How to make British people laugh without even trying

how to make british people laugh

I often hear people saying that the most important thing in a marriage is the ability to make each other laugh. I’m not sure that’s true exactly (being nice to each other and, y’know, actually loving each other might feature a little higher up the list), but it is reassuring. Because my husband and I make each other laugh all the time. Not because either of us are particularly funny—JK, I’m hilarious—but because he’s American, and I’m English. And so pretty much everything he says has me LMAOing my ass off and ROFLing on the floor laughing.

How to make British people laugh
Some British people laughing

As we live in London, he’d have a pretty easy time of it if he decided to become a stand-up comedian. In fact, he wouldn’t even have to write any jokes. Here is just a small selection of the things Americans can say that will have Brits sniggering in their seats.

“Do I have to wear pants?”

To you, pants = trousers; to us, pants = underpants. We all know this one. But it doesn’t make it any less funny when you announce you’re not wearing any. (And it also makes it very cute when you say someone’s “trying to get in your pants”. When we say that, we mean it.)

“I bought a fanny pack.”

FANNY MEANS A VAGINA. Imagine how much fun we have when we hear you going on about “vagina-bags”.

“It’s a fancy party so I’m wearing suspenders.”

Yeeeah, you probably don’t want to show off your suspenders to the Queen—because they’re a type of sexy lingerie.


To you guys, this means “full stop”, so you sometimes say it randomly at the end of a sentence to prove a point. Fine, except that to us, it’s like you just said, “And that is why I rest my case. Menstruation.”

“What’s a sausage roll?”

The whole Americans-have-never-heard-of-sausage-rolls thing was the craziest news story of the last decade—and it got even funnier when American newspapers started trying to pass it off as a British delicacy. Er, no. But they are delicious. So import them ASAP.

“I’m planning on double fisting.”

Yeah, that doesn’t mean what you think it means.

And finally…

“Our President is the leader of the free world”

I mean, you really walked into this one. The USA already has a stereotype for being comically oblivious to the outside world. This is just the icing on the cake…

What about the other way round? What do British people say that just crack Americans up?