British Humour

Phew! Glad that’s over… January, that is.

“I am not overly keen on the month of January.”

This is an example of the Great British Understatement. (In fact I detest January!)

I tried to find out where this phrase Great British Understatement comes from, but Google kept sending me to Wikipedia’s “understatement” page, which basically talks about British humour.

The Wictionary definition is:

understatement (noun)

  1. a disclosure or statement that is less than complete
  2. restraint or lack of emphasis, especially for ironic effect

I would just like to add that exaggeration is a thousand times worse than understatement. 😀

The British are known for being able to laugh at anything and anyone, but primarily at themselves. Wherever I have been in the world, comments have been made about famous British comedians and comedy series etc, and the sarcasm and irony present in British humour. Probably best known (and loved?) is Monty Python, but I could name so many I could be here all night writing a long list. However, I will mention one man in particular today and save a few for other posts…

Les Dawson

Ever heard of him?

He died in the early 90s, but he is one of those old classics who will live on for ever. He was from the north of England, where he started his career in clubs, and while I was in the UK at Christmas I watched a couple of recordings of his old sketches. Although I’ve seen these so often before I suddenly realised that he possessed an ingenious command of the English language… (He was in fact an avid reader and writer).

Here is an example from Youtube of his linguistic talent(!):

Great Uncle Peregrine Debeers Dawson

Take a look, with tongue in cheek, and let me know what you think of him! I realise he is not everyone’s cup of tea!

Or perhaps you’d prefer to hear his musical talent:


Piano playing

If you like that, watch this:

Candle in Cumbria

Zebediah Twine

Have a laugh!