10 differences between Northerners and Southerners (UK)

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By Tim Collins

Ask a southerner what the main differences between Northerners and Southerners are and they’ll scoff that they’ve got gas and electricity, and don’t have to use the kettle to fill up the bath (or barth, as they call it). But you should be aware of a few genuine differences between the inhabitants of these two regions.


1Northerners are friendlier

differences between Northerners and Southerners

Walk into a shop and greet the person behind the counter in the North and they’ll greet you back. Walk into a shop in the South and greet the shopkeeper and they’ll tell you to buy something or get lost.

Try to turn out of a side road in the North and a fellow motorist will stop, give you a thumbs-up and let you onto the road. Try to turn out of a side road in the South and you’re likely to get a different hand gesture altogether.

The simple truth is that northerners are nicer. We say ‘thank you driver’ as we step off the bus. We make small talk in queues. We even, God forbid, chat to people who live on the same street as us. All of which might seem implausible to southerners who, despite being shoved into close physical proximity in their overcrowded bit of the island, act as if everyone around them is a hologram.

It makes you wonder why hermits bother to find caves when they want to escape from human contact. If they really want to achieve complete isolation, the best thing they can do is sit on a crowded rush hour tube and try and start a conversation.

2Northerners can hold their drink

differences between Northerners and Southerners

A pub in Newcastle once offered customers free use of the toilets with every five pints of lager they bought. Needless to say, none of their patrons were soft enough to take them up on the offer, with most locals waiting until at least the following Tuesday to strain their greens.

3Northerners actually spend some of their waking hours outside of work

differences between Northerners and Southerners

I know this sounds crazy, but in the North it’s actually possible to hold down a job by putting in less than seventy hours a week. In fact there are even some workplaces that are deserted at 5pm because everyone’s gone home or down the pub. I know that anyone down South who was caught suggesting such a worker’s uprising would be given a formal warning,but that’s what happens.

4Northerners can pop home after work before going out for the night

Many northerners live so near to where they work they can go home and get ready before going out on weeknights. Imagine that, commuters in the South East. It means you don’t have to wear dull office clothes in the pub or drag huge laptop bags around. You can even have a shower and roll on some deodorant before going out. So contrary to the stereotype that we only use baths to store coal or ride down hillsides in, most northerners are actually cleaner than their sweaty southern counterparts.

5Northerners have a bit more space around them

differences between Northerners and Southerners

We don’t have to cram ourselves into trains and buses so tightly that we catch diseases off each other. We don’t have to go home to wardrobes that estate agents have sold to us as ‘luxury compact apartments’. And we can go for a walk in a park that’s slightly less crowded than Harrods on the first day of the January sales. And the irony, of course, is that northerners are nicer, so you don’t even want to be further away from them.

A day trip to the countryside from London really does take up an entire day. Wherever you are in the North, you can pop out for a country stroll and be back within a couple of hours. And we get proper countryside up here too, rather than the slightly less built-up industrial estates that count as countryside down South.

6Northerners offer their seats to pregnant women

If a pregnant woman gets on a bus or train in the North, it’s likely that someone nice will give up their seat so she can sit down. If a pregnant women gets on a bus or train in the South, everyone will bury their heads deeper into their broadsheets, pretend they haven’t seen her and mutter to themselves, ‘Well, she’s made her own bed and now she’s got to bloody well lie in it.’

7Northerners are harder

differences between Northerners and Southerners

It’s a proven scientific fact that northerners are harder than southerners. Well, there’s no actual evidence, but come on. Just look at them. The hardest men in the entire south, such as Vinnie Jones and Ross Kemp, could still be beaten by the weakest, most malnourished child from the North. Even the words they use to describe hard people like ‘naughty’, ‘handy’ and ‘tasty’ sound soft.

8Northerners can actually do something useful

Ever tried to hire a plumber, a decorator or an electrician down South? Chances are they’ll turn up, make a mess and then get called away on an ‘urgent job’ for a few weeks, only to hit you with a bill that’s five times the estimate when they finish months later. The reason they behave like this is because they can. They enjoy their position of power because most southerners lack basic practical skills. They’re perfectly capable when it comes to wanging on in meetings. But when it comes to useful stuff they can’t find their arse with both hands. Let’s just take comfort from the notion that in the barbaric dark age we’ll all be plunged back into with the coming global apocalypse, we northerners can use our manual skills to build shelters and hunt for food while southerners huddle around the last remaining Nobo board and hold a brainstorming session about how to avoid starvation.

9The climate is warmer in the North

differences between Northerners and Southerners

Admittedly, the statistics don’t back me up on this one. But think about it. Northerners wear T-shirts or skimpy dresses all year round, while southerners run off crying to the big coat shop as soon as August is over. So it must be true.

10The Currency is Different

Although the money used in the North and in the South looks the same, there are in fact two totally separate currencies, with one north pound equal to roughly four south pounds. If you’re planning a trip to the South, a good rule of thumb is to work out how much you think you’ll need, then double it, then double it again, then sell all your possessions and shove the money into a wheelbarrow before heading south.

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  1. In my experience southern folks never meet a stranger and will talk to anyone(almost) Northern people are closed mouth. From the south and have been known to have a hissy-fit. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed the humorous article as well as the comments. I thought, wow, it’s exactly like here in the US but in reverse!

    I became aware of the biases by watching BBC comedies. I wanted more information and this article was one of my stops along the way.

    I was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. The Deep South geographically. Now I live in the “hollers” of North Carolina. I know these folks well from the age of seven, as my family stayed here every summer for decades. After about five years of that my peers accepted me. Had good friends and great times afterward. A community of extreme poverty, rampant alcoholism, generous in friendship, very loyal to family
    and friends. Some good people. We never discussed it, but as a youth I was puzzled by their hateful tribalism, seeing as how they were nearly as poor as well-off blacks.

    Unfortunately the cultural divide remains. They take pride in just about everything. They are proud of, in rough order, guns, F-150 pickup trucks, their dogs, family, hate, religious extremism, lack of education (really!). Sad, true, but with the advent of trump our society has changed for the worse. You might say that the South has finally won.

    I don’t know any bona fide northerners but I know there’s more acceptance of others, a desire for the promise of democracy (which human nature will likely keep in abeyance). It’s just too cold!

    I have a theory, well, generalization if you will, about the descendants of ancient authoritarian societies. In fact, I am of Scots-Irish and German descent, but was perhaps lucky in family or geographic origin. I’d be interested in knowing the actual population percentages of origin in the North and South England.

    C. Browne

  3. I’m from Hampshire in the South and love the South, so many amazing cities and countryside. Who can beat a day out in Bournemouth or a drive round Devon? I think the assumption southerners are not friendly is stupid. I’m living up north now and am treated like a foreigner. I find if I go to get a cappuccino or latte from Starbucks they ask me to repeat myself, and this really annoys me when they can’t understand my speech. At the checkout yesterday, the man saying thank you to me in a stupid posh voice just to take the piss. A lot of northerners seem abrupt and without personality, although not all. But I worked in Liverpool, again while some are ‘dead nice’ I hated constantly being asked where I’m from and some thought I was foreign, in my own country!!!! As for food, its all about butties and chips in the North. I hate the quiet discrimination that goes in in the work place against southerners, obviously a class and accent thing when I considered everything else. Can’t wait to move back to the cultural south where I’m accepted and feel welcome.

    • I agree with everything you have said. I lived in London for 20 years – people are NOT unfriendly, but living in the north east now people love to treat me like a “posh” southerner (reverse snobbery). The South wins for me!

  4. I get that this is probably just for a laugh, but it’s actually quite offensive and the joke goes a bit far. At first, you sort of laugh along with it but then he gets quite rude and actually just starts insulting southerners as though there is nothing good about them, and quite frankly I’m offended by it.

  5. Lol freindler in the north- thats a lie and a half. Been foreign and having lived in both the south and north I would say the southern are more accepting as they actually have more foreigners live there. Also when I lived in the south I wasnt even aware of this north south divide compared to up north where its all they talk about…and finally it took me three weeks to get a decent job down south compared to over a year in the north..I know where i would rather be…

  6. I am from the south and i could see straight away this was a funny piss take i can only guess it was people from london and surrey getting all shitty about it.
    The rest of the people from the south would laugh their arse off at this and see it for what it is but the nearer to london you get the more people get uptight and up their own arses.
    I don’t go to london it does my bloody head in and the people make me give up the will to live they need to lighten up.

  7. I’ve met lovely people up north – where I’m originally from – and down South. Honestly just depends on the person, doesn’t matter where you’re from, you’ll always find good and bad people. Many people down south were polite to me and I enjoyed being there while visiting my aunt. I would like to clarify that all northerners don’t assume the same as what this article says.

  8. Born in the south [rightly proud] and been living up north for 10 years now. I don’t get this friendly stuff one bit. When you talk about the ‘south’ a lot of people think the south just consists of London.

    The comment about saying thank you to the driver; I always did this down south and my parents brought me up to say thank you and to look out for people, so please don’t insult us by saying its just northerners who do this. When I lived down south I can’t recall any hatred or a north-south divide but up here, its very apparent.

    If I had a pound for every time I have heard someone up here refer to them being northern, it makes you feel excluded, and not very welcome.

    On the balance I haven’t witnessed that much difference between the north and south apart from the landscape.

  9. Totally biased article. The Northerners are only friendlier if you are a northerner too and you are one of them. This article made it more than clear that it was written by a Northerner obviously being very biased. Northerners will not be friendly or welcoming to you unless you are a Northerner too, either that or if you’re very good looking since many Northerners totally judge others by looks (but they’ll forgive your less than attractive looks better if you’re also a Northerner and still one of them). If you’re not much to look at and not a Northerner, they will give you the cold shoulder all the way and want absolutely nothing to do with you, or even give you sh**. They’ll make you want to run back down South, which is what they’ll want too. I’ve spent time in the North and South and I know this from experience.

  10. Totally biased article. The Northerners are only friendlier if you are a northerner too and you are one of them. This article made it more than clear that it was written by a Northerner obviously being very biased. Northerners will not be friendly or welcoming to you unless you are a Northerner too, either that or if you’re very good looking since many Northerners totally judge others by looks. If you’re not much to look at and not a Northerner, they will give you the cold shoulder all the way and want absolutely nothing to do with you, or even give you sh**. They’ll make you want to run back down South, which is what they’ll want too. I’ve spent time in the North and South and I know this from experience.

  11. So funny, all the “I dont agree with this – here is a fact” replies. Its a mickey take, a bit of a laugh! Northeners can do tongue in cheek and don’t get offended. Its a part of having a sense of humour..

  12. I was expecting something tongue and cheek as a joke, but this kind of exceeded that. There are cultural differences. North and South are both pretty awesome. People are people really. When it comes to the south you’re referring almost exclusively to Bristol, London etc. But I live just 15 minutes from the Jurassic coast in Weymouth, 2 small towns and a plethora of countryside villages. Though I must admit in my own personal experience Northerners are funny, and don’t take things quite as seriously.

  13. Ignorant prick. I would agree that there are cultural differences between the north and south but this is not reflected in any way in your article. You have written a load of made up bullshit as you obviously have no grip on reality. I am southern and have worked in the North for many years. I can honestly say people are friendly in both, yes down south people do have to work more because as you have pointed out everything is so expensive it’s not through choice. Weather much warmer in the south and the countryside is stunning as it is up north. Judging people on ‘hardness and holding drink’ really shows your lack of intelligence, people like you representing the north really giving it a bad name to equally ignorant people.

  14. This article is wrong in every conceivable way. Completely biased. I hope that Northerners reading this who haven’t visited the South don’t fall for this brainwashing. First of all, down South don’t have to be hard, although we could beat a scrawny chav from Sunderland. We generally can’t stand your accent. You talk too much. It’s far too cold at north. We have feelings. We are decent people. Actually, where I am a lot of people have family up north. I’m not generalising but to be honest I’m stating facts. Northerners are so naïve and up their own arse that they feel like they know all about all. Maybe they’re embarrassed about their reputation or maybe long to be in the warm South (where, by the way, you are never more than 20 minutes from exquisite countryside views) but fear that their peers wouldn’t approve. I’m sure there are a couple of decent northerners and I hope I don’t offend, not that I would seeing as you’re all so hard. Good bye from the south.

  15. about number 9 I been 2 London its way hotter than up here mate , were just hard as nails man, we take it on our chin …. other than that pretty spot on .
    well done mate !!!

  16. As a Northerner who also has quite a few Southern relatives and so has spent their share of holidays down that way I think some of the points are a bit hit and miss to be fair. I would firstly say the references to Southerner’s in this list are largely South East/London based and, while it can’t really be denied that people in the South East are quite reserved I think there are probably a few factors at play here i.e it is very busy and overcrowded and there is a constant rotation of people coming and going. Could I truly be arsed to get to know everybody every 5 minutes? If I’m honest, probably not… Also, some of the more middle class areas of the North and the wealthy enclaves in Cheshire and the likes are just as frosty as they would be if they were located in the South (actually it probably feels worse as they are located in the North and one expects a little bit of small talk about when the rain is going to stop rather than being scowled at and seeing an electric gate close in your face I would argue).

    In terms of the countryside I think it’s a big stretch to say there isn’t any beautiful scenery in the South. Cornwall is one of the most unique and beautiful counties in the country to name just one pretty part of the South… Again, this is all a bit London centric (though I would have to strongly argue the beauty of the home counties is for the most part extremely overrated and primarily rooted in the fact that city workers idolise a proper house with a proper garden instead of a flat the size of Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs)… That all said I think Yorkshire has the most to offer out of all the counties in England, no competition. (And considering I’m a Lancashire lass, you should take that comment very seriously!).

    I’m a very proud Northerner, but I think we’re as guilty of the stereotypes as Southerner’s are sometimes.

  17. Isn’t quite all true.
    Remember not all southerners come from London.
    For example there is countryside in the east, south and west country.

  18. I think you missed out; Southerners don’t have a sense of humor, and lack any understanding of “taking the piss.”
    While Northerners are quite happy and laugh at themselves even in the face of total damnation.

  19. What an absolutely pathetic article. Funny how there’s all these “Things northerners hate about southerners” articles about yet not a single article against northerners. You all can’t be that nice, obviously have a bit too much drink, clearly need to spend some more time at work, must have too a bit too much time and space. Oh I can’t go on arguing against your point, the stupidity is great in you. Why on earth would you identify yourself after writing this?!

  20. Im so confused.. is this sarcasm or a joke or what? If not you need to either do some research or get a life.

  21. Hi! you are very funny, northeners and southeners also. The same happens in my country, Argentina, we are used to saying that people living in the north of the country are really kind, more amiable than the ones that live in the South, who are cold and hard, as the weather conditions of the Patagonia. The people who live in the middle of the country, over the east (..of course, where I Live), are the best of them all. We are more educated, well dressed and the kindest people you can ever meet and …..jaja! ..as you see, in every country there are differences of any sort, in Italy the ones who live in Milan “detest” the ones that live in Naples, and viceversa…. but, in the end, in front of harsh circumstances everything changes and “birds of a feather flock together”! Don´t you thinkso?

  22. What an absolute shower of horse-sh*t. Have you ever actually been anywhere further south of Salford?. No, thought not. I should think most Northerners themselves cringed at your total and utter ignorance. Get a life.

  23. Complete tripe. I’m a southerner living in the North and sadly you have mistaken the entire south for just London. Where I’m from it’s countryside, beach and a short train journey to cities. Just a shoddy piece of un-researched nonsense.

  24. Totally wrong. I read so many wrong things in this article about southerners. Too many to go through. This article was written telling northerners what they want to hear and not the actual truth

  25. Obviously written by a Northerner haha. From my experience I’d say you’re completely wrong. You get good and bad people where ever you are. And what a load of b******* about Northerners being tougher haha. I live on the coast south east of England and still wear t shirt and shorts in Winter, your so called “facts” are indeed false. I presume you dated someone from the south who broke your heart and this is your way of “getting back at them”.


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