Articles (31)

Articles about the UK, living and working here.

Martha Ryan

Spend a Penny - meaning and origin

The phrase "spend a penny" in British English means to urinate. For example, before leaving the house, someone might say "please wait, I need to spend a penny", or asking a child before a long journey, "do you need to spend a penny?". The origin…

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Martha Ryan

Units of Measure used in the UK

Here in the UK we have a curious mix of units of measurement, some metric, some imperial, which is unique to Britain and reflects the older imperial measurements slowly giving way to considerable use of metric (SI) units of measure, with some notable exceptions stuck…

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Martha Ryan

Tower of London latest queue video August 2021

The Tower of London, London's top tourist attraction, which has been closed to visitors due to the pandemic reopened on 19th May, 2021. Tickets can be booked at: https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/visit/tickets-and-prices/ UPDATE: 9th August, 2021 - latest video of the queue at the Tower of London. I have…

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Martha Ryan

Does the UK have a Thanksgiving?

The UK does not celebrate Thanksgiving as such, because Thanksgiving is an American celebration, associated with the successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by the Pilgrim Fathers to their new home of America. The British, since they did not embark on this perilous voyage, do…

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Martha Ryan

Do all UK swans belong to the Queen?

The Queen's Swan Markers - Swan Upping 2021There is confusion and myth surrounding swan ownership in the UK and the association of swans with the Royal Family. The facts, though, while ancient in origin, are clear and precise. All unmarked mute swans on open waters…

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Martha Ryan

Is UK the same as Great Britain?

The term Great Britain, abbreviated to Britain, should not be used interchangeably with the United Kingdom, or UK, because they are different. Here's how. Great Britain consists of the countries of England, Scotland and Wales, which together form the mainland of the British Isles. The…

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Martha Ryan

Complete list of UK celebrations

Celebrations in the UK include widely known festivals such as New Year's Eve, Easter and Christmas, as well as UK-specific celebrations such as Guy Fawkes Night and St Andrew's Day. Birthdays are a major cause of celebration in the UK, with children and adults of…

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