Londoners who live in London are a rare breed. In my office of 40, only two people were actually born and raised in the megacity of 8 million. Lucky for me, my partner and many of his friends are some of these scarce specimens. I thank them in advance for providing me with such robust material.
What they say: Excuse me.
What they mean: Get the f*** out of my way.
They’ve been politely trying to get around you on the sidewalk for 30 meters. When a Londoner stops silently seething you know you’ve really messed up.
What they say: That’s far.
What they mean: I can’t be bothered to go there.
It can also mean it’s outside of Zone 2.
What they say: London Salary.
What they mean: We pay you more to compensate for the fact that a pint costs twice as much as it should and you spend half your salary on rent.
You’ll also feel better about suffering four housemates in a three-bedroom house while your friend easily affords a huge flat in Birmingham.
What they say: You’re not from London.
What they mean: You grew up outside of Zone 3.
If you didn’t live in a borough that 1 in 3 Londoners (not entirely scientific) have heard of, you might as well be from Slough. Where’s Slough? Exactly.
What they say: It’s a proper pub.
What they mean: You don’t need a supplementary income to get pissed there.
They serve beer. And none of that craft brew shit, either.
What they say: I read in the Daily Mail…
What they mean: I’m a self-righteous, middle-England, right-wing, anti-immigrant, homophobic, misogynist, anti-intellectual, racist bastard.
I don’t think people from London like Daily Mail readers very much.
What they say: I read in the Guardian…
What they mean: I want you to know I’m not a self-righteous, middle-England, right-wing, anti-immigrant, homophobic, misogynist, anti-intellectual, racist bastard.
What they say: I read in the FT…
What they mean: I do, or will one day, own this country — if not the world.
Dry and unbiased fact, with a capitalist slant — there are powerful words in the Financial Times.
What they say: I’m on my way…. No, I’m not on the Tube yet.
What they mean: I’ll be there anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes after we agreed to meet.
Theoretically, they should be there on time. It’s just that Transport for London has other plans. A true Londoner knows of their lies but plans their arrival based on just the Tube journey anyway — ignoring the walk to the station, delays, and line changes.
What they say: How much is it?
What they mean: I would just like to confirm that I cannot afford this.
Because, you know, I’m still doing an internship and getting paid expenses.
What they say: Hipster.
What they mean: He wears tight trousers.
True Londoners remember when wearing baggy jeans, low and backwards, were all the rage. And they’re nostalgic for it.
What they say: I don’t go south of the river.
What they mean: That’s not London, there isn’t even a Tube stop.
Sorry, the Overground is not the Tube.
What they say: I don’t go north of the river.
What they mean: That’s where everything that’s wrong with London is happening.
Who needs trees? We’ve got Brixton Market.
What they say: I don’t go out in East London.
What they mean: I’ll have to take three night buses and walk for 20 minutes to get home if I go out in East London.
It’s also likely to involve getting vomit on my shoes.
What they say: I only go out in East London.
What they mean: I’m from East London.
And why go anywhere else?
What they say: This is London.
What they mean: Stop complaining.
In exchange for the exorbitant cost of living, meandering tourists, and transportation that gives you black snot, you get to live in the greatest city in the world.
Matador Guide to
Best Travel Credit Cards
Top offers from our partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
100,000 bonus points
The Platinum Card®
100,000 bonus points
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 bonus points