Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 9 years ago

major differencs between U.S. and the U.K.?

I currently live in the United States and thinking about moving to the U.K. in a few years. What are some of the biggest changes/differences?

Update:

Also what is parliamentary government?

10 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    To others - the peace sign is still the peace sign. However, if the hand is reversed, with the palm inwards, then it is like the bird, it's known as the V sign.

    Scroll down to the pictures, Robbie Williams is doing the V sign - Rihanna is doing the peace sign.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_sign

  • tuffy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    The governments differ; the U.S. is a republic and the U.K. has a parliamentary government. Whether in the U.K. takes some getting use to it. Food in most areas of the U.K. doesn't have the variety of foods. Driving on the opposite side of the road from the U.S. takes some getting use to. The driver is on the right hand side of the car and or truck. The U.K. has a monarchy. Finally, some wag has said, "England and the United States are separated by a common language."

  • 9 years ago

    The USA is much bigger. It is possible to live thousands of miles from the sea in the USA, but here, even if you live right in the middle, you are little more than an hour's drive from the sea.

    You have more extreme weather than we do. We get a lot of rain here, and sometimes floods, but we don't get cyclones and tornados and things. very very occasionally an eartkquake, but small feeble ones compared to yours.

    We don't get a lot of hot weather here. Maybe a few weeks in the summer if you are lucky.

    Handguns are illegal. People can keep shotguns, under lock and key, most of those who do are people who live in the country.

    People use public transport a lot more. A lot of places are difficult to park in, and roads can get very congested. Motorists are very fierce, and hardly anyone keeps to the speed limit. We drive on the left.

    Football (soccer) is the most popular sport here. There isn't much interest in American football.

    Houses are smaller than American houses, and are usually built of brick rather than wood.

    We have general elections every five years (sometimes more often), and there will be individual elections if a member of parliament dies or retires or resigns for some reason. The Prime Minister is the head of the parliamentary government. We have a non-elected, hereditary head of state, the monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.

    The UK is not famous for great food. We have some popular national dishes, like fish and chips, steak and kidney pudding, shepherd's pie, bubble and squeak, etc, and curry is enormously popular. We also have Macdonalds, KFC, Starbucks etc. Lots of Pizza. Chinese food is also very popular.

    Most towns still have shopping centres. there are some out of town shopping centres, but they have not as yet killed off the busy town centres.

    We are a less religious nation, far fewer people go to church.

    There are quite large immigrant communities in some places, mainly in the larger cities.

    We have a National Health Service. it is not perfect by any means, there are often long waiting lists for treatment etc, but most people are glad it exists.

  • 9 years ago

    You'll probably find it a bit crowded in the cities, but that may just be me.

    They do live small. In a small island, with 60 million people, this is more or less to be expected, but to an Australian or American used to quarter-acre building plots and expansive open-plan living, you may get the impression that you are living in a corridor. And they don't much like opening windows; in such a rainy climate, this is probably understandable, but in Australia, we feel confined if we can't open windows at least a couple of inches!

    Brits tend to carpet bathrooms, which to my way of thinking is an odd thing to do. I prefer to be able to mop a bathroom floor, and it's bad enough picking up stray hairs from a tiled floor, let alone trying to get them out of a carpet. The less said about kids and their inevitable bathroom accidents the better. And water pressure is something that seems to be sadly lacking - it's like they haven't quite mastered plumbing yet.

    Most people live in the cities, and this is reflected in the fact that the countryside is so idyllic. Parts of highland Scotland are alarmingly empty, even in holiday periods. If you like hiking in the country, they have the best maps in the world; the Ordnance Survey maps are simply brilliant, clearly printed and wonderfully detailed. They got us around the Cotswolds and the Scottish Highlands with no trouble at all.

    Food in the UK is probably better now than at any time in its history, despite the moanings of tabloid papers anxious that the great British breakfast will be somehow declared illegal in the EU. My wife has been to the UK many times (we're Australian), and when we honeymooned there three years ago, none of her dire warnings about poor service and horrible food came to pass.

    There is now genuine pride in local fresh produce and local specialties. Farmers' markets are a regular fixture in most towns and cities, and we were able to eat well and economically without being too dependent on fast food establishments. The flip side of this is that junk food in the UK is some of the very worst you will find anywhere; under no circumstances eat Twiglets. Just say no!

    Migrant communities retain more of their culture in Britain than in the US; there is less of the assimilationist mindset, so this may be a bit of a culture shock for someone used to the 'melting pot' of the US.

    The enormous variety of accents and dialects within the UK is another minefield for the overseas visitor. Case in point; upon arrival at Heathrow, I ducked outside for a cigarette after a 22-hour flight (I've given up now, thank God), and was approached by a young Londoner asking if I had any 'pipers'. It took a few repetitions before I realised he'd seen me rolling my own and was asking for a cigarette paper!

    It's far from a perfect society, and there are welfare ghettos in major cities you wouldn't want to visit alone (or indeed, at all), but it is still a place with a good deal of charm, and much more variety than you would expect in so small a country. I'd certainly go back there in an instant!

    Oh, one last thing; re the two-fingered salute, that's only flipping someone off if the back of the hand is outward, facing your target. The peace sign won't get you beaten up, that's the same on both sides of the Atlantic!

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  • Paul B
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Currency of course.

    AccentS - we have lot's of very different accents in the UK! The British Isles may not be very large, but it is microcosm of local identities.

    Sport - most popular is football aka (in the USA) as soccer

    NHS - healthcare is public and mainly free to all

    Tipping - we are not such generous tippers

    Roads - our country roads are narrow, windy, and absolutely endless - you might want a smaller car.

    Walking - we walk more, the country is designed for it.

    Pubs - since the smoking ban, many are becoming more like restaurants.

    Roundabouts - we have them in our roads

    Yes we drive on the other side.

    Food - more varied than other posters suggest. Plenty of World cuisine. Chinese is popular.

    Police - usually unarmed. Firearms are frowned upon by UK society.

    Humour - a bit different

    Religion - apathetic in the main, churches often empty. Religion is regarded as a bit scary. We consider god-fearing politicians as being insane. Having said that, plenty of busy mosques in some cities.

    Peace sign- is a peace sign. If it is reversed then it is an insult. But it's gradually being replaced by the American one finger salute.

    Parliamentary government. Country is divided into constituencies. Each constituency elects an MP (member of parliament), the political party that controls the most MPs sends it's leader to see the Queen, who allows him / her to be prime minister and to form the government. If she interferes (she never does), we behead her. The second chamber (House of Lords) is made up of appointed peers and hereditary peers.

    Source(s): English.
  • ?
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Make sure you study the differences in the definition of words. I just found out by reading your answers that the peace sign in the US means ''the bird'' in the UK. I have a contact from the UK. (I'm from the US) We are both Michael Jackson fans. You know how he was known for showing the peace sign, or victory sign? Well every time I email my contact I always put *peace sign* at the end of my email. I do it because it means peace here, and MJ is known for this sign.... Now I feel stupid and embarrassed :L

    Source(s): True story.
  • 9 years ago

    There's a lot...

    First off, words mean different things there. It's a whole new dialect, a different slang.

    Our peace sign? The two fingers? There, it means the bird.

    Foods are usually much healthier.

    Lots of walking. More EcoGreen ya know?

    And a lot of other stuff I have no clue about.

  • they also drive on the left side of the road insted of right.

    the drivers seat is on the right insted of left.

    currency

    word use

    also dont do a peace sign because that mean the bird

    ummm...time zones

    thats all that i can think of off the top of my mind

    Source(s): me,my self,andI
  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The biggest difference is the the hemisphere it is in, also chips are fries in Britain.

  • maria
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    They definately have an acient

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