In a country where making sweeping generalisations is a habit ingrained in its citizens, it’s not surprising that the entire UK populace was at one time divided into "northern monkeys" and "southern ponces." Northerners were classified as uncouth morons while southerners were labelled posh. Of course the tags are mainly good for a laugh, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t stereotypes of this sort walking around among us. If you’re not sure if you’re one of them, see if any of this rings true for you.
You think explaining yourself properly is the best way to avoid a fight
Because the southern English ponce will do anything to avoid a fight, he will attempt to sway the argument of a beer-swilling ruffian armed with nothing but a logical argument. This, as everyone else knows, doesn’t work, serving only to infuriate the patronised benefit-class ape-man into a fist-throwing rage. The only option left now to the southern ponce is to run away.
A sunny day says to you "Pimms" rather than "beers"
Pimms may be seen as an English summer institution but only really by those down south and of a posher persuasion. Most self-respecting northerners wouldn't be seen dead sipping from a glass with cucumber poking out of it.
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You've used the word "rugger"
It’s not often that the use of single words has the ability to signal such a sweeping generalisation about a person, but there are a few that only the southern English ponce would use. Rugger is one of them – one that rolls as easily off genuine and wannabe Etonion tongues alike as “yah,” “gosh” and “squiffy.”
You don't say anything when someone pushes into a queue
Queues were invented by the English and pushing into one goes against everything they stand for. However, nine times out of 10 ten they won’t say anything when someone pushes in, but instead give the guilty party a serious frowning, possibly even a tut.
There's "nothing like an English summer's day"
This phrase, and in fact the phenomenon, was undoubtedly invented in the south, because everyone knows it’s grim up north. Kent, the “garden of England” is in the south, and the south east is warmer and drier than any other part of the country. You haven't had an English summer until you've had a southern one.
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Your parents retire to the south of France rather than Benidorm
Benidorm isn’t for everyone, despite offering the chance to get a pint of lager and an all-day breakfast in the sun for four Euros. As a southern English ponce your parents will look to retire among the vines of an old French chateau, eating snails, trying to speak French and drinking fine wine.
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You have to wear a coat out in winter
Reasonable it may sound, but take a trip to Newcastle in January and you’ll still see lads and lasses out in t-shirts and dresses resembling belts. It may be warmer down south, but people are a bit more sensitive. If you don't go anywhere without a coat between September and May, you could really be from the south.
Your parents both have jobs
Release that sharp intake of breath you just took and take a look at the statistics. The gap between rich and poor and the employment figures correspond fairly well with the north-south divide, and many southern middle-class families bring home two salaries.
It's the Eiffel Tower over Blackpool Tower
You won’t find too many southern ponces up in Blackpool on a hot summer’s day. They take cultural city breaks to European centres or possibly the west country if staying domestic. Most will have seen the Eiffel Tower more times than its Blackpool equivalent.
You played something other than a guitar or recorder as a child
Many children are set on the road to becoming southern ponces by being forced to play an instrument like a cornet or an oboe. There’s nothing wrong with this in itself, but if combined with one or more of the other traits listed here you could be one of them.
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You don't want to make a fuss
You know you should tell someone about that abandoned rucksack on the train, but you don’t want to cause a scene. After all, the owner’s probably just gone to the toilet or left it behind by mistake. Just pick your book back up and ignore it. The southern English ponce will do anything to avoid a fuss as well as a confrontation, regardless of the dangers.
You have a soft spot for Margaret Thatcher
A clear divide exists between north a south politically and no-one personified this more than Thatcher. A hate figure for many, the southern English ponce often has a soft spot in his heart for the Iron Lady, whether he admits it or not. Even the reaction to her death divided the country, but the ponce shed a tear or two.
You snub Tesco and Morrisons in favour of Waitrose and M&S
Like many aspects of British culture, there are cultural divides in shopping. The southern ponce won't settle for Jacobs crackers with his cheese - he needs aloe-infused, poppy-seeded organic oat wafers. For these he needs to go to a higher-end supermarket. Thankfully, there are plenty around.
You worry about inheritence tax
Since the vast majority of the wealth that is inherited by children from their parents is tied up in a property, the owners of southern properties have more reason to be worried about fluctuating inheritance tax rates that northerners. The threshold currently stands at £325,000 - enough to buy half of Carlisle. Probably.
You make plans for what you'll do when you're 85
The southern English ponce will live much longer than a northerner, and will spend a far greater proportion of this time in good health. Healthy life expectancy ranges from 55 in Middlesbrough to 86 in Oxfordshire. They may be ponces, but they'll get the last laugh.