“An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman” is the opening line of a typical joke popular in the UK. Depending on who is telling the joke, the other ‘nationalities’ are ridiculed according to stereotypes, usually (but not always) based around the Irishman being stupid, the Scotsman being mean with money and the Englishman being a snob.
Here are some examples (notice that jokes are often told in the present tense):
An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman are standing looking at a cow in a field. The Englishman says: “Look at that fine English cow.” The Irishman disagrees, saying “No, it’s an Irish cow.” The Scotsman thinks for a moment and says, “No, it’s a Scottish cow – it’s got bagpipes underneath.
” An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman are being chased by a policeman. They see an old warehouse so they run in to hide. Inside there are three empty sacks on the floor. They each jump into a sack. In comes the ‘copper’ (policeman) and sees these three sacks on the floor. He kicks the first one and the Englishman shouts out “Woof woof”, so the copper thinks it’s just an old dog and leaves it. He kicks the second sack and the Scotsman yells out “Meow meow”, so he leaves that one too as he thinks it’s just an old cat. He walks over to the last one and kicks it and the Irishman yells out “Potatoes potatoes!”
An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman went to a party. The Englishman took six bottles of beer. The Irishman took six crates of Guinness. The Scotsman took six friends.