I’ve lived in Britain as an American, and probably the most-common topic of conversation to naturally slip into with a Brit was the English language. Is “herb” pronounced with the “h” or without? Is it aluminum or aluminium? What did I mean by “I’m pissed?”
Eventually the conversation gets stale, because at some point you’ve talked way too much about the way you talk. But, on a rare occasion, there’s a small British idiom or slang word that’s so patently ludicrous you can’t help but be filled with a warm little ball of delight.
For example, I’ve never once understood why “Bob’s your uncle” basically means “and there you are.” I don’t have an uncle named Bob, and it’s a weird way to cap off a short list of instructions or directions. But it’s so charmingly weird that I couldn’t help but giggle whenever it was said to me.
If you plan on going to Great Britain anytime soon (or simply love linguistic quirks), check out this video by Siobhan Thompson of Anglophenia. It runs through a list of phrases you’ve probably never heard of, and gives you their often incredibly strange, roundabout origins.