What Makes a True British Character?


If your sinews took A-level stiffness at the Academy of Stiff Studies, they simply couldn’t be more stiffened. You’re the kind of ramrod-spined British character who’ll face everything and hang the consequences. Obviously, you may die quicker, and in considerable pain, but it’s worth it.


Doing the right thing is woven into your DNA. You’re the kind of clear-thinking British character who believes in credit where’s it’s due, in the spoils going to he or she who deserves them most and in never letting another bear the brunt of unfairness or wrong-doing. Even reality TV stars, and that’s pushing it.


You’re the quintessential low-key British character who never lets his right hand know what his left hand’s doing, and that’s to your eternal credit. Applause, gongs, public acclaim and awards from your peers are for other people. Especially Americans, who appear to love that sort of thing.


The puzzle, the poser, the conundrum and the quandary are meat and drink to you – you’re the quick-thinking British character who can always find the answer. Except for ‘why, when you ask people who’ve just looked their watch the time, do they immediately look at their watch again?’ There’s no answer to that.


You’re not the life and soul of the party – they tend to be the death of a good night out – but you’re the sort of quick-witted British character who knows enough to knock in a clever one-liner when someone sets it up, or to deliver the pithy comment that raises a laugh. We said ‘pithy’. Grow up.


Life as an academic or a top scientist – and that’s a pretty generous definition of ‘life’ – wouldn’t be your cup of tea, but not much gets past you. You have the True British characteristic of having the kind of cleverness that lets you know what’s in a haggis without ever requiring you to eat one.