Did you get an invite to the King’s coronation? No, we didn’t either (sadly, the invite is not real). But if you were invited – would you know what words not to use?
The Royal Family (and the upper classes in general) are very particular about their choice of words. Below are some they never use – and the alternatives you should remember if you are ever invited to drink tea at Buckingham Palace!
- Tea – here we mean the meal and not the drink. In many parts of the UK, the evening meal is called tea. However, this is a word associated with the working class. Members of upper social classes, including the royal family, call this meal dinner or supper.
- Toilet – If you’re caught short* in Buckingham Palace, don’t ask for the toilet – ask for the loo or lavatory.
- Pardon? – If you should meet anyone in the royal family, you’ll want to use your most polite English. So, make sure you don’t say “pardon”. We think it’s formal, but to the royals, it’S like a swear word! Instead, say “sorry” or ” sorry, what?”
- Lounge/living room – While some of us Brits use “living room” or “lounge”, to describe the main front room, the royal family use neither. They call it a drawing room or sitting room.
- Couch – And what do the royal family sit on when they relax in their drawing room? It’s not a settee or a couch, words used by people in the middle class or lower classes. Instead, the royal family sit on a sofa. So, no couch-surfing at the weekend…only sofa-surfing!
*dringend (aufs Klo gehen) müssen