In this post, we are going to talk about English manners and what kind of behaviour is considered to be polite and what impolite. In England, people place a great deal of importance in good manners. It is well known that this is a multicultural place and you can find people here from all around the world, especially in London. As a result, you will often come across different accents and cultures in your every day life. Having a broken English accent isn’t a problem really, but not being aware of the basic British etiquette rules can be. You may sometimes upset people by things that you say or do, even if these things seem perfectly normal in your own culture. Despite who you are or where you came from, your manners have a direct impact on your social and professional success.
Follow this list of important social etiquettes and Londoners will love you! Here we go!
We are going to start with the important stuff. Here we go!
Please, thank you and sorry
Being polite is always a good way to start! “Please”, “thank you” and “sorry” are 3 words that everyone loves, thus British people use them quite often. Use “please” every time you have a request, for example: could you say that again, please? Use “thank you” when responding to something, for example: (A)Would you like some coffee? (B)That would be great, thank you. Use “sorry” when you have inconvenienced somebody, for example: (A)Could you look after my cat this Saturday, please? (B)Sorry, I can’t, I am away this weekend.
Most people in the United Kingdom like to be on time. Wether you are meeting up with friends or have a work appointment of some sort, it is never polite to be late. In this country people take punctuality very serious!
If you are a citizen of any British city then you are familiar with queues! You normally see queues in shops or in tube stations (when ready to get on/off the tube or when scanning your ouster card). Never try to jump a queue because you might get yourself into an awkward situation. Ignoring the queue is something you will not get away with as usually someone will speak up. So just be patient and respect the queue! Simple!
Escalators and moving walk ways
There is an unwritten law about escalators and moving walk ways. Remember to always stand on the right side of the escalator and keep the left side clear. The reason you shouldn’t stand on the left is because you will most likely be blocking someones way. Same things goes for the moving walk ways which are also known as a travelators
With all the above being said, it’s time to talk about the “everyday stuff” like table manners, talking loudly, littering and more.
It’s rude to slurp, burp or fart during a meal. It is rude indeed! Do not put your elbows on the table. Do not use your mobile phone. I really don’t think I need to explain further as it is clear! Please, oh mighty please, don’t ever fart!
Last minute cancelations
Unless you have a serious problem or some sort of a crisis you can’t get away with last minute cancelations. Londoners like to plan a few days in advance and as they are not the most spontaneous people, if you cancel too late that will definitely annoy them. If you don’t have a valid excuse for cancelling you’ll surely be considered rude.
Not holding the door
Yes it is true! Most people hold the door for you and they expect you to do the same for others. It’s definitely not polite to let the door smash in someones face (right?). Anyway, people here will hold the door even if the next person is further away.
Bumping into someone and not apologising
Streets can be very crowded in certain areas in London especially during rush hours. You will often bump into someone in the street or someone will bump into you. It can be very annoying sometimes but what is more annoying is when people don’t apologise afterwards. A simple sorry does the job!
Talking loudly and “stinky” food
Let’s be honest. Who likes to be on the tube and have a group of people shouting or even worse, eating smelly food? I’ll tell you. No one!! Unfortunately that happens a lot even though it’s frowned upon.
You won’t see people throwing their rubbish on the ground or leaving it behind in pubic places that often. The reason is because nobody likes a litter bug!
(“name-dropping, snobbery, and generally pathetic attempts to be seen and be admired”)
the practice of casually mentioning the names of famous people one knows or claims to know in order to impress others
Last but no least, my favourite! Personally, I believe that name dropping is one of the most annoying things anyone could do. People do that in order to show off and feel admired. Honestly, we all like to brag about our accomplishments every now and them and that is fine but name dropping is a different story. It sounds snobby, rude and it’s boring so just shhhhhhhhhhhh please. Thank you!