The ‘stiff upper lip’ is a world famous expression that refers to what is believed to be the quintessentially British trait of stoicism – but are the upper lips of British people today as stiff as they once were? According to our poll, no.

Asked if British people these days still have a stiff upper lip in terms of being restrained in displaying their emotions, a majority (57%) of Britons say no, they do not, while only 33% say British people do have a stiff upper lip.

Softening upper lip                                                                          

Meanwhile, 62% of the public also believes that British people have become more emotional in recent decades. Only 14% say British people have become less emotional, and 18% believe they are about the same.

Still stiffer than others

Despite the majority view that the British stiff upper lip is becoming a thing of the past, 57% of the public say that British people are generally less given to displaying their emotions than people from most other countries. A very small proportion (8%) believe Brits are more given to displaying their emotions, and 26% are of the view that British people display their emotions to about the same extent as people from most other countries.

See the full results here

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