A visit to the Pub – English traditions

A visit to the Pub is a very English or indeed Irish, Scottish and Welsh thing to do!! A Pub is short name for a Public House that has a licence to sell alcohol. Another name commonly used is “the Bar”. Literally the bar is the place where you order the drinks. When I entered the pub there were two guys standing at the bar whom I knew. Also in previous decades pubs were often split in to two parts : the bar where mainly men spent their time with standing room only and a “lounge” where men may take their wives. Women were not permitted in some pubs and certainly not in the bar area. However this practice has changed and women and men mix freely in all bars now.

A visit to the Pub - traditions

In the 1950’s and 60’s some bars had a small room called a snug where locals could sit. But it was literally very small with perhaps room for only 2 or 3 people. You would often find an old man or woman from the local area drinking there. The “local” was also a name used for a Pub that was near to where you lived. I went out for a drink to my local last night and met a few friends. Local also refers to people who live in the area and are frequent visitors to that pub. I dropped into the pub for a quick pint on my way home. It was busy but mostly with locals. As areas within cities developed and pubs became more popular with business people the locals often resented their favourite pub
being taken over by these Yuppies  (young upwardly mobile people) in suits!!

Today even though we nearly always speak in terms of decimals and litres and kilometres we still use the old style references when ordering a drink.

  • I’ll have a pint please!
  • Make mine a double!
  • Just a glass for me.

A pint is the normal order you will most frequently hear in any pub.

Give me two pints of Guinness please.

If someone is not so thirsty or has not the capacity for a pint they may order a half pint or a glass.  A glass usually refers to a smaller measure and is typically a half pint of whatever you order.

A double refers to a measure of spirit such as whisky or gin.

A: Can I have a gin and tonic please.
B: Certainly.
A: Make mine a double I had a bad day (a double is two measures of the spirit).

In the next blog we will look at other “pub talk”. Thanks for reading.

Improve your English with Harry - native English teacher

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