The Umbrella Academy has Klaus in search of a purpose in life and where he came from, which leads him to the Amish countryside, where he is referred to as “English.” Klaus wants nothing more than to find his mother, thinking it will help heal the trauma and pain he is in, so he begins asking the Amish about his mother, Rachel. What Klaus finds is that the Amish are not so welcoming to him, but it’s unclear whether or not they’re insulting him when they refer to Klaus with the nickname of “English.”
Surrounded by trees and cows, Klaus and Number Five take a trip to Pennsylvania in The Umbrella Academy season 3, episode 2, “World’s Biggest Ball of Twine.” Klaus feels this will be the answer to everything he’s been missing because he will finally learn where he comes from. Klaus asks about his mother, Rachel. Caleb, an Amish man, is quick to step in. Caleb tells Klaus to “walk [his] fancy boots back to town where [he] belongs, and leave [the Amish] be.” He then shoves Klaus to the ground, and Klaus is confused because he thought the Amish “were supposed to be nice.” It is here that Caleb tells Klaus this is a misconception and he calls Klaus “English.” After discovering all the cows are gone, Caleb can also be heard yelling, “English, the cows are missing! What did you do?”
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for The Umbrella Academy season 3.
Though Caleb calls The Umbrella Academy’s Klaus “English,” in anger, it is not necessarily negative because the term is used widely to mean someone who is not Amish. Sarah-Beth, Rachel’s sister, also calls Klaus “English,” when she first meets him and when she tries to protect him by telling him to leave. While Caleb may be upset by Klaus being an “English” outsider, it’s likely more because Klaus is asking about Rachel, who died in mysterious and horrifying circumstances. The term “English” is simply in reference to Klaus being an outsider of the Amish. The Amish are private people, so the term can be used negatively, like with Caleb, but it can also be used in a more neutral or positive way, as with Sarah-Beth.
The term “English” is often used to refer to British people, but it has a different meaning for the Amish, as it’s used in The Umbrella Academy season 3 with Klaus. The practice actually dates back to the colonial era, when non-Amish people would refer to the Amish as “German” because they spoke German or dialects of German when they first arrived. The Amish began referring to outsiders as “English,” because non-Amish spoke English as their primary language (via Amish America). The name stuck.
Though Klaus does not get to meet his mother when he visits the Amish, he does learn about her mysterious death and is given a journal by his aunt, Sarah-Beth. In the journal, Klaus gets to see a photo of his mother. Though Klaus is “English,” or an outsider to the Amish, seeing her photo does make him feel more connected to his past. He also learned to rely more on his Umbrella Academy team and family rather than spending all of his time focused on what was and what could have been. While The Umbrella Academy does not dive much more into the culture of the Amish, there may be more of Klaus’ Amish family to explore after the rebirth of the universe.