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British Cultural Symbols

Guess these British cultural symbols, official and otherwise.
Last updated: August 10, 2015
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Clue
Answer
Flag of the UK
Union Jack
Tower of London guardians
Beefeaters
Fictional super-spy
James Bond
Nickname of the London underground
The Tube
Warning on the above
Mind the Gap
TV show about a time-travelling alien
Doctor Who
Bell on the Palace of Westminster
Big Ben
Nickname of friendly London policemen
Bobbies
National anthem
God Save the Queen
Symbolizes fortitude
Stiff Upper Lip
British version of Uncle Sam
John Bull
Clue
Answer
Dog breed
Bulldog
The Fab Four
The Beatles
Fictional detective
Sherlock Holmes
National animal (England)
Lion
National animal (Scotland)
Unicorn
National animal (Wales)
Dragon
Iconic bus type
Double Decker
Boy wizard
Harry Potter
Patron saint (England)
St. George
Patron saint (Scotland)
St. Andrew
Patron saint (Wales)
St. David
+1
level 25
Mar 21, 2013
The time-traveler isn't called Dr. Who, he's The Doctor
+1
level ∞
Mar 21, 2013
I changed the clue to reference the show, not the character. Thanks.
+2
level 28
Apr 14, 2013
Being pedantic here, but it should ideally be "Doctor", not "Dr.", because the name of the show is always written as "Doctor Who".
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level 55
Apr 14, 2013
Thanks for the quiz. Some people take the 'Union Flag' v 'Union Jack' thing rather seriously. Might be 'safer' to call it the Union Flag on here.
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level 63
Apr 14, 2013
I agree, the Union Flag is the flag of Great Britain. Although Union Jack is in more common use, officially it is only known by that name if flown on a naval vessel at sea.
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level 19
Apr 15, 2013
The Union Flag and Union Jack are one and the same. Union JACK is the name given to the Union Flag when it is flying :)
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level 24
Apr 16, 2013
I'm afraid Berney was right, the term comes from it being flown on a Jackstaff, which you only get on ships.
+2
level 71
Oct 7, 2013
The name 'union jack' was first used to describe the flag before the jackstaff was invented, so it can't come from that. It may even be that the jackstaff was named after the flag. The Admiralty has said that it can be called the union jack wherever it is flown. In any event, everyone calls it the union jack, so that's what it is.
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level 71
Oct 22, 2015
Well you should, Erik :0) Parliament decides what the flag is called, and parliament has decided the flag is called the Union Jack. It doesn't really matter where the name originally came from (though it's a misconception born out of beer and pedantry that it came from the jackstaff), Parliament says it's called the Union Jack and so that's what it's called. And certainly for the purposes of this quiz, 'Union Jack' is the correct answer.
+2
level 45
May 29, 2018
Although it could fill in for either Union Flag or Union Jack.
+2
level 24
Apr 14, 2013
Couldn't agree more, I'm one of those people. Even if calling it a Union Jack is more common, doesn't make it correct.
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level 71
Mar 24, 2014
Doesn't make it wrong either :o) The claim that it is only a jack when flown on a ship comes from the incorrect assumption that it takes its name from the jackstaff, but that can't be true. If the Admiralty and the British Parliament say it's called the Union Jack wherever it's flown, then surely that's what it's called?
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level 68
Oct 22, 2015
It is correct though. The whole Union Flag thing is just an incorrect piece of trivia that too many people have read over the past couple of years without doing any of their own research.
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level 57
Oct 22, 2015
The Union Flag/Jack thing is a complete myth. It's called the Union Jack because that's what people call it. Simple. The whole jackstaff thing is manufactured controversy that has gained traction for some reason. nobody knows why - it's nonsense. It sounds like a nice little piece of trivia that people can nod about smugly when it's discussed and I'm as guilty of that as anyone) but it's simply not true.
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level 46
Oct 22, 2015
One theory is that the "Jack" was given as this is a nickname for James, the king who oversaw the union of England and Scotland.
+2
level 57
Oct 22, 2015
for any americans reading the exchanges, please believe me, these ppl arent typical Brits
+1
level 59
Oct 22, 2015
They seem pretty typical to me, and I'm one of them!
+3
level 57
Apr 14, 2013
Can you add "Routemaster" for the bus question? It is the most famous British bus type.
+1
level 19
Apr 15, 2013
For your area maybe... we have West Midlands travel or Chase Buses... Routemaster is a brand :)
+1
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
Routemaster will work now.
+1
level 68
Apr 15, 2013
The dog breed could have been a mastiff (English Mastiff) and I thought Big Ben was the clock, not the bell.
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level 19
Apr 15, 2013
John Bull?? The "Your Country Needs You" was Kitchener! And that would surely be the Uncle Sam equivalent, right??
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level ∞
Apr 16, 2013
No. See my comment above.
+1
level 15
Apr 15, 2013
I agree, Lord Kitchener is probably more the equivalent of Uncle Sam. The iconic bus type was pretty difficult too, I take double deckers for granted I assumed it meant the red london buses you can jump on the back of.
+2
level 13
Feb 7, 2014
I'm pretty sure John Bull went out in the 1700s, and Britannia is the patroness of Britain... It might just be me, though.
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level 67
Jun 15, 2016
I don't think it's you, I think it's John Bull
+1
level 35
Mar 30, 2018
No its me. I am the personification of the nation.
+2
level 35
Mar 19, 2014
im british and ive never heard of john bull
+1
level 39
Apr 18, 2015
Really?
+1
level 66
Oct 22, 2015
Same :\
+1
level 62
Mar 12, 2016
same, this quiz is the first i've heard of john bull..
+1
level 47
Jan 6, 2017
Haven't you seen "Unforgiven". It rankles Richard Harris!
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level 56
Oct 24, 2017
I've heard of him but it's not a personification that's used anymore - Britannia at least appears on some coins (some versions of the 50p anyway) and bank notes. Both are rather old hat and not really part and parcel of modern British society, they represent the Britain of Empire.
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level 50
Oct 24, 2017
It was used in a kind of colonial call-to-arms way. There's a play called 'John Bull's Other Island'by George Bernard Shaw about English and Irish identity. I think John Bull would have pretty negative connotations if it were to still be used now.
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level 47
Dec 11, 2018
Same. Been alive and British for 46 years and never heard of John Bull before. Britannia yes, Lord Kitchener yes, John Bull no
+1
level 77
Apr 13, 2014
The answer to the second question should be Yeomen! At least, please accept it...
+1
level 57
May 14, 2014
Yeoman has far too general a meaning. Beefeaters are specifically Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary. There are lots of other sorts of yeomen, such as the Yeomen of the Guard, and in an historic sense yeoman were also members of society who cultivated their own land - somewhere just below landed gentry.
+1
level 62
Mar 12, 2016
It should be; The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London - beefeaters is a nickname.
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level 45
Dec 14, 2018
only know i see it as beef-eaters, before i read it as bee-feathers... had never heard of it, but i think somewhere in the last few years i did hear beef-eaters. I atleast remember thinking, ow do the guards have a special name?!
+1
level 77
May 21, 2014
I think you're being too specific. Beefeater is so informal, quite vulgar indeed. I'm a french speaker and I never heard that word before taking this quiz... we just call them yeomen. Finally, why not just refer to the wikipedia page and call them "Yeomen warders"?
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level 56
Oct 24, 2017
Vulgar? Hardly - that's how they are known in everyday usage. There is no vulgar association at all.
+1
level 59
Jan 9, 2017
First guess: beefeater.
+1
level 52
Aug 2, 2017
+1
+1
level 55
Apr 28, 2014
This American got unicorn thanks to Doctor Who.
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level 81
May 1, 2014
Seriously, at what point are the British going to come around to the concept that a national animal should: a) be native to the country and b) actually exist... in reality?
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level 80
May 8, 2014
Yes! Unicorns and Dragons are not animals. They are mythical figures. So that's very wrong to call them "national animals". "Lion" is also on the line...
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level 68
Aug 17, 2015
Hmm. tschutzer must not be aware of the jackalope, the state animal of South Dakota, which is just as imaginary as dragons & unicorns. In all seriousness, who cares if dragons & unicorns never existed? That's what Wales & Scotland have had as their national animals for centuries. I'm American & think both dragons & unicorns are pretty cool, as are Wales & Scotland (& have ancestors from both places).
+2
level 65
Oct 29, 2015
I'm pretty sure you can pick whatever you like as a national animal. If you want to pick a lawnmower, who's gonna stop you?
+2
level 59
Jan 9, 2017
Or a moa?
+1
level 59
Mar 12, 2016
England was probably one of the first countries to have a national animal, a long time before America was founded.
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level 67
Jun 15, 2016
Britain was once stalked by huge lions, researchers at Oxford University have discovered. The wild animals were 25 per cent bigger than lions seen today in Africa and hunted in vast prides during the Ice Age. It was previously thought that only jaguars and tigers roamed the British Isles during this time. Scientists compared the DNA of super-size lion fossils found in Siberia and Germany with the decomposed remains of prehistoric wild beasts found in Yorkshire, Devon and London. The DNA matched, proving the larger lions could have been prevalent in Britain as recently as 13,000 years ago. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1165851/How-giant-lions-stalked-Britain.html#ixzz4BcLe495T Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
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level 58
Jan 6, 2017
Unicorns, dragons and lion have heraldic significance.
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level 52
Oct 13, 2018
i wanted to put Nessie as the animal for Scotland, until i recalled a rhyme from my distant past... .The lion and the unicorn Were fighting for the crown The lion beat the unicorn All around the town. referring to the battles between England and Scotland prior to 1603 when they were unified under James I/VI
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level 66
Jun 2, 2014
What about detective Poirot instead of Sherlock Holmes? Sure he's not British, but was created by a British writer.
+1
level 71
Jul 28, 2014
Where do you stop - Morse, Barnaby, Frost, Dalgleish, Marple, Rebus...
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level 58
Oct 22, 2015
Mrs Marple was my first thought, too. Maybe the clue could be a little more specific.
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level 75
Oct 23, 2015
That would make a great quiz all on its own. I love Morse and Barnaby. (Both Barnabys.)
+1
level 45
Dec 14, 2018
@ander217 O yes, I would enjoy a quiz like that, english dectective series. I really like them. Everything seem so simple and peacefull, well besides the brutal murders ofcourse :P But I mean a stark contrast to all those horrible reality shows, where everything is about sensation and drama and being rude.
+1
level 45
Dec 14, 2018
was actually watching midsummer murders before this quiz, then being the addict that i have become in the last few days... I went to take some quizes. The tv has moved on and father brown came by and now death in paradise. One more quiz, really just one, I promise... And then I m gonna watch a few more episodes.. (I can re watch programs for a week, so do multiple in a row..)
+1
level 28
Aug 4, 2014
100% with 1:23 left .Easy!
+1
level 70
Sep 21, 2014
Full marks with 2:25 to spare. Suppose it helps that I'm British. Had to guess at Unicorn but it does help that it's on the passport!
+1
level 67
Oct 2, 2014
I just nipped in under the wire... kept trying to put "leek" for the national animal of Wales. Would you accept Yeoman Warders (the technical name for the Beefeaters)?
+1
level 44
Feb 12, 2015
May I suggest you re-phrase the dog bread clue? There are many god breeds typical for the UK (I typed at least four before I thought of the bulldog). I agree that bulldog is often used as a metaphor for the British people, but to say "dog breed" is probably too vague...
+3
level 65
Oct 29, 2015
I've never had dog bread...
+2
level 71
Oct 29, 2015
isn't that the roll you get with a hot dog?
+1
level 76
Nov 28, 2015
How many breeds of God are there???
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level 35
Jan 6, 2017
Somewhere in the 1000s.
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level 59
Jan 9, 2017
First guess: bulldog. Absolutely British.
+1
level 57
Mar 1, 2015
The flag of the UK is the Union Flag - it's only called the Union Jack when it's flown at sea, but a lot of us still call it the Union Jack regardless! :D
+1
level 28
Mar 17, 2015
Shouldn't 007 be acceptable for Bond?
+1
level 60
May 3, 2015
For me the British version of Uncle Sam is Britania, as it is she that symbolises the country
+1
level 67
Mar 23, 2017
If that is so for you, at least spell it correctly 'Britannia'
+2
level 76
Jun 18, 2015
Shouldn't ravens count as guardians of the Tower? After all, it won't crumble if the Beefeaters all leave, or whatever it's supposed to do if all the ravens cop it.
+2
level ∞
Aug 10, 2015
Yes, I suppose it should. :) Yeomen will work now too.
+1
level 52
Oct 13, 2018
i put ravens first for that reason, and thanks to you it worked...btw i knew the "other" answer
+1
level 47
Sep 10, 2015
The term bobbies relating to policemen is actually a Scottish term, and has no specific reference to London.
+1
level 57
Oct 22, 2015
My understanding was that is supposed to have come about as a reference to Robert Peel who formed the Metropolitan Police (ie. London). What is the Scottish connection?
+1
level 47
Dec 11, 2018
1-0 to the worm
+1
level 59
Oct 22, 2015
British born and raised, but John Bull is certainly not as familiar to me as Uncle Sam!
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level 75
Oct 22, 2015
I like how 2/3 national animals are not even animals.
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level 75
Oct 27, 2016
So you're saying unicorns and dragons are veggies? Mythical beasts are still beasts.
+1
level 47
Dec 11, 2018
Animal - a living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli. Dragon - a mythical monster like a giant reptile. In European tradition the dragon is typically fire-breathing and tends to symbolize chaos or evil, whereas in East Asia it is usually a beneficent symbol of fertility, associated with water and the heavens. Unicorn - a mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.
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level 35
Mar 30, 2018
And the only one that is real is not native to the country.
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level 59
Oct 22, 2015
So Doctor Who is an alien. The more you know!
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level 56
Oct 24, 2017
?
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level 59
Oct 22, 2015
Thanks for accepting Kitchener. And I had trouble remembering him!
+1
level 69
Oct 22, 2015
kind of shocked that 44 percent got unicorn for the national animal of scotland...i mentioned that fun fact to some scottish people and they didn't even know that
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level 76
Nov 28, 2015
It's on the royal coat of arms thing, I think.
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level 67
Mar 23, 2017
A fictitious creature may seem an odd choice for a country's national animal, but perhaps not for a country famed for its love for and long history of myth and legend, and the unicorn has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century, when it was used on an early form of the Scottish coat of arms by William I.
+1
level 47
Dec 3, 2015
A London policeman is not called a bobby. This quiz was clearly not written by a Brit, Bobby is actually a Scots terminology.
+1
level 59
Mar 12, 2016
Not sure about London, but it's definitely used in England. My uncle from Yorkshire used to describe himself as "the local bobby".
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level 58
Jan 6, 2017
Wrong. London bobbies have been famous since I was a wee child.
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level 56
Oct 24, 2017
Coro, are you really saying that McLerristarr's uncles wasn't the local bobby then? How could you possibly know? I have to agree with McLerristarr, the term bobby is used throughout England - it's a common enough term.
+1
level 67
Mar 23, 2017
When ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise!
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level 52
Dec 25, 2017
No, definitely English too. Also known as Peelers or Rozzers.
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level 52
Oct 13, 2018
bobby is English, .. Robert Peel started his force in London, England
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level 47
Dec 11, 2018
The concept of modern policing has its roots in pre-Victorian England, when the British home minister, Sir Robert Peel (1778-1850), oversaw the creation of London’s first organized police force. In London, the policemen were so identified with the politician who created them that they were referred to as “Peelers” or—more memorably—“Bobbies,” after the popular nickname for Robert.
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level 68
Jan 14, 2016
Dragon and unicorn didn't make it to the ark because all three are fictional
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level 59
Jan 9, 2017
Like Vrikodara.
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level 45
Dec 14, 2018
the ark didnt make it to earth, because it is fictional
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level 61
Mar 12, 2016
More than enough time - 1:20 remaining - but, I did have to spend an age on the dog breed. There are just too many for this clue to be so generic - I went through the Corgis, then the Terriers before I eventually guessed correctly. Definitely needs a more specific clue. Or omission.
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level 27
Aug 22, 2016
I'm British and I hadn't heard of John Bull. We don't really use that anymore. Should be Kitchener or Britannia.
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level 48
Dec 18, 2016
Horrified that Harry Potter is seen as part of British culture.
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level 56
Oct 24, 2017
Which country's culture would you associate it with then?
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level 52
Dec 25, 2017
Why?
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level 71
Feb 3, 2017
Big Ben is the bell!
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level 51
Mar 23, 2017
for an american only missing 2 is decent in my eyes
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level 67
Mar 23, 2017
Yes, pretty good, I don't do as well with the USA quizzes, although I'm learning all the time.
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level 71
Jul 21, 2017
What? British Culture and no Mr. Bean?!
+2
level 56
Oct 24, 2017
One would like to think that there's rather a lot more to the UK than some pathetic so-called comic character.
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level 38
May 11, 2018
Mr. Bean is considered an absolute joke by us Brits.
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level 68
Aug 19, 2018
I think that may be the point
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level 22
Jul 24, 2017
Will you accept 'Lochness Monster' for the Scottish national animal?
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level 35
Mar 30, 2018
I guess its more likely to be real than the unicorn is...
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level 52
Oct 13, 2018
agreed
+1
level 45
Dec 14, 2018
I think national animal is an official thing. Not what a country is known for
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level 47
Dec 11, 2018
Loch Ness. Two words
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level 14
Oct 24, 2017
who the hell is John Bull and how is the dog breed bulldog and not corgi or terrier?
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level 45
Dec 14, 2018
cause you have English bulldog, and if im not mistaken (I might be but never heard it) there is no english corgi or english terrier
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level 63
Sep 4, 2018
If anyone would like to test their knowledge of Britain a bit further then I've created a series of "Britain by picture" quizzes which you might be interested in trying.
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level 30
Sep 6, 2018
Like the quiz, one small thing. It's only called a Union Jack when it's flying from the Jack mast of Royal Navy ship. Any other time it's the Union Flag
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level 50
Nov 29, 2018
Policeman are called 'Bobbies' everywhere in the UK, not just London. I've also though the term 'copper' sounds more London based (best said in a bad Cockney accent!).
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level 45
Dec 14, 2018
surprised at how many got beefeathers (never heard of it) and the saints. But I feel so bad for the unicorn...