Manners are Important DOs and DON'TS (Taboos) in England


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Manners are Important DOs and DON'TS (Taboos) in England

In England...
Do stand in line: text taken from and copyright of
In England we like to form orderly queues (standing in line) and wait patiently for our turn e.g. boarding a bus. It is usual to queue when required, and expected that you will take your correct turn and not push in front. 'Queue jumping' is frowned upon.

Do take your hat off when you go indoors (men only)
It is impolite for men to wear hats indoors especially in churches.
Nowadays, it is becoming more common to see men wearing hats indoors. However, this is still seen as being impolite, especially to the older generations. text taken from and copyright of

Do say "Excuse Me": text taken from and copyright of
If someone is blocking your way and you would like them to move, say excuse me and they will move out of your way.

Do Pay as you Go:
Pay for drinks as you order them in pubs and other types of bars.

Do say "Please" and "Thank you":
It is very good manners to say "please" and "thank you". It is considered rude if you don't. You will notice in England that we say 'thank you' a lot. text taken from and copyright of

Do cover your Mouth:
When yawning or coughing always cover your mouth with your hand.

Do Shake Hands:
When you are first introduced to someone, shake their right hand with your own right hand.

Do say sorry:
If you accidentally bump into someone, say 'sorry'. They probably will too, even if it was your fault! This is a habit and can be seen as very amusing by an 'outsider'.

Do Smile: text taken from and copyright of
A smiling face is a welcoming face.

Do Drive on the left side of the road
Find out more about driving text taken from and copyright of

Do open doors for other people
Men and women both hold open the door for each other. It depends on who goes through the door first.

In England...

Do not greet people with a kiss:
We only kiss people who are close friends and relatives.

Avoid talking loudly in public

It is impolite to stare at anyone in public.
Privacy is highly regarded. text taken from and copyright of

Do not ask a lady her age
It is considered impolite to ask a lady her age

Do not pick your nose in public:
We are disgusted by this. If your nostrils need de-bugging, use a handkerchief.

Avoid doing gestures such as backslapping and hugging
This is only done among close friends.

Do not spit.
Spitting in the street is considered to be very bad mannered.

Do not burp in public
You may feel better by burping loudly after eating or drinking, but other people will not! If you can not stop a burp from bursting out, then cover your mouth with your hand and say 'excuse me' afterwards.

Do not pass wind in public text taken from and copyright of
Now how can we say this politely? Let's say that you want to pass wind. What do you do? Go somewhere private and let it out. If you accidentally pass wind in company say 'pardon me'.

It is impolite speak with your mouth full of food

Do not ask personal or intimate questions
We like our privacy. Please do not ask questions such as "How much money do you earn?" "How much do you weigh?" or "Why aren't you married?". text taken from and copyright of

Never eat off a knife when having a meal.

In all countries in Britain ...
Women in Britain are entitled to equal respect and status as men (and indeed vice versa) in all areas of life and tend to have more independence and responsibility than in some other cultures. Women are usually independent and accustomed to entering public places unaccompanied. It is usual for women to go out and about on their own as well as with friends. Men and women mix freely.

  • It is ok for women to eat alone in a restaurant.
  • It is ok for women to wander around on their own.
  • It is ok for women to drink beer.
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