From 'pardon' to 'perfume': The words you would never hear Wills and Kate say.

Do you use the word tea to describe your evening meal instead of dinner?

Well, we are sorry to be the bearer of bad (and surely shocking) news – a royal you are not. That is, according to social anthropologist and author Kate Fox.

The British author of Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour has revealed the words that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would never use. And “tea” is one of them.

While we’re emulating royals, here’s how you parent like one. (Post continues after podcast)

While we find some of these class-indicators compiled by Diply strange, others are hard to argue with. And what would we commoners know anyway?

So next time you’re having a dinner party and don’t want to give away your working class origins, remember to avoid these words.

1. Mum and dad.
While we stopped calling our parents ‘mummy and daddy’ as children, they are the only terms royals use, apparently. Don’t believe us? Then you didn’t hear Prince Charles’ tribute to his ‘mummy’ the Queen at a celebration of her Diamond Jubilee.

2. Pardon.
What? You thought it was more polite to say ‘pardon’? No, apparently ‘pardon’ is a curse word in royal circles. You’re much better off asking ‘sorry?’ or even ‘sorry, what?’

3. Portions.
To most people it’s a ‘portion’ of food, to the upper-class it’s a ‘helping’. So when the royals diet, we assume they keep an eye on their helping sizes.

4. Toilet.
Fox says because of the word toilet’s French origin, it is avoided. The word ‘loo’ or ‘lavatory’ is used instead. Somehow we really can’t image the Queen saying she’s off to the loo, but maybe that’s just because we can’t imagine the Queen talking about going to the bathroom at all.

5. Perfume.
Don’t compliment someone on their lovely perfume, describe it as their scent. You won’t sound creepy at all. We promise.


While we’re at it, we’d very much like to have hair like Kate Middleton too. (Post continues after gallery.)

If you are posh, it seems you don’t use the word. According to Fox, royals use the term ‘smart’ instead.

7. Tea.
The Cambridge-educated anthropologist says calling your evening meal ‘tea’ is one of the biggest indicators that you are from the working-class. To the upper class it is ‘dinner’ or ‘supper’.

8. Lounge.
Royals don’t have a lounge room or a living room. Instead, they retire to their ‘drawing room’ or ‘sitting room’ – and at Kensington Palace there’s got to be several of each to choose from.

Have a cup of tea, yes. Just don't call it a meal. (Image via iStock.)

Now that you've got your language sorted, you might remember the advice of Royal Etiquette Expert Myka Meier, who told Country Living Magazine exactly how Kate Middleton hosts a party.

As Mamamia previously reported, firstly, sending out actual invitations is a must, as is setting the table long before your guests arrive - with enough cutlery for entrees and mains.

When dinner is served and you've seated your guests, you'll want to sit like Kate Middleton, who, along with other royals, has her own style of sitting.

It's called the 'Duchess Slant', and basically involves perching on the edge of the seat with your legs folded daintily to the side.

Sit up, but not straight. (Image: Getty)

So many rules, so little time.