Last updated at 12:19 GMT, Monday, 05 March 2012

Express English: Eccentric

Every week we ask you a different question. Hear what people in London say, then join the conversation!

Do you have an eccentric friend?

Join the conversation. Do you have an eccentric friend? Use the form below to let us know.

The Express English team

This is what some people in London told us:

A woman said that one of her friends is so eccentric that he even has tattoos on his feet.

Another one said she knows somebody who is over the top in the way she dresses.

But not everybody seems to indulge in eccentricity. An interviewee admitted that she and her friends are boring and conform so that they can fit into their environment.

Did you know?


Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope is a famous English eccentric. She was born in 1776 - a time when women were not expected to be independent or adventurous. Yet Lady Hester travelled to the East, went hunting for buried treasure and was even crowned Queen by Bedouin Arabs.

Language tip

'Offbeat' and 'off the wall' are some of the words used when referring to something unusual or weird.

Cultural tip

'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' is a song written by Noel Coward in the early 20th century in which he talks about how English expatriates were seen as eccentrics in the British tropical colonies.

End of Section

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Do you have an eccentric friend?

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    • 1. At 2:48pm on 05 Mar 2012, pham quang hai wrote:

      my friend is so eccentric. he aways yawns when he's bored.

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    • 2. At 3:06pm on 05 Mar 2012, gui wrote:

      I don't have a Eccentric Friend, but my mother is really Eccentric...

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    • 3. At 4:50pm on 05 Mar 2012, Seen Sheen wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 4. At 6:07pm on 05 Mar 2012, juliauchoa wrote:

      Well, I think I have a very eccentric friend since I was a teenager. He doesn´t care about what people will think about him, he just do the things he wants. He speaks loud and likes to wear very colored and crazy clothes. In my opinion, this can be a way to express your ideas and show the world you don't need to be like all the other ones.

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    • 5. At 7:11pm on 05 Mar 2012, cindy_ wrote:

      I think I am the eccentric friend but more because I don't care about what people think about how I'm acting or talking.
      I don't care if people appreciate my humour or not and that's why I can make some fun or weird comparisons.
      Moreover, I used to talk about myself without paying attention. I'm just always trying to not give a wrong image or make feel my friends uncomfortable.

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    • 6. At 8:15pm on 05 Mar 2012, Emilia wrote:

      I have no eccentric friends for the way of dressing, but some of them are very original and eccentric for their ideas and their way of living. I like them because they are not victims of social prejudices, but they are free.

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    • 7. At 8:22pm on 05 Mar 2012, JessicaGuz wrote:

      hahahaha we all have eccentic people around the world!!

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    • 8. At 8:29pm on 05 Mar 2012, Lorenzo wrote:

      I think eccentricity could be something interesting and even necessary. I like eccentric people because they usually do different things, really funny. And sometimes we need to look the world with this point of view, a bit accentric.

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    • 9. At 8:40pm on 05 Mar 2012, Kazimir wrote:

      Hi everybody! Yes I’ve got some eccentric friends and the most extraordinary of them is my friend Max. He’s thought to be eccentric here in Ukraine because he drinks no alcohol at all and in our country such people are considered to be weird.
      I can’t say that the eccentric person is someone who dresses in a different way or has a lot of tattoos as for me they are just people who experience lack of attention but those people which really have the odd mindset they are eccentric and I know that to be eccentric is not easy.

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    • 10. At 10:02pm on 05 Mar 2012, Maryna wrote:

      Eccentric friend is a great thing if you gathering in a big company. I have a lot of eccentric friends, so I am never being bored with them. Sometimes I think even about myself as an eccentric person, because I really like to be in a center of attention.

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    • 11. At 02:57am on 06 Mar 2012, ushma wrote:

      Yes, like others I too have an eccentric girl friend. She is very emotional, babbling and unpredictable. By this attitude she had many times hurt and embarassed a lot other friends.

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    • 12. At 04:14am on 06 Mar 2012, gem wrote:

      Luckily i never had an eccentric friend nor even met anyone so far. I would like to know how it would be to have one and i think it must be fun.

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    • 13. At 06:17am on 06 Mar 2012, Tereza wrote:

      The majority of my friends is very conform. But one my friends is quite eccentric. She loves India and she behaves and dresses like Hindu. We live in the Czech republic so it is quite eccentric here.

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    • 14. At 07:31am on 06 Mar 2012, messy wrote:

      I don't have an eccentric friend.I don't want but I like eccentricity and I know that if I had an eccentric friend,I would be in the way of eccentricity.

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    • 15. At 08:18am on 06 Mar 2012, sabo wrote:

      I have an eccentric friend, but I can't explain in which point she is eccentric. She is clever, in fact. I know that she got good marks on exams and graduated form a famous university, but, her behavior is often eccentric. She does what people usually don't do ,unconsciously. That' why she is attractive. I like her all the better for it.

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    • 16. At 09:15am on 06 Mar 2012, Jow SingSing wrote:

      Nope, I don't have any eccentric friends. But infact I think myself is eccentric, I think another person feel boring about myself. But I didn't feel anything to myself at all, I feel too much independent that I can do thing most of the people don't do only if I feel it the right and correct way. ^^

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    • 17. At 12:10pm on 06 Mar 2012, narrosgirl wrote:

      I can't say if I've eccentric friends. Certainly I have some friends very different from others because I find all them interesting people, though no all looks like that at first sigh.
      I like eccentric peopple when their eccentrity really shows their character, when eccentrity is geuined, no feigned to be the center of atteintion. I can´t stand this false people who behave like a teenagers.

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    • 18. At 1:58pm on 06 Mar 2012, Maria wrote:

      I have a really eccentric friend, she likes wearing very original shoes and hats. She can't but be noticed!!!
      I adhore her!!!

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    • 19. At 2:47pm on 06 Mar 2012, Goly wrote:

      My closed friends aren't eccentrics. I've met a lot of people who are, especially when I moved to London. Some people say my thoughts are eccentrics and I agree.

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    • 20. At 5:36pm on 06 Mar 2012, babenne wrote:

      I have no eccentric friends because I am not attracted by them. I think that the way you dressed is the way you are inside you. Eccentricity translates for me some disturbance. But originality is great !

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    • 21. At 6:49pm on 06 Mar 2012, ulusal68 wrote:

      Well, I have an eccentric friend.She was my classmate at university.I remember that she usually used to come to the lesson with her pyjamas and her belly was often half-open.

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    • 22. At 10:46pm on 06 Mar 2012, FRANZ wrote:

      My world doesn't have eccentric. I'm a accountant and a public service. Perhaps I am.

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    • 23. At 07:25am on 07 Mar 2012, keti wrote:

      Is eccentricity a positive or negative feature? If someone's dress, appearance, or behaviour is quite different from another's, we call him eccentric. Most people prefer to fit into their environment, they want to feel comfortable and protected. There aren't many people who can indulge in eccentricities. If you venture to be eccentric in Asian and Western countries, you must be ready to be an outlaw. Asian people are notoriously conservative people and you must be brave and invulnerable if you decided to go against the current. People from democratic countries are more tolerant of people who are over-the-top in something. Sometimes, people try to appear over-the-top to capitalize on it. Usually, new styles of art are founded by eccentric people. They aren't afraid to revolt against established principles. They often live in poverty and obscurity. It takes decades to accept their mastery.

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    • 24. At 09:58am on 07 Mar 2012, Gigliola wrote:

      To have an eccentric friend it can be fun sometimes and even provocative. If you are an average person, having an eccentric fried could be tiring. But, what can you do if you have an eccentric relative? You can't stop interacting with that person. I am in that situation. My sister in law is so strange and unusual and I never know how it is appropriate to deal with her. She always does what she wants even if she hurts somebody else’s feelings. Otherwise, she has a complex personality, taste for fashion and interior design, charisma and intelligence. Despite all her qualities, I feel strange and uncomfortable when I meet her.

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    • 25. At 3:06pm on 07 Mar 2012, HINAKO wrote:

      I might be eccentric in Japanese society.
      Because I don't chat something romantic with friends in high school,don't like crowd with others,and prefer eat lunch by myself.
      I want to discuss about math or science or Japanese society or something trivial.
      I wonder whether it is not eccentric in some country.
      But in Japanese student's communication,it is unusual.

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    • 26. At 6:03pm on 07 Mar 2012, Carolina wrote:

      Well, I would like to be more eccentric than I am... I'm the kind of person who wants to look special and different from the rest so as to "call the attention". I mean, I think it is awfully boring the fact the we all wear the same clothes, all the girls look beautiful the same way... I'd like to have more confidence in order to be capable to look different and great at the same time.
      By "eccentric" I don't mean ridiculous. I'd hate that.
      Just to give you an example, I think that Rihanna, the American singer, looks magnifique in her attire in the video "What's my name?". In it, she shows herself sexy, confident, funny, special... everything together! And kinda eccentric because of the clothes she wears. And her hairdo, and all of her style.

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    • 27. At 9:25pm on 07 Mar 2012, alex wrote:

      I can say that I have one a bit eccentric friend. He is older than me on one year and sometimes his behavior is eccentric. He is very open to other people, even if he sees they for the first time. But I've known he for 17 years and some of his eccentric features don't seemed me strange or unusual, may be I've got accustomed.
      As for eccentricity in my opinion all depend on public, because people are different and what is eccentric for one, it isn't for other. Also time and century play a big role; can you imagine medieval knight walking down in your street?
      So when it is said about eccentricity I think it is said about special features of someone's character and even if you feel usual for somebody you may seem eccentric))

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    • 28. At 05:32am on 08 Mar 2012, Sofia wrote:

      Hello, everyone!
      Unfortunately I don't have any eccentric friends, though I would love to, because I think that eccentric people make our lives brighter, more interesting and varied. They are not afraid to express their ideas and live just the way they feel. Isn't it nice?

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    • 29. At 08:43am on 08 Mar 2012, yaya_feng wrote:

      I have a eccentric friend that she always stay on the bed except class.When we all go outside ,she sleep all the day without breakfast,lunch,even dinner.She hardly ever talk to us ,when we have a lively discussion ,she can be quiet all the time ````

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    • 30. At 12:54pm on 08 Mar 2012, Elkagirl wrote:

      I've met an eccentric colleague, who came to the office in a pyjama top with jeans. Everyone questioned her but she insisted that it wasn't a pyjama top.

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    • 31. At 00:16am on 09 Mar 2012, Kazu123 wrote:

      I've met an eccentric friends in the past.that's the awsome guy and we had some fight ,you know together.

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    • 32. At 01:21am on 09 Mar 2012, alexa ma wrote:

      i have a very eccentric friend..she never talks to strangers.and her mood is not this moment she is happy,but next minute she is one could fully understand her..i guess even herself ... especially the way she dresses, the colour and really sticks out a mile...

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    • 33. At 09:16am on 09 Mar 2012, Chessy_FI wrote:

      I do not have any eccentric friends but I loved to have one. It must be fun to know different characteristics people around us.

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    • 34. At 8:40pm on 09 Mar 2012, aidas70 wrote:

      My brother is real eccentric.He loves just folk music.He is 49 years old and has never been married.He is penny-pinching he never phones me, but when I do he loves to talk as much slowly and boringly as he can.He is collecting 'garmones" they are similar to accordion just smaller and have one and a half modulation.He believes nobody,loves nobody, can stay alone not seeing anybody for very long time.Does not celebrate any festivals.If somebody offended him he will never forgives and never forgets.When he goes to a WC he stays in there for at least half an hour if not longer.He spends on himself about 10 pounds per month and lives off my parents money.He keeps saying :'money saving is the most important thing in life time'. He cannot drive.

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    • 35. At 03:57am on 10 Mar 2012, castleontheriver wrote:

      Excuse me, but, I do not know of people close to me, that by your behavior or your clothing may be defined as eccentric. If I find a lot of eccentric people working in TV in my country. I think this topic is very nice!.

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    • 36. At 4:57pm on 10 Mar 2012, shim wrote:

      I do not have an eccentric friend yet.

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    • 37. At 9:20pm on 10 Mar 2012, paolobobos wrote:

      I haven't eccentric friends for dressing, but for them lifestyle. My most eccentric friend has got a wonderful car call "Why be normal" with a lot of star and pictures inside.

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    • 38. At 7:34pm on 12 Mar 2012, Hi5 wrote:

      Three years ago my friend painted her hair blue, but when she sunbathed her hair turned green. After the summer she painted it again pink, and finally, her hair looked like a rainbow.;)

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    • 39. At 12:59pm on 13 Mar 2012, redckom wrote:

      I don´t have any eccentric friend but I would like it. Maybe I need someone off the wall.

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    • 40. At 4:28pm on 15 Mar 2012, hong kute wrote:

      i dont have any eccentric friend. However somtimes my friends act and speak many funny sentences. but i like them so much. i like these eccentric people too, because they have their own personality,hehehe...........

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    • 41. At 4:43pm on 18 Mar 2012, tanya259 wrote:

      No, I don`t but I think that eccentricity is one way that many person uses to be different from other

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    • 42. At 4:30pm on 19 Mar 2012, hongdt1 wrote:

      i don't have any eccentric friend. I think they must be so interesting, special and funny! I really want have one. I'm sure i'll be pleasure and not complain at all, i promise ^^

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    • 43. At 1:36pm on 20 Mar 2012, Jose Daniel Gamez Rodriguez wrote:

      Good mornig every body...I Have some eccentric friends they wear extravagant clothes whitch has pictures of animals and crazies messages

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    • 44. At 07:58am on 25 Mar 2012, melodysj wrote:

      i have not yet eccentric friends. but i think it is not bad to have a friend like that. she or he could take you some surprise or happeness sometimes. and you will experience new culture and new trend something like that from them and expand your eyes. that will be very interesting.

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    • 45. At 7:45pm on 25 Mar 2012, Din Islam wrote:

      Yeah, I've an eccentric friend who is unconventional and very much strange. You can't read his mind at all. Sometimes you seem that he is the best friend of yours but another time it seems to you that he is not a friend of yours at all. His attitude is very strange. You could get some time when he wouldn't talk with you. This could continue for long even months or years. He is very much eccentric with all his activities. It seems to me that he want to show others that he is unique, he is different from others. But when you have good time with him you would think he is the best one that you've seen. He is very much helpful. When you need help he could give his life for you. We the friends with him now realize his attitude and treat him the way he likes.

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    • 46. At 1:27pm on 30 Mar 2012, gatsby wrote:

      Yes, I have an eccentric friend. She sometimes used to talk about topics that most people can not understand.

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    • 47. At 10:33am on 03 Apr 2012, sunelly wrote:

      My sister is eccentric. She has red hair, many tatoos. At the same time she is a very creative person. So I think that sometimes this two words "eccentric" and "creativ" are close.

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    • 48. At 3:26pm on 07 Apr 2012, Yasemin wrote:

      I don't have an eccentric friend.if I had an eccentric friend it would be good.Everyone is usually normal.

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    • 49. At 6:56pm on 16 Apr 2012, Chipsouu wrote:

      I think I have a few eccentric friends, or people around me that sometimes I frequents.
      I have a friend which is eccentric in his head. He doesn't live and thinks like the others but it's complicated to explain, it's in his way of thinking and speaking.
      I know many people which have tatoos, body piercing, peaks of punk and offbeat styles.
      Maybe it's because i love eccentric people !

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    • 50. At 12:50pm on 18 Apr 2012, lkw1037 wrote:

      I don't have any eccentric friends, I want to meet someone who were more eccentric , i guess they must be very interested.

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    • 51. At 5:32pm on 22 Apr 2012, svetlana wrote:

      I don't have any eccentric friend. The most eccentric person I've ever met was my private mathematics professor. He was fantastic, funny and witty person. Once he said he used to practiced hypnosis. He told me the story about an event that changed his attitude about it. He was at the student party.
      When his fellow students asked him to hypnotise someone, he refused. They were very persistent and finally they convinced him to do this. He hypnotise one girl, who ate an onion like it was the sweetest apple, without tears, of course. He realized how much hypnosis is powerful skill and mighty weapon and he stopped to deal in it. Of course, he was an interesting man, who knew many other things like tricks with cards. But it is a subject of another conversation.

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    • 52. At 01:11am on 14 May 2012, Ramil Gasimov wrote:

      i dont like them who tries to seem as eccentric person and who always try to seem funny. i think eccentricity isn't choice, it should come from your deep soul.

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    • 53. At 8:43pm on 06 Oct 2012, Ennas25 wrote:

      No, i dont have any an eccentric friend ,but i think any one odd in his behavour

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