'Why are the British so ugly?' and more of the most Googled questions about the UK “Why are the English crybabies?”, the Portuguese apparently want to know Credit: alamy Hazel Plush, travel writer 6 October 2016 • 11:56am A new study into Europeans’ most popular Google searches might elevate the Brexit debate to an even more awkward level. It turns out that our continental neighbours have some rather uncouth questions about Britain – and they’ve been taking to Google to search for the answers. “Why are the English crybabies?”, the Portuguese apparently want to know. “Why are the British so stupid?”, Germans are asking. Researchers from online analytics consultancy Search Laboratory analysed the most popular UK-themed Google searches using the algorithm’s auto-complete feature, breaking down the English-language results according to countries – and it’s all rather revealing. Oh, Austria. Credit: Search Laboratory Some of the queries are just plain rude. “Why are the British so ugly?”, the Dutch want to know. The Italians are asking “Why are the British dirty?”, while Spaniards have no questions: they’ve simply been stating “The English are strange”. Some show a healthy curiosity. In Denmark, people are asking “Why do English judges wear wigs?”, and Hungarians are keen to find out why we put milk in our tea. The French, it seems, have forgotten why they call the English “rosbif” and the Poles’ burning question is “Why is British flour so strange?” Austria, meanwhile, simply wants to know if England is a country or a city. In the pursuit of balance, we conducted our own (wholly unscientific) experiment in an attempt to find what British people are searching about other European countries. “Why are the Swedish so happy?”, “Why do Greeks smash plates?”, and “Why do the French wear speedos?” – all burning questions, we’re sure you’ll agree. Google’s auto-complete predictions are based on a number of factors, including the popularity of search terms. It is controlled by an algorithm (rather than a human editor) which collates common search terms – so is, one might presume, a good indicator of popular opinion. But earlier this year the objectivity of auto-complete was called into question, when it was revealed that when users typed in “Labour are…”, it suggested “finished”, “a joke”, “right wing” and “scum.” Meanwhile, a search for “Conservatives are…” yielded no auto-complete suggestions at all – which some internet users claimed was in exchange for a tax deal. In 2013, auto-correct managed to offend almost the entire population of London. A map of the city showed the boroughs according to their first Google auto-complete suggestion (ie. “Richmond is…”). Notable results included “Croydon is a dump”, “Lambeth is London’s angriest borough”, and “Chelsea is crap”. Ouch.