What do you Brits have against Americans?

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Kdm4life
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Im American, and I've always been fascinated by other cultures, particularly the British culture. Naturally, I started doing research, and came across numerous(at least a dozen that i actually watched, but there were plenty more) Youtube videos of British people bashing Americans. At first, I thought these were isolated incidents, then I discovered this site, and also discovered that arguably the majority of the people on this site also seem to have some sort of deep seated hatred of Americans. I didnt let it perturb me however, and decided to Study Abroad in London at KCL. I got there in a joyous mood, but that mood was soon changed when I realised that me and my friends were automatically being categorized as fat, dumb, and unaware of world events, purely because we were American(We are the opposite of all three). We were also criticized for not understanding British slang and for "not speaking proper English".

Can someone please explain to me where this is coming from. I dont like to make generalizations, but all of the experiences that I have had with British people have involved them making fun of the US in some way, shape, or form. Is it jealousy? I personally dont see what there is to be jealous about, but I cant really think of any other reason. I know that you all are not like this, but why do British people take the worst possible stereotypes of Americans and push them on all of us?

If you're going to neg me, give me an explanation at least.
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Nucleolus
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You think it's only the British who stereotype Americans this way? Try THE WHOLE WORLD.
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minniiee
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those are the stereotypes english people have of america
there are bad ones of other people too
same as a lot of cultures laugh about bad stereotypes of brits (we don't all have bad teeth and we're not all reaally reserved/posh/snooty)

its not normally that people "hate" americans
it's more silly teasing
there the only american stereotypes. it's not that it's only the bad ones pushed on you. we just dont have any others.
and it's not only american people that get teased in this way...

(and whats said above...)
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Chad_Bronson
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I think that we Brits tend to have a fascination about Americans, just like you have a fascination about our British culture
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LiveFastDieYoung
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Its just there are some things that are the norm (at least in they are portrayed as such in the media) which we find very alien. The tea-party for example. they just blow the mind. and some of the things that are being said in the republican primaries. Many of the issues would not be considered relevant in british politics.
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Rooster523
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Yup, just like us Brits all drink tea with scones and are related to the Queen. LIGHTEN UP MANNNNN
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languagelover
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(Original post by Kdm4life)
Im American, and I've always been fascinated by other cultures, particularly the British culture. Naturally, I started doing research, and came across numerous(at least a dozen that i actually watched, but there were plenty more) Youtube videos of British people bashing Americans. At first, I thought these were isolated incidents, then I discovered this site, and also discovered that arguably the majority of the people on this site also seem to have some sort of deep seated hatred of Americans. I didnt let it perturb me however, and decided to Study Abroad in London at KCL. I got there in a joyous mood, but that mood was soon changed when I realised that me and my friends were automatically being categorized as fat, dumb, and unaware of world events, purely because we were American(We are the opposite of all three). We were also criticized for not understanding British slang and for "not speaking proper English".

Can someone please explain to me where this is coming from. I dont like to make generalizations, but all of the experiences that I have had with British people have involved them making fun of the US in some way, shape, or form. Is it jealousy? I personally dont see what there is to be jealous about, but I cant really think of any other reason. I know that you all are not like this, but why do British people take the worst possible stereotypes of Americans and push them on all of us?
I'd say there are the same amount of stereotypes from Americans for us e.g. bad teeth, bad hygiene, ugly, men in bowler hats, saying words like "spiffing" and "cheerio", tea drinking, bad weather, snobby, cold, often the bad guy in films.
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Welsh_insomniac
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(Original post by languagelover)
I'd say there are the same amount of stereotypes from Americans for us e.g. bad teeth, bad hygiene, ugly, men in bowler hats, saying words like "spiffing" and "cheerio", tea drinking, bad weather, snobby, cold, often the bad guy in films.
I often say cheerio But not spiffing... that seems to be taken over by hipsters these days.

(Original post by Kdm4life)
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OP, try not to take it to heart. Although, I understand some people can actually go over the top with their slander. Most people usually do it in good faith. Some people do it because they are blind and actually think those stereotypes, others just like to joke around. It's cool... I'll bring it up with ol' Queeny next time I pop round for tea next Sunday. She'll sort them out in no time!

Cheerio!
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Kdm4life
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(Original post by languagelover)
I'd say there are the same amount of stereotypes from Americans for us e.g. bad teeth, bad hygiene, ugly, men in bowler hats, saying words like "spiffing" and "cheerio", tea drinking, bad weather, snobby, cold, often the bad guy in films.
I agree, but nobody actually BELIEVES that stuff, they may just say it as a joke. It just seems to me that British people(and apparently everybody else in the world) actually BELIEVE everything they say about Americans. Of course there's some truth to it, as there is in every stereotype, but I think that British people have a particular dislike of Americans over anyone else.
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MancStudent098
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1776 *****es.


Nah seriously, I would take what you read on the internet with a pinch of salt. Just because some people start stupid arguments on youtube, or internet forums doesn't mean they really hate all Americans. Even though you did elect Bush, start a whole bunch of stupid wars, leave us in the lurch over Suez and the Falklands, completely butcher the English language, force us to rename the Marathon bar, extradite a bunch of citizens for crimes that they probably shouldn't be punished for and still can't work out where the hell Scotland is or that if you get shown a massive city called London in a movie it will inevitably be the one in the UK.

But it's ok, we don't bear grudges. Come over some time for a nice pint of not particularly cold beer. First round's on us.
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Kylewalker346234
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The Title itself answers it's own question

"Mass Generalisations of citizens of a specific country". Basically Ignorance.
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stewe
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At first I have to admit it is a bit hard to get around the accent... But I think people recognise that Americans outside of America are the best kind! There is a stereotype of the stupid, fat, obnoxious, ignorant American, greedily wasting resources and believing that the US is the centre of the world. I think a lot of people around the world are pretty fed up of US foreign policy. I suppose there is also an element of neocolonialism as well, with all sorts of US cultural, political and ideological exports pretty unavoidable in most parts of the world now. So I can see what you are saying when talk about jealousy, because it is so easy to see what there is in America and what it does - but personally I think it's a bit broader than that. The US is this hugely powerful and influential country in many ways, which pisses people off - people don't like to have stuff forced down their throats the whole time. Perhaps with British people, it's that US culture is becoming so intertwined into British culture that it is almost usurping it, and because we speak the same language it's so easily accessible to us that it will be inevitable that we get bombarded with it. It's interesting that you blame stereotyping in particular, because although I can see that being stereotyped as an American is the problem for you, I have found that Americans are very prone to generalising and stereotyping when it comes to most things; Americans love to generalise! (I'm not trying to be facetious, but this is an honest observation I have made with many Americans...also the irony was so timely!)

Americans are quite an easy target because we have all these stereotypes about them, but people should get past it. I have American friends and I know that there are a lot of obnoxious people in the UK and everywhere that are going to write off every American they come across, but there are plenty of people who won't as well - lots of British people are really into American culture. I think Americans get teased moreso than a lot of other nationalities (as a nation it's seen as pretty arrogant), but if you just go with it and get some banter going or something, or come off looking quite relaxed about it then people will definitely warm to you! I think a lot of people disagree with US politics because Europe in general is much more left-wing, so I think people will want to know what your perspective is. I hate to say though that if you vote Republican you will probably cement most of the stereotypes that people have against Americans.

One thing, though: make sure you're not too loud, our voices are much softer over here!!
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Octohedral
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Ignorance and peer pressure. People often just repeat what they hear around them - I highly doubt half those people have been to America, and whilst we see a lot of your films they don't always show your country at its best. Then there is the fact that the 'cool' people here will try to emulate American trends, like watching the Disney channel, having perfect teeth, and having Californian tans even when it's raining. Unfortunately, most of us hate the 'cool' people, so that reflects badly on you too. As for the fatness thing, some people just like feeling superior. Don't worry about it - I'm sorry that's been your experience, but I'd be very surprised if it was the reaction you got from everyone. Prove people wrong.

I would warn you though, that another stereotype we have about Americans is their sense of humour failure. We all insult each other, so it's possible they are just being friendly...
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by Kdm4life)
Im American, and I've always been fascinated by other cultures, particularly the British culture. Naturally, I started doing research, and came across numerous(at least a dozen that i actually watched, but there were plenty more) Youtube videos of British people bashing Americans. At first, I thought these were isolated incidents, then I discovered this site, and also discovered that arguably the majority of the people on this site also seem to have some sort of deep seated hatred of Americans. I didnt let it perturb me however, and decided to Study Abroad in London at KCL. I got there in a joyous mood, but that mood was soon changed when I realised that me and my friends were automatically being categorized as fat, dumb, and unaware of world events, purely because we were American(We are the opposite of all three). We were also criticized for not understanding British slang and for "not speaking proper English".

Can someone please explain to me where this is coming from. I dont like to make generalizations, but all of the experiences that I have had with British people have involved them making fun of the US in some way, shape, or form. Is it jealousy? I personally dont see what there is to be jealous about, but I cant really think of any other reason. I know that you all are not like this, but why do British people take the worst possible stereotypes of Americans and push them on all of us?
I think it's more indignation that a lot of Americans seem to feel we have something to be jealous of. You really do get a sense of rabid patriotism from a lot of Americans, bordering on nationalism. The irony is that the majority of people consciously advocating that viewpoint are amongst the least well-educated and well-travelled of the population. And there are a lot of people like that. You don't get it from people such as yourself who take the initiative to go and study abroad.
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JayPlays
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British people are always going to stereotype Americans. Americans are always going to stereotype British people, that's just the way it is! But don't forget, not all British people stereotype Americans though.
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Alex17595
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(Original post by languagelover)
I'd say there are the same amount of stereotypes from Americans for us e.g. bad teeth, bad hygiene, ugly, men in bowler hats, saying words like "spiffing" and "cheerio", tea drinking, bad weather, snobby, cold, often the bad guy in films.
Kid on xbox said I had yellow teeth for like 20 mins straight.

:facepalm2:

But it all down to steryotyping different countries
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:)ella
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America as a whole is a bit of an 'every man for himself' society, with everything privatised and the politics being arguably more right wing than over here (I know Obama is a democrat but they're fairly centre-left whereas the Republicans are really right wing)

Things like the nutty right-wing Christian groups give a bad image and you'd think it was a minority but the Republicans agree with a lot of it and it scares people that an anti-gay, anti-abortion party is one of the 2 main ones. Things like Tea Party make it worse.

However, the actual American people I have always found to be really warm and friendly and SO welcoming. I agree that if people travelled to America they'd see the good sides as well as the bad.
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redferry
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(Original post by Kdm4life)
I agree, but nobody actually BELIEVES that stuff, they may just say it as a joke. It just seems to me that British people(and apparently everybody else in the world) actually BELIEVE everything they say about Americans. Of course there's some truth to it, as there is in every stereotype, but I think that British people have a particular dislike of Americans over anyone else.
Surely the Brits dislike the French more?
It seems to me that Americans just seem to take what British people say about them too seriously =/ mainly because of the culture of major national pride, and that just reinforces the stereotypes...it just comes across as arrogant.
My flatmates american and we take the piss constantly, but he knows its just a joke and takes the piss back. He also can admit the glaring (particularly political) flaws with his country, which a lot of Americans can't.
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KCosmo
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We have a skepticism of all foreigners, but just in a joking non serious way. It's just the same as us thinking that Russians drink inordinate amounts of vodka, that Mexicans are lazy, or that the French are all a bunch of cheese eating surrender monkeys Don't take these things seriously!
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SeismicHazard
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(Original post by Kdm4life)
I agree, but nobody actually BELIEVES that stuff, they may just say it as a joke. It just seems to me that British people(and apparently everybody else in the world) actually BELIEVE everything they say about Americans. Of course there's some truth to it, as there is in every stereotype, but I think that British people have a particular dislike of Americans over anyone else.
I don't think British people dislike Americans anymore than anybody else does. A lot of what you describe is just a bit of light hearted banter that I wouldn't take to heart.

We all know Canadians are the best Americans though.
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