Interesting Facts About Great Britain — I

English Idioms
1.A Chip on Your Shoulder.«To have a chip on one’s shoulder» означает обиду за прошлую неудачу, как будто пройдя через разрушенное здание, обломок от него остался с человеком на долгие годы.2.Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. Эта идиома означает что-то сродни того, когда вы откусываете огромный кусок бутерброда и в результате не можете двигать челюстями, чтобы его переживать. То есть, берете на себя больше, чем то, с чем можете справиться успешно. 3.You Can’t Take It With You. вы не можете забрать с собой что-либо, когда умрете, поэтому не стоит постоянно отказывать себе во всем, копя деньги, или беречь вещи для особого случая. You Can’t Take It With You призывает жить сейчас, потому что в итоге ваши вещи вас переживут.4.Everything But the Kitchen Sink. Это выражение означает, что почти все было упаковано/взято/украдено. Например, если кто-то говорит “The thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink!” это означает, что воры украли все, что могли с собой унести. 5.“Over My Dead Body”. «Только через мой труп».6.Tie the Knot. Значение – пожениться. Фраза осталась от традиции связывать молодоженам руки лентой, чтобы их жизни были скреплены вместе на долгие годы.7.Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover. «не судите книгу по ее обложке». Ее используют в случаях, когда хотят объяснить, что вещи не всегда являются такими, какими они кажутся на первый взгляд.8.When Pigs Fly. Сродни нашей фразе «когда рак на горе свистнет», Идиома означает «никогда».9.A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots. Смысл фразы: «вы такой, какой есть». Человек не может изменить то, кем он является на самом деле в глубине души.10.Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve. выражайте свои эмоции свободно.Great Britain
Fun facts about Famous Brits & the Royal Family - QUIZ
Ginger Spice was originally Sexy Spice, but changed to better suit their younger fans.
J.K. Rowling is the first person to make a billion dollars from writing books.
James Bond’s code “007″ was inspired by the author Ian Fleming’s bus route from Canterbury to London.
No portrait was ever painted of William Shakespeare when he was alive.
Macbeth is the most produced play ever written. On average, a performance is staged every 4 hours somewhere in the world.
David Beckham has a fear of birds.
Windsor Castle is the largest royal home in the world.
The Queen has 30 god children.
The Queen owns all the sturgeons, whales and dolphins in the waters within 3 miles from the UK.
Prince William wanted to become a cop when he was younger.
Prince William paid $200 to sit in the front row and watch Kate in the fashion show.
According to, when Kate Middleton was younger, the boys in her school rated her a 2 out of 10 for looks and personality.
Her Majesty the Queen. Elizabeth IIElizabeth II became queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1952. Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 1558 to 1603.
When did Elizabeth II become Queen?Queen Elizabeth's father was King George VI. When he died in February 1952 Elizabeth became Queen. Her coronation was on 2 June 1953. The marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in 1947
Why is the Queen so famous?Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most famous women in the world. She has visited many countries and met many world leaders. She has probably travelled more miles than any king or queen in history.
2012 marks her 60th year as Queen. Only Queen Victoria has had a longer reign (63 years 216 days).
Interesting Facts About Great Britain
The real inventor of the electric light was Englishman Joseph Swan in 1880. He later set up a business with Thomas Edison to perfect it. Source: Inventing the Electric Light by Lisa Mullins (2007)
Only one word in the English language has three consecutive sets of double letters and it's "Bookkeeper" B-oo-kk-ee-per. Source:
The largest cheese platter ever created weighed in at 1,122.5 kg and won a Guinness World Record on the 24th of November 2010 in Solihull. (2011)
The largest prawn (shrimp) cocktail was produced by Tom Pickerell at Fishmongers’ Hall, London, on 10th of July 2009 - it weighed 99.72kg. (2011)
Mount Everest is the World's highest mountain and was named in 1865 after a Welshman, Sir George Everest, Surveyor General of India. Source: Sir Edmund Hillary by Samuel Willard Crompton (2009)
Ben Nevis (Scotland) is the highest mountain in Britain (1344m) but is still less than one sixth that of the world's highest, Mt. Everest. Source: Ben Nevis by Ken Crocket and Simon Richardson (2007)
The most published (single storyline) novel is "The Lord of the Rings" by British author J. Tolkien with more than 150 million copies printed. (Important Notes: The Harry Potter series by British author J K Rowling has over 400 million printed but is essentially seven separate books with a continuous theme. The Bible and the Quran are not included as they are not novels. There is a claim that another great British author, Charles Dickens, deserves the title with his book "A tale of two Cities" but the claim of 200 million published is subject to verification.) Source: Wikipedia / BBC / (2002)
In a television poll to select the number one British person the public voted for Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Source: British Broadcasting Corporation (2002)
The modern postal system was invented in Britain and, as such, it is the only country worldwide not to print its name on its stamps. Source: Stamps by Gary Dunaier (1992)
The wedding rings of royal brides are said to be made from a pure nugget of Welsh gold since the tradition was started by the Queen Mother in 1923. Source: The Daily Telegraph Newspaper (2011)
The world's longest railway station name is in Wales. It is spelt as follows: "Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch". (It translates as: St. Mary's Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near to the Rapid Whirlpool of Llantysilio of the Red Cave.) Source: Wales by Tamara L. Britton (2003)
Scotland produces more than 250 million litres of whiskey every year which is enough to fill 4,546 average size swimming pools. Source: Malt Madness (2010)
At the time of writing in 2011, it appears to be legal to buy cannabis seeds in England ... but it is illegal to allow them to germinate. (This is for curiosity only and is not legal advice) Source: Wikipedia (2010)
Today a Kit-Kat is a famous British chocolate snack named after the Kit-Kat Club but the original Kit-Kats were mutton pies. Source: Lives of Wits and Humourists by John Timbs (1862)
The most famous of all British pop bands "The Beatles" were once known as "Johnny and the Moondogs". Johnny was, of course, John Lennon. Source: Guitar Gods by Bob Gulla (2009)
The Dress Act of 1747 (George II) made it illegal to wear kilts in Scotland but fortunately for the Scots, the law was repealed in 1783. Source: The Tartan Museum, Scotland
For the past 50 years the most common name in Britain has been John Smith. It is also the name of a popular bitter beer brewed since 1847. Source: UK Register of Births
Land & People
 England is 74 times smaller than the USA, 59 times smaller than Australia and 3 times smaller than Japan. England is however 2.5 times more populous than Australia, and 1.5 times more populous than California. With 2.5 times less inhabitants than Japan, its density of population is slightly higher than the country of the rising sun.
 English people consume more tea per capita than anybody else in the world (2.5 times more than the Japanese and 22 times more than the Americans or the French).
 Mother Shipton's Cave near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, is England's oldest recorded tourist attraction.
Its owner, Charles Slingsby, fenced off the site in 1630 and started charging visitors to gape at this so-called petrifying well. The mineral-rich water from this uncanny spring has the ability to give objects a stone-like appearance after a prolonged exposure.
 English people have the highest obesity rate in the European Union (22.3% of men and 23% of women).
They also have the highest percentage of overweight women (33.6%) and the 6th highest for men (43.9%).
Culture & Language
 French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 till 1362.
 Public schools in England are in fact very exclusive and expensive (£13,500/year in average) private schools. Ordinary schools (which are free), are called state schools.
 The English class system is not determined by money, but by one's background (family, education, manners, way of speaking...). Many nouveau-riches, like pop-stars or football players, insist on their still belonging to the lower or middle class.
 Oxford University once had rules that specifically forbade students from bringing bows and arrows to class.
 An official report of the European Union surveying universities in all member states ranked the University of London as the top performer in terms of publications and in terms of citations, and the University of Cambridge as top performers in terms of impact.
 Fish 'n chips is not much traditional an English dish than Chicken Tikka Massala.
The first fish & chips restaurant was only opened in 1860 by a Jewish immigrant, Joseph Malin.
 British police do not carry guns except in emergencies.
 One of England's quaintest traditional event is the cheese rolling competition in Brockworth, Gloucestershire. Every year in May people chase Double Gloucester cheese down the steep Cooper's Hill. The tradition is said to have originated with fertility rites in Roman times.
 The Rothschild art collection at Waddesdon Manor is one of the world's most important, rivalling with that of the Louvres Museum and New York Metropolitan Museum.
Other famous musicians/bands include: The Smiths, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, The Cure, Black Sabbath, The Who, The Clash, Radiohead, Coldplay, Muse, Pink Floyd...
England is thought of as having the world’s worst food.
The custom of afternoon tea was devised in 1840 by Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, who felt the need for an extra meal between lunch and dinner.
She began inviting her friends to join her, and the custom quickly spread around British society and throughout the British Empire. Britain's first tea room was opened in 1864 by the Aerated Bread Company at London Bridge.

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