No. 3: Cross-Dressing


Photo credit: Staffordshire Arts

“The biggest comedy role in a pantomime belongs to the dame, a formidable matron (or matrons, in the case of Cinderella’s sisters) with preposterous makeup and a gaudy, clashing costume. The dame is presented as a maternal force, a woman past the first budding flush of youth, the kind of woman who owns more comfortable underwear (bloomers, mostly) than lingerie, but thinks of herself as a rare and precious flower. She’s Mother Goose or Widow Twankey or the Nanny in Babes in the Wood. And she’s always, always played by a man.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: The Brits and Cross-Dressing: A History

Anglophenia: ’80s Music Week: Five Great British Gender Bending Pop Stars

Anglophenia: Alan Cumming: ‘Being a Woman is Hard’

Anglophenia: WATCH: Transvestite Tears in New Always Advert

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The BookmanMunro’s BooksMosaic BooksPulpfiction, and Black Bond Books.



No. 4: Bonfire Night

SBL_BonfirePhoto credit: Vina Learn English

“Rather than being a day to commemorate the first steps of a new nation, or the overthrowing of an imperial regime, Bonfire Night is a wilder event entirely. It’s an exorcism of folk demons, and while it has lost most of its anti-Catholic sentiment (although some traditions die harder than others), it still carries the idea that somehow someone should be punished for something. There’s a rude celebration at play, a sense of irreverence toward figures of authority. In places where a Guy is to be burned, he may be just a nondescript and makeshift man built of old, stuffed clothes, but he could also be Simon Cowell or Osama Bin Laden or Lance Armstrong or Margaret Thatcher. Whoever the local community deems to be the devil of the moment.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Five Things You May Not Know About Guy Fawkes

Anglophenia: The Brit List: Five British Holidays Americans May Not Know About

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UKBarnes & Noble Booksellers, Foyles, Vroman’s Bookstore, Parnassus Books, The BookshelfThe Bookshop Liskeard, and Wadebridge Bookshop.

No. 5: Pub Quizzes

SBL_Pub Quiz

Artist: Keith Royle

 “Pub quizzes are popular at all points of the compass and they all follow a broadly similar format. People arrive, get the drinks in, and sort themselves into teams. Some teams are formed from groups of happy friends who wish to have a fun night out; others are formed of experts who wish to dominate all pub quizzes forever.”

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Bryan Prince BooksellersBooks-A-MillionCogito BooksCamden Lock Books, and Book Warehouse.

No. 6: James Bond and Sherlock Holmes


 Image credits: and The Washington Post

“British fiction’s two most famous solvers of cryptic mysteries share a definite link, one of attitude, morality, and temperament. Crudely put: they are both sods. Charming sods, delightful sods, but sods nonetheless.

Holmes is a rotter simply as a side effect of his maniacal need to instill order on everything…Bond is slightly different, but not by much. No less of a sociopath, and with no less of a cruel streak, he expects the company of women as his reward for being the best at what he does.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: ‘Fleming’ Personality Quiz: Which James Bond Are You?

Anglophenia: 50 Years of James Bond

Anglophenia: ‘Fleming’: 10 Songs That Should Have Been James Bond Themes

Anglophenia: 10 ‘Doctor Who’ Actors That Were Also in Bond Movies

Anglophenia: ‘Sherlock’ Fans Turn Detective To Find Missing Film

Anglophenia: Quiz: Which ‘Sherlock’ Character Are You?

Anglophenia: Fifteen ‘Sherlock’ Quotes To NOT Live Your Life By

Anglophenia: 10 Reasons Why Steven Moffat’s ‘Sherlock’ is the Best

Anglophenia: ‘Sherlock’ Cosplay: How To Dress Like Sherlock

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Cover to Cover, Maple Street Bookshop, Gullivers, Hurley Books, and Word Power.

No. 7: Tea


Image credit: The Littlest Hobo Blog

“Tea isn’t merely a drink. It’s a way of life. It’s the panacea that fixes all curses and cures all wounds. It’s the first thing Brits turn to in the morning and the last thing they prepare at night. Tea is a balm for the soul, a rallying spot for friends, a punctuation point for the day, and, let’s not forget, a nice hot beverage that you can serve with milk and/or sugar.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: 10 Very British References in Beatles Songs

Anglophenia: Iconic British Things Part 5: The Humble Cuppa

Anglophenia: Iconic British Things No. 15: Afternoon Tea At The Ritz

Anglophenia: Components of a British High Tea

Anglophenia: Five Good Places To Get A Scone In The Lake District (In 2013)

Anglophenia: Noel Gallagher’s Guide To The Perfect Cup Of Tea

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UKBarnes & Noble Booksellers,Longfellow BooksHunting Raven BooksCommunity BookstoreDorset Books, and A Room Of One’s Own.

No. 8: Weird Traditions


The annual Gurning World Championship, Cumbria, UK. Photo credit: Pinterest.

“As the natural world ticks along its endless cycle of birth, growth, and death, there is much to celebrate, much to commemorate, and much to be superstitious about. The Brits have had a long time to work up their own unique reactions to these moments, and their customs and traditions can loosely be split into two subjective categories: those I grew up with and understand (and are therefore Not Weird) and those I do not recognize and do not understand (and are therefore Weird). Of course, if you’re not from around here, they’re all weird.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Five Birth Traditions of the British Isles (Some Of Which Are Disgusting)

Anglophenia: Iconic British Things No. 14: Morris Dancing

Anglophenia: 10 British Ways to Ring in the New Year

Anglophenia: The Brit List: Five British Holidays Americans May Not Know About

Anglophenia: Shrove Tuesday: Football, Racing and Lots of Pancakes

Anglophenia: British Good Friday Traditions: Pace-Egging, Tosspot and St. George

Anglophenia: Five British Easter Traditions That Will Surprise Americans

Anglophenia: Easter Is Coming: Let’s Make a Simnel Cake

Anglophenia: Five British Things You Must Do On May Day

Anglophenia: May Day: The Hills Are Alight With the Fire of Beltane

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes & Noble Booksellers, Northshire BookstorePolitics & ProseThe Regulator Bookshop, Square Books, and Tattered Cover Bookstore.

No. 9: Sarcasm


Photo credit: British Comedy Guide

“A sense of humor is like a fine martini: the dryer it is, the better.

That means it’s not necessary to guffaw if you have made a joke. It’s not even desirable. It’s not necessary even to smile. In fact, if you can manage to arrange your face in such a way that it’s hard to spot that you’re even joking at all — no raised eyebrows, no cute eye rolling, and definitely no winking — that’s the very best way to interact socially at all times. The fine art of sarcasm keeps everyone on their toes, trying to work out whether that sharp thing you said was meant sincerely or not, trying to work out if you’re really the kind of person who enjoys making others feel uncomfortable or just having a dark laugh, and sometimes being unable to speak from all those sharp intakes of breath. What could be more enjoyable?”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Personality Quiz: How Sarcastic Are You?

Anglophenia: A History: Are Brits Better at Satire?

Anglophenia: What The British Say (And What They Really Mean)

Anglophenia: Five Great American Things The British Improved

Anglophenia: 10 TV Shows That Explain British Culture

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon USAmazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Prairie PagesFerguson BooksBooks & CompanyBayshore Books, and Excelsior Bay Books.

No. 10: Cricket


Image credit: Pinterest

“I have argued with ardent cricket fans about whether the sport they love so well, with its arcane wisdoms, long-standing traditions, and infinite subtleties, should be considered less a sport and more an art form. To which the only sensible answer is no, stop being silly, it’s a sport.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Five Great British Sports Crazes Americans Don’t Understand

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Sun Dog Books, Ink Wood Books, Book Swap of Carrollwood, Sanibel Book Shop, and Books and Books.

No. 11: Apologizing Needlessly


Image credit: Wordsmith: A.Word.A.Day

“Being quick to apologize is a fine quality, especially if no offence was intended in the first place. It’s a mark of a strong character, but only when used sparingly and from the heart. The trouble is, that is not how Brits like to say sorry. They like to apologize before every statement of personal need, whether it’s a trip to the bathroom or taking their turn in a revolving door. They’ll apologize for falling asleep, apologize for waking up, apologize for being hungry, apologize for being full. And this is driven by awkwardness and panic, because if they don’t do it, there’s a chance a complete stranger might think the worse of them — on even the most spurious of grounds — and that would simply never do.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: 10 TV Shows That Explain British Culture

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Books ‘n’ More, Reader’s Delight, The Learned Owl, Joseph Beth, and Appletree Books.


No. 12: Ampersand Foods


Image credit: Markify

“The British Isles can boast some world-beating recipes, and some of the best of them are made with a secret ingredient they have always been very fond of: the Ampersand. It’s there in some of their best-known dishes: not just fish & chips — the full title of which should really be fish & chips & mushy peas — but also firm favorites like bangers & mash (sausages and mashed potato and gravy), pie & mash (eel pie, mashed potato, and a parsley-based sauce called liquor), and the ever-popular steak & kidney pie. And it’s particularly prevalent in some of their most beloved food brands too.”

Back catalogue: Anglophenia: Iconic British Things Part 3: Fish and Chips

Anglophenia: The Brit List: Ten Extremely Misunderstood British Foods

Anglophenia: The Anatomy Of The Great British Fry Up

Anglophenia: 10 British Words That Don’t Have A US Equivalent

Anglophenia: Five Unhealthy British Recipes For Jamie Oliver

Anglophenia: Karen Gillan’s Favorite Condiment: Chippy Sauce

Anglophenia: Let’s Have A Knees-Up For St. George!

Anglophenia: Personality Quiz: Which British Food Should You Try?

Preorder your copy of Stuff Brits Like from: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The BookmanMunro’s BooksMosaic BooksPulpfiction, and Black Bond Books.