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Two fingers

 
Marshal
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Shall we all be sticking two fingers up today to commemorate Agincourt?
 
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Campbell Ritchie
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Yes. The story is that the French would cut an English archer's finger/s off if they caught him, thereby preventing him ever drawing a bow again. As the French advanced towards the English, the archers all stuck two fingers up as if to say, “We can draw the bows and shoot you all full of holes,” both predictions coming true within the following few minutes.
 
Java Cowboy
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This one:


Taking our plates away
Why oh why don’t restaurant staffers wait until EVERYONE at the table has finished before confiscating the china? America’s overly efficient crockery removal system makes British diners feel either judged for speed-eating (me) or like they’re taking up the table for too long (everyone else).


Along with the fact that in the USA, as soon as you have the last bite in your mouth, the waiter puts the check on your table. Here in Europe that looks rude, as if you're supposed to hurry up and free up the table for the next guest. Here, the waiter won't bring the check until you ask for it.

I remember visiting the USA with a friend who was there for the first time, and he was offended by this.

A similar story: in many restaurants in the USA you get free refills for your drinks. One of the first times my mother was there, the waiter spontaneously came with a new glass of lemonade, and my mother protested "I didn't order that! Take it back!". She didn't know it was a free refill.
 
Paul Clapham
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It's not only US versus Britain... many places in the world have restaurant practices which aren't obvious to the outsider. For example when we were in Turkey we went to pizza and doner restaurants, and it turned out that the waiter doesn't bring you the bill. Instead you just go over to the cashier and he magically knows what you ordered, and gives you your bill.
 
Bartender
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Bah ancient history. The English and French get along splendidly nowadays. /s
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
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