Saturday, 27 April 2013

X is for Xenophobe

I'm plugging this series of books as I want you to read them because they are funny. I'm not getting paid for the plug or anything so sinister as that. Every now and again, it's important to have fun poked at yourself and these books do it in a broad way that you can't take offence to. Well, you could, but that would be silly.

Xenophobe def.

One unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.

adj: xenophobic
adverb: xenophobically

My attention was drawn to these books back when I was given one as a present years ago. These are a set of books that explain in a broadly humorous way the nuances of the people of a specific nation. Yes, there is one for the Welsh which is the one that I was given. As much as these books are lighthearted, in the jest you will find truths about your nation that cannot be denied.

Also, not many nations get away from the magnifying glass of fun. There are books for the Scots, Irish, English, Swedish, Estonians, Americans, Icelandic, Canadians, Italians, Spanish and more. It appears that they are also bringing out phrase books, using English words as a medium to speak "the Lingo". For example, "Mare sea miss sewer." translates to Merci, monsieur. That in itself is xenophobic and hilarious all at the same time.

I'll leave you with some excerpts which are hilarious and true...

Generally speaking, the Italians tend to look on the bright side of life – a positive outlook aptly illustrated by their touching salutation: 'May the saddest days of your future be the happiest days of your past'.

The Poles are either bubbling with life, or comatose; they love or they loathe. It is this total commitment to the occupation of the moment which earns them the reputation of being mercurial. As Hemar wrote in his song: 'If only Poles did systematically and economically what they do spontaneously, they would be perfect.'

Americans are friendly because they just can't help it; they like to be neighbourly and want to be liked. However, a wise traveller realises that a few happy moments with an American do not translate into a permanent commitment of any kind. Indeed, permanent commitments are what Americans fear the most. This is a nation whose fundamental social relationship is the casual acquaintance.

The Welsh are stubborn – very, very stubborn. The Welsh themselves would probably rather say 'tenacious', but to anyone on the receiving end a better description might well be 'bloody-minded'.

The books are all very funny. You can visit the site over here on

Rock on, 


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