Icons of England
  • Introduction
  • The Icons
  • Nominations
  • News
  • Learn & Play
  • Your Comments

Good Manners

1113 of 1160 nominations


Good Manners

Is this an icon?


Good Manners

At our best, we in England are known for our good manners. (For exceptions to this see: Faliraki, kicking other players on the football pitch, etc.) Polished over centuries by the aristocracy and detailed in many courtesy books, conduct manuals and the like, our idea of good manners not only encompasses the apparently English qualities of modesty, fair play and awareness of status, but a whole collection of seemingly trivial details too. People often complain about the decline in standards of old-fashioned manners, but the modern world has introduced a whole new set of hurdles to negotiate. What is the etiquette of e-mail, for example? Or of the mobile phone? There’s a bit more to it than just saying “please” and “thank you”...

Do you say “pardon” or “what”? When was the last time you wrote a thank you note? On which side does the gentleman walk when accompanying a lady? Is it correct to ask for the “toilet” or the “lavatory”? How much slurping is acceptable when eating soup? Where do you wear your napkin?

So do you think manners are important? And just how good are yours?

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

I am nominating good manners, not because they necessarily still exist, but because they seem partiuclarly English, And it would be nice to have them back!


I agree - good manners are iconically English but sadly they don't now exist in England to any great extent. It would be Good Manners to have them return. Please. Thank you.

I agree that English manners are Iconic but I'm not sure about good manners. Many of our "good" manners can be considered bad in other cultures and vice versa. There are plenty of other cultures that are just as highly mannered than ours just differently so (e.g. Japan).

View All Comments (8)



I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer