Living like royalty is no easy task. Besides courtesies and fancy hats, the upper echelons of British society adopt a very specific vocabulary—a secret code, if you will. A slip of the tongue can instantly reveal some not-so-noble origins, according to Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and author of Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior.
Fox studied the ins and outs of British elites to reveal a particular set of quirks, with a few phrases standing out as dead giveaways. As a ruling class, the House of Windsor likely follows those implicit guidelines to a T.
If you'd ever like to mingle with the cream of English society, avoid these eight words and you'll be worthy of an audience with the Queen.
When it's time to go, head to the "lavatory," advises royal etiquette (opens in new tab) expert Myka Meier. The Duchess would never excuse herself to the "toilet," "bathroom," or even "ladies."
If Prince William missed what you said, he'd interject with a "what?" Words such as "sorry" and "pardon" don't see much use among the upper class, no matter how polite they sound.
Queen Elizabeth can spend a lazy day on the "sofa," but HRH wouldn't be caught dead on a "settee" or "couch."
4. Living Room
As for rooms with a sofa, Buckingham Palace likely includes "drawing rooms" and "sitting rooms," but not "lounges," "dens" or comfy, ol' "living rooms."
Your average Brit calls their parents "mum" and "dad." But like any self-respecting royal, Prince Charles referred to the Queen as "Mummy" during her Diamond Jubilee celebration, the Daily Mail (opens in new tab) reports. That makes Prince Philip "Daddy," of course.
Diana, Princess of Wales, loved to wear a signature "scent" (Quelques Fleurs (opens in new tab), to be exact) but she didn't dab on "perfume."
If Prince George and Princess Charlotte want to go outside, their parents would take them to the "terrace," not a "patio."
If learning all of these subtleties makes you feel "posh," stop right there. "The correct upper-class word is 'smart,'" Fox says (opens in new tab). "In upper-middle and upper-class circles, 'posh' can only be used ironically, in a jokey tone, to show that you know it's a low-class word." Righttt, we totally knew that.
h/t New Zealand Herald (opens in new tab)
Follow Marie Claire on Facebook (opens in new tab) for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.
This Year’s Hottest Wine Club
The subscription service made by wine lovers, for wine lovers.
Found: Bracelets to Fall For
Get ready to mix, match, and stack.
By Brooke Knappenberger
Jamie Lee Curtis Posed Topless on a Magazine Cover at 50 and People "Lost Their Minds," Apparently
Why are people like this?
By Iris Goldsztajn
Sarah Hyland and Adam Devine Play 'How Well Do You Know Your Co-Star?'
The 'Modern Family' stars reunited for the 'Pitch Perfect' spinoff series.
By Brooke Knappenberger
The 78 Best Celebrity Couple Halloween Costumes of All Time
Honestly, we're impressed.
By Charlotte Chilton
Super Rare Photos of Queen Elizabeth as a Young Woman
From childhood snapshots to portraits as a young princess, beautiful and rare photos of the late Queen Elizabeth as a young woman.
By Mehera Bonner
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla's Relationship: A Timeline
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles has ascended to the throne as king.
By The Editors
Who Is Next in Line for the British Throne, Explained
And yes—Harry and Archie are still in the line of succession.
By Andrea Park
Who Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Fiancé Riley Roberts?
AOC's husband-to-be is an "easygoing redhead" who lives with her in D.C.
By Katherine J Igoe
68 Times the Kardashians Posed Fully Nude and Owned It
And we mean fully nude—as in, not a shred of clothing.
By Bianca Rodriguez
Who Is Jonathan Owens, Simone Biles's Fiancé and NFL Player?
"The easiest yes!" Simone wrote about the couple's engagement.
By The Editors