you mean
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We're not big on the whole "being direct" practice more or less everyone else in the world uses: we postulate. We're passive aggressive. If you want to criticise someone, be sarcastic. That usually does the trick.
5. Asking if we know the Queen
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Yes of course we do! We luncheon every Wednesday at noon while Princess Charlotte plays with the swans. See? Passive aggression.
6. Only visiting London
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While London is our capital city and a world-class cultural hot spot, there's Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland to visit, with their own interesting places and practices. Oh, and there's also Oxford, because Harry Potter.
7. Skipping the round-buying
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If you've been invited to the pub, and your British friend buys you and the five other people you're with a drink, it's not because he's rich: it's because it'll be you and your friends' turn to buy the next rounds.
Don't mess with the system.
8. Stopping in the middle of the pavement, in front of a ticket machine or on the wrong side of the escalator
Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS / Stringer
This is especially pertinent in cities like London, where stopping in front of the ticket barriers to rummage around in your bag for a ticket is akin to anarchy.
A thousand pairs of eyes are definitely attempting to stare you out of resistance with the sheer force of their inwardly-raging hatred for you.
9. Ignoring the queuing system
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Literally all you have to do is what human beings have been doing throughout history, since the beginning of time: mimic.
As in "oh, they're lining up? I'll go and do that" rather than "oh, there's no one trying to get through that place marked 'exit'. Let me try my luck."
And there you have it. Don't do these things and you ought to be just fine!