POSSIBLE MEANINGS OF "SORRY": A GUIDE FOR NON BRITS

  1. I'm sorry.
  2. I wish you hadn't caught me doing the thing that, now that I think about it, I'm not actually that sorry about.
  3. I feel bad for you and am unsure how to express it and too socially awkward to hug you.
  4. I wish I could make it better for you.
  5. I didn't hear you.
  6. I heard you, but didn't understand you.
  7. I heard you, understood the words, but am aghast that anyone could hold your preposterous view.
  8. I was in your way and I understand that this is why you stood on my foot/bumped into me/etc.
  9. I am coming past you, don't move.
  10. I am not sorry at all, and I hope you don't think I should be.
  11. I think *you* should be sorry.
  12. I should have anticipated you would react this way, and I am irritated with myself for not foreseeing it, and/or with you for reacting in exactly this way.
  13. I want this argument to end because you are annoying me.
  14. This situation is awkward and I'm not sure how to get out of it, so I'll try the universal awkward-situation-diffusing word and see if that works.