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15 Phrases That Will Always Anger Londoners

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 28 November 2017
From public transport announcements and requests to work late through to pub closing times and the price of a pint, these phrases tend to leave Londoners rather upset. We might not be visibly irate, hell, we might even smile, but under the surface we’re probably fuming.

“The… line is closed for engineering work. Please use the Rail Replacement Bus services.”

Every Londoner knows this phrase means their otherwise simple journey has just become a trek of Odyssean proportions that will take a thousand times longer on a rickety old bus – which is always either uncomfortably hot or miserably cold – than it would have by tube. Thanks TFL.

Rail Replacement Bus Service
Rail Replacement Bus Service | © Rept0n1x/WikiCommons

“Oh, no, that chair is taken.”

Oh, really? Well how come no one’s been sitting there for the last half an hour? There are too many people in this city for your imaginary friend.

“That pint will be £6, please.”

You’ve got to be kidding. How? That’s a quid in an offie. Sure, business rent in London is expensive, but you’re just taking the proverbial.

Barman serving pint
Barman serving pint | © Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

“Exact change only, please.”

Stop being awkward. If everyone was meant to pay in exact change, we wouldn’t need change. Dumbass.

“Londoners are SO rude and unfriendly.”

It’s a big city, there are lots of people here, we’ve all got places to be. Get a move on or get out of the way and there won’t be any problems – otherwise prepare to endure the full force of our collective passive-aggressive wrath.

Busy Borough Market
Busy Borough Market | © Nick Webb/Flickr

“Oh, you rent? Why don’t you just buy a house?”

Do you have any idea how much a deposit for a mortgage is? A millennial Londoner will probably sooner win the lottery than be able to afford a house in the capital’s current property market.

“Would you mind staying late tonight to sort this out?”

Of course, not a problem. That said, feelings of resentment will now forever corrupt our working relationship because you clearly have no respect for my work-life balance. I already go to bed pretty much as soon as I get home just to catch enough sleep to arrive at work on time tomorrow. Ugh, I need a payrise.

Staying late at work
Staying late at work | © Pexels

Pub. 11pm. Bell rings. “Last orders!”

Seriously? You’re cutting off the supply of the one thing that makes our overworked lives bearable. Great, now we have to decide between going home or heading to a club on a work night just to get another drink. Europe has late-night bars. We need to be more like Europe.

“The destination of this bus has changed.”

This is basically like telling your boss you’re not going to do the job you’ve been hired for even though you’ve already been paid to do it. When we’re paying TFL as much as we do for transport, is it totally unreasonable to ask for our buses to go where they say they will?

People getting off London bus
People getting off London bus | © Elena Rostunova/Shutterstock

“Sorry, we’re all out of umbrellas.”

Everybody knows London endures a near-perpetual state of rain. Factor in the umbrella-destroying winds and even Mr. Bean could tell you that any decent retailer should maintain an extensive stock of brollies at all times.

“Let’s just push in near the front.”

Just try it. We promise a Vesuvian eruption of passive aggression on a scale your sorry, queue-skipping ass could never even begin to imagine. Never forsake the sanctity of the age-old British ritual of queueing.

Queue at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington
Queue at the Natural History Museum, South Kensington | © Jeremy Tarling/Flickr

“Have you booked a table?”

Can nothing be spontaneous anymore? Not everyone wants to plan out every single minute of every single day like Deborah Meaden. If we did we’d probably all be multimillionaires. Give us a break.

“Sorry, we don’t take contactless card payments.”

Well maybe that explains why we’ve just had to wait an eternity to get served. If you’re going to do business in 21st century London, get with the times.

“Are you on the guest list?”

Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you need a sense of entitlement to come here. Get over yourselves and take our money.

“Sorry, there’s a private event on tonight.”

Well if you’re going to shut the whole place down for private parties, stop advertising as a public venue. We might be here because it’s right next to work, but we’re going to be angry like we crossed the entire city to get here.