How To Speak Like A Royal

We’ve already shown you how to dress like a royal (and get married like one), so what better way to up your royal etiquette than to share a vocabulary with the Duchess of Cambridge herself? According to social anthropologist Kate Fox, Britain’s upper echelon apparently speaks a language very different from the one we common folk use, omitting words like “toilet” and “couch” in favor of more savory terms such as “lavatory” and “sofa.” There’s certainly no way you’ll hear them refer to a home’s shared space as a “living room,” because it’s actually a “drawing room” or “sitting room.” Nor do they use the word “patio”—your paved outdoor area is really a “terrace.”

Going beyond the comforts of home, the royals also use a specific set of phrases in social settings. If Prince William’s mind wanders during a conversation, he might interject with “what?” instead of “sorry” or “pardon”—even though it doesn’t sound quite as polite. When you want to compliment someone’s fragrance, ask her, “What scent are you wearing?” (forgoing the word “perfume”). Lastly, if this cream-of-the-crop English lexicon is making you feel all sorts of “posh,” you might want to reconsider: The proper term in this case is “smart.” Now your less-than-noble roots won’t show at your next dinner party.