If you aren’t from the United Kingdom (UK) or England, there is a lot you might be missing out on. History classes don’t cover most modern history, and they don’t cover the odd questions I came across.
I did some research to find out a lot of funny things about the United Kingdom and England.
Is London in France or England? London is the capital of England. Though the city is located in England, it is also the capital of the UK, which is made up of four countries. London is the largest city in the country with a population of over 10 million people and measures 607 square miles.
Are you ready to brush up on your knowledge about England and the United Kingdom? Read on to learn about these countries and their little quirks.
London Is Located in England
London is located in England. It’s a huge city—607 square miles, to be exact—and it has a population with a whopping total of over 10 million.
This is a big piece of the approximately 55.6 million people who live in England. This makes the city very busy, but the countryside is very calm.
Admittedly, sometimes people get confused about London’s location because England is a part of the United Kingdom. We’ll cover that in the next section.
What Countries Make Up the United Kingdom?
England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are the four countries that make up the UK as we now know it, but it was formed and modified over several centuries.
To discuss what we know as the UK, we need to start with the formation of Great Britain in the 1200s. Wales, a small yet independent country at the time, fell under English rule from conquest.
Later, the United Kingdom was formed when Great Britain and Scotland formed the Treaty of Union in 1707.
This helped England avoid war with Scotland’s neighboring country, France. This also allowed Scotland to avoid bankruptcy (with help from England). Now the UK consisted of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Northern Ireland was incorporated in The Act of Union 1800, and this forms the United Kingdom as the one we know today. It consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Why Do People in England Drink So Much Tea?
In England, the British East India Company monopolized the tea trading business—they had total control of the tea business. The drink was seen as a high-class luxury, and it was even consumed more than alcohol or coffee!
After several centuries, it is still a popular drink today. Many say it is engrained in the culture of England now. Tea time, an activity accompanied by snacks like biscuits and crumpets, is still common in England.
There is a wide variety of tea available throughout England and the UK, and it remains a huge sector of business here.
Why Do People From England Call Cookies Biscuits?
The English often refer to cookies (as Americans call them) as biscuits regardless of if they are hard or soft.
However, in the United Kingdom as a whole, the word “cookie” generally applies to softer baked goods. In America, “cookie” encompasses both hard and soft baked goods.
It is safe to say texture plays a large role in differentiating these tasty treats, but it’s hard to say for sure.
On top of that, “cookie” is thought to have originated due to Dutch immigrants in what was later known as America.
The word, which sounds similar to the Dutch word, “koekje,” means “little cake,” but the theory of Dutch origins isn’t confirmed. This only adds to the texture theory.
What Are Crumpets?
Crumpets, traditionally served for breakfast, brunch, or with tea, are similar to English muffins.
Crumpets have similar nooks and crannies to English muffins, which are great for toppings (such as butter or jam). This is where things change.
Crumpets were first created as a thick batter. Traditionally, they are made with milk as well.
They are cooked in a cast iron pan—on one side—to create a special bread for morning meals. They are not sliced; simply top them and enjoy.
English muffins, however, are made from dough cooked in an iron skillet on both sides (or baked in an oven).
They are usually made with water. Each one is split down the middle before adding toppings and eating them.
Though crumpets and English muffins are very similar, there are a few key differences.
What Is The Native Language In England?
English is the native language in England, but it is not recognized as the official language of the country. This is because of its relationship with the UK.
English is commonly spoken throughout the entire United Kingdom as well despite there being a total of 14 native languages spoken throughout the countries.
This is because the English language wasn’t commonly spoken throughout the UK until the 19th century. Now, while it is much more common to speak English, there is no need to dub it as the official language.
Why Is Soccer Called Football In The United Kingdom?
What Americans know as “soccer” is referred to as “football” in other parts of the world—the United Kingdom included.
This started when Rugby, also called “rugby football,” was introduced in England.
Here, football was already a popular sport, so a way to differentiate between the two sports was necessary. Rugby was simply called “rugger” or “rugby.” On the other hand, football was called “soccer.”
The name didn’t stay put anywhere but in the United States of America. While other countries call the sport football, Americans still refer to the game as soccer.
Are All Scottish People Redheads?
It’s a common stereotype that anyone who is Scottish has red hair due to their Celtic heritage. This is simply not the case.
However, in both Ireland and Scotland (both of Celtic descent), there is a considerably higher percentage of red hair than in other countries.
Scotland is in the lead with more than 10% of the population having red hair. In Ireland, that percentage is 10% or less.
The percentage of people carrying the redhead gene is estimated as high as 40% of the population.
Much like blue eyes, the redhead gene is recessive, which means both parents need to carry the gene to produce a child who could possibly have red hair.
With that many people carrying the gene for red hair, it’s not surprising the percentage of Scots with red hair is so high.
Does Ireland Have Roads?
Ireland does have roads. They have highways, motorways, and local roads. Highways are the most heavily traveled routes, while local roads are less traveled.
Northern Ireland and the Republic have a combined total of over 200 miles of roadways, and the most recent streets of Ireland were developed from the year 1962 to 1980.
In addition to having a few hundred miles of roadways throughout both parts of Ireland, Ireland also has lanes for farming purposes—such as horse-drawn carriages—on more local roadways.
This is because the majority of land in Ireland is used for agriculture (as much as 65% of it).
Though Ireland doesn’t have as many roads as other countries, there are still sufficient roadways.
Why Do People Drive on The Wrong Side Of The Road In The UK?
When feudal societies were common, riding on the left side (or wrong side) of the road was more common.
This allowed right-handed fighters to have the advantage when encountering enemies. Seeing as the majority of people are right-handed, this was a sensible choice.
However, this changed in America. Mounting a horse from the left side was easier for right-handed individuals. This allowed traffic to get by if need be.
Most countries are similar to America in that aspect, but some areas of the world drives on the “wrong side” of the road.
Why Do The British Have Bad Teeth?
people (7 in 10) visit the dentist annually—almost double the number of Americans who do (4 in 10), according to this article about dental care around the world.
It notes that the dental health of Americans is actually worse than that of their British counterpart—especially when it comes to decay. Americans have nearly twice the amount of decay as the British. Some blame this on how healthcare is managed.
The stereotype about the British having bad teeth is misleading because Americans actually have worse dental health.
The modern history of England is something rarely talked about, which is why I shared the findings of my research.
I found out quirky facts about tea time and crumpets as well as discover a bit about genetics. I also found out the stereotype about British people having bad dental health is unfounded.
I hope this blog post helped you understand the reality of British stereotypes!