DOs and DON’Ts (Taboos) in England

Manners are Important

DOs and DON’Ts (Taboos) in England

DO …!Its a Taboo!

  • DO stand in line:

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.

  • DO say “Excuse Me”:

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.DO cover your Mouth!

  • 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:

A smiling face is a welcoming face.

  • DO Drive on the left side of the road:
  • 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.

DO NOT…!Its a Taboo!

  • 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.

  • 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 pick your nose 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:

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.

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