What Do Scandinavians Think of the British?

Scandinavians are known to be slightly reserved, especially when out in public. On the other hand, the Brits can often be louder in social settings, so what do Scandinavians think of the British?

Scandinavians generally like the British because they see them as friendly and easy to talk to. Scandinavians and Brits have some cultural differences, like introversion vs. extroversion.

Still, Scandinavians don’t have many negative things to say about their northwestern neighbors.

This article will discuss whether or not Scandinavians like British people in more detail.

It will also discuss the main things Scandinavians notice about the Brits and what they think about the UK as a country.

Also, see Why Do Scandinavians Eat Dinner So Early? to learn more.

Do Scandinavians Like British People?

Scandinavians like British people because they generally see them as friendly and outgoing.

They like the British sense of humor and easy-going nature, contrasting to Scandinavia’s more organized nature and toned-down sense of humor.

For the most part, Scandinavians have nothing but good things to say about the Brits.

Here’s Why Scandinavians Like the Brits

Scandinavians like the British for various reasons, from finding them friendly to enjoying their engaging ways. 

They Have a (Somewhat) Shared History

One of the possible reasons for a Scandinavian’s positive attitude toward the Brits is the shared history between the two cultures.

While the Vikings originated in the Nordic countries, they eventually spread and went to other countries worldwide. One of the countries that many Vikings ended up in was the UK.

In fact, some of the days of the week in English come from Norse gods, like Thursday (Thor’s Day) and Wednesday (Woden or Odin’s Day). [1]

Also, there are still people in Scotland who clearly descended from the Scandinavian Vikings due to their Nordic surnames.

As a result, the Scandinavians likely see themselves as having some historical bond with their British neighbors.

They Find the Brits Talkative and Friendly

One thing people notice when they visit Scandinavian countries is how quiet and reserved the people are.

A tourist could walk down a busy street in a city without hearing much noise because most Scandinavians keep to themselves when in public.

Conversely, the Brits are much more “out there” and loud in public. While this may sometimes be viewed negatively in Nordic countries (especially if they’re being rude or obnoxious), Brits’ general talkative nature and friendliness are welcomed.

In British culture, asking a stranger for directions or having a friendly conversation with anyone is not frowned upon.

But in most Scandinavian countries, people keep to themselves and are unlikely to be so outwardly friendly.

So when a Scandinavian meets an affable, outgoing Brit, they will likely react favorably to the exchange.

Other Things Scandinavians Notice About the Brits

There are other things that Scandinavian people notice about the British, from their fondness for drinking to not being direct to the point at times. 

They Like To Drink

The three major Nordic countries are some of the biggest European drinkers, so they certainly notice the Brits are in the same category. [2]

It’s no secret that Brits often like to drink, particularly when they travel abroad. 

When the Brits go out to drink and party, they’re often loud and hard to miss, something that many Nordics notice.

It’s not necessarily bad because plenty of Scandinavians also get loud and rowdy when they drink. 

They’re Not As Socially Advanced

Another thing Scandinavians may notice about Brits is that they’re not as socially advanced, mainly due to the much larger class inequality in the UK.

Two Scandinavian countries (Norway and Sweden) are ranked as some of the most socially advanced countries in the world. [3]

On the other hand, the UK is generally seen as one of the worst-developed countries for pay equality and general advancement.

Therefore, the UK’s lack of similar levels of progress is evident to most Nordics. 

This lack of advancement may not be seen as positive among many Scandinavians, but it doesn’t mean they dislike the Brits as people.

They Don’t Always Speak As Definitively

Scandinavians are very careful with how they speak and tend to only say things they truly mean. For example, a Brit might tell a Nordic they should meet up sometime.

To a Brit, this isn’t a definite plan. In many cases, it’s simply said to sound polite. 

However, a Scandinavian might take it literally and ask when and where so they can put it in their diary.

Therefore, it’s often strange for a Scandinavian to get used to this way of speaking and behaving.

What Do Scandinavians Think About the UK?

Scandinavians usually view British people positively, but it’s also good to know how they view the country itself.

Below are some of the prominent opinions Scandinavians have about the UK.

They Like the Nature

When many people think of the UK, their minds go straight to London. They think of a big, bustling city with plenty of excitement.

But many Scandinavians look beyond London because they’re also interested in nature and landscapes across the UK, including Scotland’s highlands.

While things like lakes and forests are more common in Scandinavian countries, cliffs and green fields are more common in the UK.

Many Scandinavians admire the beautiful views because they differ from the landscapes back home. 

They Like the Language

Another thing Scandinavians appreciate about the UK is the English language. For the most part, Nordics learn English from a young age, so they enjoy speaking it, especially with native speakers.

The language also opens up opportunities for them, both personal and professional.

So, while people from other countries might not be as fond of speaking English as the Brits, the Scandinavians certainly won’t mind.

They Like the Climate

Scandinavians are no strangers to cold, gloomy weather and short winter days.

The weather in the UK is similar to the climate in Scandinavian countries in that it gets cold in the winter, and the days become much shorter (although it generally doesn’t get as cold in the UK).

Since Scandinavians are used to dull and cold weather during the winter, they can enjoy their time in the UK without being put off by the climate.

Nordics know how to dress sensibly for chilly days, so the British winter won’t negatively impact their experiences.

Many Scandinavians likely prefer the UK’s cooler temperatures over other warmer temperatures because they’re not used to warmer weather throughout the entire year.

[1] Source
[2] Source
[3] Source

Christian Christensen

Christian started Scandinavia Facts to explore his family heritage, raise awareness of one of his academic interests as a professor, and civilly promote the region. Please see the About page for details.

Related Questions

error: This content is copyrighted.