Londoners. They are – if you’re reading this in London, at least – all around you, usually commuting, or drinking, or walking too fast, or reading Secret London (🤞). Maybe they’re even complaining about London, because hey, it’s a valid hobby. But still, there are a handful of sure-fire ways to spot a Londoner, and in a recent shoutout on our socials, we asked you to tell us the methods of identifying a Londoner:
The responses were, as always, brilliant. You’ve really come through with the goods here, so kick back, relax, and check out this failsafe list of ways to spot a Londoner in ten seconds or fewer…
How to spot a Londoner
Maybe it’s in the way we walk?
1. “You can’t, they walk too fast 💨”
Yes, unsurprisingly a lot of responses alluded to the pace of life here in the capital. Hey, we’ve got places to be!
2. “Rolling eyes at anyone walking less than 20mph down the street”
3. “The brisk wind while they run past you”
4. “Walks fast & elbows anyone who stands in their way”
5. “Gets huffy with slow walkers and steps onto the road to overtake, whilst muttering “ffs” under their breath, then immediately feels bad about it. This is definitely not me 😶”
Or perhaps it’s in the way we talk?
6. ““Mate” at the end of every sentence”
7. “They know how to correctly pronounce Southwark. Not South Walk!”
8. “‘ Did you not see the queue? ‘”
Finally, a few variations on our favourite word:
10. “‘ Sorry love ‘😂”
11. “Says “sorry” when bumping into an object”
Could it be the way we dress?
12. “They are effortlessly fashionable.”
13. “‘Veja’ shoes forever”
14. “Flip flops + socks”
15. “No umbrella while raining”
It’s only going to slow us down!
Some people zeroed in on our impeccable Tube etiquette…
16. “Running for the tube like it’s the last tube ever to exist even though there’s one in one minute”
17. “Oyster cards kept safer than credit cards 😃”
18. “Not someone who has their ticket out 8 stops in advance”
19. “Zero eye contact.”
20. “Sprinting towards a closing tube door as if it’s an action film and being behind a snail who has all the time in the world.”
Mind you, it’s not always impeccable.
22. “Lateral flow test on tube”
Truly, to know the Tube is to know London, and to know oneself:
24. “They stand at the exact spot on the platform where the tube doors open”
25. “Can fall asleep on the tube for 30min and still manage to wake up just before their stop”
Some put forth the theory that caffeine would reveal a true Londoner…
26. “Overpriced cup of coffee in their hands”
27. “They’ll be carrying a Costa cup”
Other coffee chains are available – and speaking of…
28. “Air pods in and a Pret coffee”
29. “They don’t think £4 for a coffee is expensive.”
Of course, to observe a Londoner in their natural environment, there’s only one place to go.
31. “Is heading to a pub after work”
32. “Drop a pint on the floor and wait for the WHEEEEEAAAA and the sarcastic clapping.”
It’s even more pronounced when you get us out of our natural habitat…
33. “When they buy a round of drinks outside London they pay without blinking to try and act as nonchalant as possible whilst secretly believing the bar staff have massively undercharged them.”
We know the value of time here in London, and a lot of you picked up on that.
34. “They’ll eat their lunch while walking”
35. “We dive into the middle of the road rather than waiting for the man to go green”
36. “We are fast & when we do stand still it’s to the right 😂”
37. “The person running up the escalator”
Of course, a Londoner also knows when and where to slow down.
38. “They’re always queuing, no matter where or for what”
39. “They manage to create a queue even of two people 😂”
And crucially, where not to stop…
40. “Don’t stop suddenly in middle of busy pavement traffic”
41. “The people you cannot find on the London Eye”
We also know that there are some unspoken rules to follow to be a real Londoner.
42. “Eye contact is strictly forbidden”
43. “They’re ignoring your existence”
44. “They have concept of personal space and know there’s a common sense invisible line when people are walking up and down stairs”
Next, the golden rule…
45. “Never change at Bank”
46. “They stand on the right of an escalator no matter where they are 😅”
London is often grey and rainy, so any true Londoner knows to make the most of any sunny weather.
47. “Sunbathing in a park at 2pm on a Tuesday in March”
48. “Pops up laying on the grass when there is one sun ray”
Many tried to capture the essence of a Londoner in their answers.
49. “They speak 3 languages fluently, walk everywhere, always heading to a wine bar or going for a coffee instead of tea…”
Someone is going to be very disappointed when they hear me try to speak Spanish…
50. “22.5k steps daily on their phones or watches, always wearing a rucksack, corporate wear with trainers, headphones in, Oyster card located in a convenient place on self”
51. “Power walk! ‘Sorry! Excuse me …. Uh … can I just! Thank you!’ 👏”
52. “Either doesn’t have a driving license or drives like an evil genius”
53. “They’ll pay £1/2million for a 1 bed apartment and think they have a bargain.”
Someone went brutally accurate here… 😅
55. “Sleep deprived and stressed keeping themselves to themselves”
Meanwhile, some people have clearly only seen Londoners in Julie Andrews films…
56. “He’s the one who spontaneously breaks into a dance routine with a chimney sweeping brush over his shoulder”
57. “The person singing “consider yourself” while pick pocketing well off toffs”
58. “Covered in buttons and say “cor blimey guv’ner” to everything”
I’ve reserved a special section for the people who wisely chose to shower Londoners with compliments.
59. “They are normally the smartest dressed and most polite”
This next person understood 👏 the 👏 assignment 👏
60. “We’re all stunning, witty, and have a natural ability to be polite while ignoring people, and walk really fast through a crowd while sipping a super strong cuppa!”
61. “😍👏 I love the Londoners, they were always helpful !!!😍❤️”
62. “Real born ‘n bred Londoners, like anyone from anywhere are good people and will help you if you need it.”
And finally, a word of wisdom to end on…
63. “You don’t spot Londoners.. Londoners spot non-Londoners
So, now you know!
Also published on Medium.