An elegance coach has listed the 10 “unsophisticated” words and phrases “upper class” people never use – including “pardon me”, “PJs” and “bubbly” instead of “champagne”.
Billionaire matchmaker Anna Bey, who splits her time between London and Geneva, said there are certain terms people use that can instantly make them sound “basic” and “unsophisticated”.
“I’m going to go through those words or phrases that you should be saying if you want to sound like an elegant woman, rather than like an awkward woman,” she said in her new YouTube video.
The founder of The School of Affluence said you should never use the term “bubbly” to describe Prosecco or champagne – and if you need to use the toilet, say “lavatory” instead.
Watch Anna Bey list the phrases to avoid saying in the video above
Anna explained why an elegant lady would never refer to a “fine alcoholic beverage” as “bubbly”.
“Instead, she would call it by its proper name. So let’s say you are drinking Prosecco, you say Prosecco, or if you drink your champagne, you say champagne,” she explained.
“We don’t want to add all kinds of different nicknames here. Plus, there’s also other words like booze or fizzy that we should avoid.”
Anna said you should avoid shortening words because it “doesn’t sound as elevated”.
“An example is you say ‘PJs’ instead of ‘pyjamas’ or ‘uni’ instead of ‘university’,” she said.
“But I want you to be aware that it’s not an elegance crime that you commit if you use abbreviations, not at all.
“You’re going to notice how your speech will simply sound so much more elevated when you use the full sentences or full names, instead of shortening them.”
Anna said one of the worst habits many have, including herself, is overusing the word “very”. Instead, she suggested reducing it by saying “terribly”.
“For example, instead of saying ‘the restaurant was very full last night’, it sounds better when you say ‘it was terribly full last night’,” she said.
“But it can sound a little bit repetitive if you keep using terribly in every sentence. So you need to really mix this up. So just make sure you start reducing ‘very’ from your vocabulary and add a little bit more ‘terribly’.”
Instead of saying “can I have this?” or “can I have that?”, Anna suggested saying “may I have…”
“Ladies, if any of you are familiar with formal writing and speaking practices, then you’ll know how ‘may I’ is the right way to ask permission for something,” she explained.
“’Can I’ is commonly used, but it technically makes more sense to say ‘may’. It also sounds a little bit more polite too.”
Anna urged women to stop saying “pardon me”, especially if you think it’s going to make you sound more “posh”.
“It is actually a common misconception that ‘pardon me’ is a proper way of excusing yourself and that it’s also posh and polite,” she said.
“Well, I thought so too for years, but I’ve actually learned that in upper class circles, it’s actually viewed as something quite basic and unsophisticated. So a correct way is to simply say ‘excuse me’.”
It does sound a little bit more posh this way
Other words Anna said you should avoid overusing are “totally” and “completely”.
“These words can be replaced in your vocabulary by using the word ‘quite’. An example, instead of saying ‘it’s totally hot outside’, it sounds better when you say ‘it’s quite hot outside’,” she said.
She said you should consider adding the word “rather” to your vocabulary.
“Example, ‘it was a rather lovely day’, instead of saying ‘it was a really lovely day’,” she said.
“We can use ‘rather’ as a word when we really want to emphasise on something in an elegant way, because it does sound a little bit more posh this way.”
If you need to use the toilet, Anna said you should say “lavatory”.
“As I’ve learned, toilet is considered lower-level speech and the word itself has been historically incorrect. As toilet was used before to refer to a person’s makeup, hence toiletry bags or the Eau de Toilet,” she said.
“Lavatory is the correct word to use, but I personally don’t even think it’s necessary to give a description of where you’re going. I would say ‘excuse me, I’m going to the ladies’ or the ‘powder room’.”
When greeting, Anna explained why “hello” sounded better than casually saying “hey” or “hi”.
“There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘hey’ or ‘hi’, but you need to be aware that it’s actually an informal way of greeting someone. ‘Hello’ is simply more formal,” she said.
To “spice up your vocabulary to sound a little bit more refined”, Anna said you should use ‘how’ to describe something.
“You basically say how lovely, how charming, how wonderful than just saying ‘nice’, ‘cute’ or ‘fun’,” she said.
“It might sound a little bit old-fashioned, but ladies, it is going to elevate your everyday language.”