Everyone in the world has spoken badly about a friend or colleague behind their backs. But how do you bitch like the British do?
When a Brit bitches about another person it would be quite easy to mistake that conversation for a declaration of love. The art of bitching like a Brit lies in the disguise.
The key is to start every sentence with something positive about Person A – let’s call him Peter, especially if you’re not sure how the other people in the room feel about Peter.
You couldn’t just blurt out: ‘Oh my God, I hate it when Peter goes on and on about how he’s growing vegetables, it’s so boring. Are you with me?!’
Do it the British way and be more nuanced about your qualms with Peter. Bring up Peter and talk about at least three positive qualities he has in your view. Then say something to the effect of: ‘I love Peter to bits. Isn’t he great? Aw, bless him!’
Then, only then, can you enter the actual bitching grounds. Say something like: “It’s just sometimes, I wish he would shorten his gardening stories a little bit and move on to his other, much more interesting stories. Hahahaha! Oh, but bless him, he loves his allotment.”
If someone says: “Yes, I know what you mean!” – feel free to elaborate. But don’t forget to pepper your comments with one to two compliments per insult to keep up the appearance of you ‘loving Peter to bits’.
If no one says anything and just looks a bit stunned, pretend like it “must just be” you and go back to praising Peter for his adorable personality.
If you follow these few simple steps, no one will come away from the conversation thinking that you hate Peter, unless they do, in which case they will see you as an ally – a friend.
Mission = accomplished.
Here’s some notable vocab we picked out for you
- a bitch (noun): 1. a female dog, wolf, fox or otter; 2. slang: pejorative for a person, commonly a woman, who is belligerent, rude, unreasonable or malicious. When applied to a man, bitch is a derogatory term for a subordinate (“I’m his bitch” meaning: “I do whatever he tells me to do”); 3. a difficult or unpleasant situation or thing (“working the night shift is a bitch”), synonym: nightmare
- to bitch about (verg, slang): to make spitefully critical comments about someone who is absent (“everybody was bitching about their colleagues”), synonyms: be spiteful about, to speak ill of, to bad-mouth, to slag off
- adorable (adjective): inspiring great affection or delight. Synonyms: lovable, appealing, charming, cute, sweet, enchanting
- to pepper something with (verb): 1. to sprinkle or season (food) with pepper; 2. to cover or fill with a liberal amount of scattered items (“the script is peppered with four-letter words”)