Almost half of Americans would not understand if a British person was calling them an idiot, a study indicates.
A new YouGov survey found that Americans would miss sarcasm or passive-aggressive subtext in British phrases.
The polling company asked Americans and Britons about certain British phrases such as “with the greatest respect” and “I hear what you are saying”, with the Americans often missing the passive-aggressive undertones.
The phrase “with the greatest respect” showed the biggest difference in responses between the Americans and Britons.
In the UK, the majority of British people knew the phrase was used wto call someone an idiot.
However, only 40% of Americans believed the same, with 49% thinking that the statement meant “I am listening to you”.
In the case of “I hear what you are saying”, 58% of Americans thought someone was sincerely accepting their point of view.
Only just over 30% of Americans thought the phrase meant the second option of “I disagree and do not want to discuss it further”.