American woman living in Britain is left baffled by fruit machines, air conditioning, how shopping at Waitrose is a ‘status symbol’ and the various meanings of ‘tea’
An American woman living in the UK has pointed out some of the cultural differences between the UK and the US, including the different meanings behind the use of the word ‘tea’.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, USA, Andrea Celeste has lived in London for eight years and has picked up some interesting transatlantic differences in lifestyle, language and laws.
The social media star – who has 185,000 followers on TikTok and more than 26 million likes on her videos – posted a clamp on June 1 as part of her “Things Socially Acceptable in England That May Confuse Americans” series.
Andrea, also known as @anndreacelleste on the site, helpfully pointed out to fellow Americans the many different British uses of the word ‘tea’, as well as the problems Britons face in the summer without air conditioning.
The video – which has garnered 32,000 likes and 251 comments – provoked a varied response from Britons and Scots following her close observations, even sparking a casual debate between the use of ‘tea’ versus ‘dinner’.
Andrea Celeste, originally from Los Angeles but living in London for eight years, helpfully pointed out the many different British uses of the word “tea” to her fellow Americans
In the clip, Andrea explains: ‘The word ‘tea’ in England doesn’t just mean a cup of tea – it can also mean dinner or a snack in some parts of England.
“And then you have things like afternoon tea, cream tea or tea breaks at work, which all include tea, but they’re just different settings.”
The influencer then approaches the subject of British summer time, accompanied by the lack of air conditioning.
She said: ‘It’s quite common for places in England not to have built-in air conditioning.
“So as summer approaches, people usually buy the portable air conditioner or a fan.
‘But ceiling fans aren’t that common in England either, so when it comes to summer the heat just hits differently here.’
Andrea then talks about slot machines that are free to use in pubs in the UK, while gambling is restricted to casinos in the US apart from a few states.
She explained: ‘Pubs in England sometimes also have so-called fruit machines, which are actually slot machines.
“I think Nevada is the only state in the US with no significant restrictions on slot machines. Then there are a few other states like Pennsylvania that have them in bars, restaurants, convenience stores…”
Andrea says ‘tea’ in the UK ‘doesn’t just mean a cup of tea – it can also mean dinner or snack, afternoon tea, cream tea or tea breaks at work’ – sparking huge debate in the comments
Finally, she raises the open debate about the ‘hierarchy’ of supermarket chains in both countries, referring to the general quality and pricing of their items.
Andrea said: ‘I get this one in my comments section every time I post one of these but the hierarchy of supermarkets in England.
“It’s like a status symbol when you shop at Waitrose, for example. But I think it’s also kind of true for the US.’
She added, “This might just be California because we have things like Bristol Farms and now Erewhon, but there’s always been this running joke about Walmart and stuff, so I’m just curious to see if other states experience the supermarket hierarchy.” ‘
Andrea’s explanation in the video provoked mixed reactions from TikTok users, with many split on the use of ‘tea’ for ‘dinner’, while others agreed that there really is a supermarket hierarchy in the UK.
Andrea’s explanation in the video sparked mixed reactions from TikTok users, with many split on using “tea” for “dinner”
Referring to another unmentioned use of the word “tea,” one user wrote, “Also high tea. Used to be after a Sunday Roast. Then in the evening it would be very similar to afternoon tea, but not so fancy.’
Others debated the word, with one person saying, “My pet peeve is when people call it tea, no, it’s dinner!”
Another agreed, writing: ‘Woah woah woah, I have to say as a Brit it’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, NOT tea.’
One person suggested the difference between using ‘tea’ and ‘dinner’ and said, ‘Calling ‘dinner’ tea I think is a north-south dividing line. I grew up in the north, say tea.’
Other users discussed other slot machine colloquialisms, with one writing: ‘We call slot machines ‘puggys’ in Scotland.’
Other users – particularly Scottish people – discussed different slot machine colloquialisms, while others confirmed that there really is a supermarket hierarchy in the UK
Another agreed, saying: ‘Slots are called ‘puggies’ in Scotland. No idea why.’
Meanwhile, people rallied to affirm the general hierarchy of supermarket chains in the UK.
One person stated: ‘Supermarket hierarchy from most posh to least: Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, Lidl.’
Another suggested: ‘M&S, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Tesco, Lidl, Morrisons, Iceland.’
In Andrea’s first clip from her TikTok series, she discusses how cashiers and shop assistants in the UK “don’t usually strike up conversations with people” to the extent they do in America, and how the idea of black pudding “drives her American friends into a frenzy.” .