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27th Feb 2024

Americans are losing their minds over the one word Brits use most in shops

Nina McLaughlin

“I’m going to a shop right now to show you exactly what we say.”

A TikToker has gone viral for showing Americans exactly how we talk here in the UK.

While in America it’s normal to address shop workers in a formal tone, with ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’ being commonly used, it’s not what you’ll find people saying on this side of the pond.

In fact, there’s one word that nearly every Brit seems to use, and TikToker @imjoshfromengland2 really emphasised the point in the video.

“One of the biggest cultural differences that I found between the UK and America is that in America, everyone would say ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ all the time. In the UK, we don’t do that,” Josh began his video by explaining.

“A lot of Americans have asked, what do you say in the UK? I’m going to a shop right now to show you exactly what we say,” he continued, adding that this is “legit”.

He then walked into a shop to purchase a drink, and can be heard saying to the shopkeeper: “Hello mate, how are you? Thank you mate. Thank you mate card please. Cheers mate have a good one, bye.”

The clip has amassed a whopping 3.3 million views at the time of writing, and it’s fair to say that Americans have lost their minds over the revelation.


This is what we say in the U.K.! 😂

♬ original sound – imjoshfromengland2

One person wrote: “So I consider saying ‘sir or ma’am’ a sign of respect. To me it sounds like mate is just a greeting.”

A second asked: “Why do Brits say bye so many times all the time too?”

“Is mate like dude? Sounds like when my kids say bro or bruh,” a third penned.

“I live in the UK now, sometimes i still use sir/ma’am out of habit,” a fourth explained. “One gentleman after I addressed him sir said he doesn’t remember being knighted.”

Other commenters pointed out the British affinity for pet names.

“The British will call complete strangers ‘love’ or ‘darling’ and I think it’s beautiful,” one person wrote.

Another said: “I enjoyed being called ‘love’ in the UK. Kind of like ‘honey’ in the south.”