Here’s 12 things you will only understand if you’re from Essex

Its pronounced Essicks.

Let's talk about the county that makes our nation truly great. Home of some of our most watchable telly, our favourite celebs, and perhaps the most iconic accent in the UK.

Essex is absolutely notorious, and totally underestimated- without it, British culture just wouldn't be the same.

So, without further ado, let's talk about 12 things you will only understand if this is the county you call home…

1) Everyone claims they know someone from TOWIE.

'The Only Way is Essex', for the uninitiated, is the reality show which shaped the Essex we know and love today, launching the careers of Gemma Collins and Joey Essex.

Yet, you're not truly from Essex unless you have a TOWIE anecdote. Your mum's hairdresser's sister used to date Arg, your neighbour bumped into Diags in the Asda meat aisle, and you're pretty sure you once saw the back of Ferne McCann's head in a Pizza Express.

2) You spent your teenage years in Top Golf and Lakeside Shopping Centre

You're still not sure why you spent hours of your life hitting golf balls into the distance for your mate's snapchat story, or wandering around Lakeside in your Paul's Boutique quilted jacket.

3) But you would spice things up a bit sometimes and go to Bluewater rather than Lakeside

Splashing that birthday money.

4) You have to hold your breath going through the Dartford Tunnel

Possibly this was just something your parents told you as a kid to keep you quiet for a few seconds during car journeys …

5) Big nights out are always in Chelmo or London

It's a rite of passage, travelling up with the girls in your bodycon dresses, drinking Malibu pineapple and Apple Sourz … only for the bouncers to spot that everyone was using their older sister's ID.

Then, you just had to wait in the nearest Maccies for someone's mum to come and pick you all up.

6) "No, I haven't been to Sugar Hut"

Enough said.

7) The epic highs of living with an Essex accent.

Girls are gewls, Southend is Saarfend, Harlow is 'arlow, and you defo have to drop the letters 't' and 'd' from most words.

There's also some absolutely fantastic and nonsensical slang. An idiot is a mug, if someone's fit then they're a sort. You don't want to be too bait and use innit at the end of every sentence, but there's nothing wrong with calling something 'a bit of me' if you really rate it. And, obviously, everyone should be addressed as babes- especially if you're about to insult them.

The Essex accent is contagious, charming, and definitely underrated.

And there's nothing funnier than the complete confusion of someone not from Essex hearing 'OI OI SAVELOY' for the first time.

8) Epic lows of living with an Essex accent.

Essex accents are used in a lot of (often classist and sexist) stereotypes about people from Essex in British media, and are seen as synonymous with being lower class, shallow, and poorly educated.

This is the county in which hugely successful people like Dame Maggie Smith, Margaret Cavendish, David Gandy, Richard Osman, Rupert Grint, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Grayson Perry were all born, to name just a few. So, seriously, it's time to get rid of these really problematic stereotypes.

Moreover, absolutely no one has actually said 'reem' or 'jel' since 2010. Move on.

9) You are haunted by misguided teenage attempts to imitate the TOWIE aesthetic.

Many of the beauty trends that have swept the nation were made famous by Essex. Fads like the infamous 'vajazzle' and HD-brows, along with longer-lasting trends like spray tans, false lashes and acrylics combined to create a certain image.

The recognisable Essex 'brand' isn't natural-looking, but its not meant to be, either. It's a beauty process which reclaims a person's appearance, seeing your features as pliable, adaptable, and commercialisable in a way which mirrors the social and economic mobility that Essex is known for.

But, trying to replicate this very dramatic aesthetic as a teenager led to some…interesting phases. These were the days before you used a mitt for fake tan (orange hands, eek!), before you knew what tan-lines were, before you knew that eyebrows weren't really supposed to be drawn on with your teacher's black whiteboard marker. The result was totally shameful and totally hilarious.

10) Recognising an Essex boy from a mile off

Honestly, most of them have the same haircut, and if you're from Essex you will be thinking of it right now: the buzzed sides, long and styled on top, with a shaved-in parting line.

Other elements include, but are not limited to: loafers without socks, tight cropped trousers with a designer belt, and a shirt that's just a little bit too small so they can show off their gym gainz. And, of course, the billion-watt shine of overly-whitened teeth.

11) You've heard just about every terrible Essex Girl joke.

This kind of humour is the successor to those 'dumb blonde' jokes that Boomers seem to find hilarious.

These jokes aren't harmless fun, they play on the 100% tropes of the sexist stereotype, the mythicised 'Essex Girl' who is described in the Oxford Dictionary as sexually promiscuous, materialistic and unintelligent.

I'm pretty sure actual Essex girl, Dame Maggie Smith, would be distinctly unimpressed.

12) EVERYBODY knows someone called Dave.

This is strange but true, and nobody can explain why. No, we will not be accepting further questions at this time.

So, yes, while sometimes its just easier to say you're from London, that doesn't mean we're not proud to be from the wonderful, eccentric and vastly underrated county of Essex.

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