British Manners and Etiquette! | British Culture


Hi, I’m Joel. And I’m Lia and today we’re talking about British manners and etiquette. So welcome back to another episode in our series of how to be British. Don’t forget before we start click subscribe if you haven’t already. We post videos every single week. Lovely. So… Today, we’re talking about British manners and etiquette. Most of this is just going to be stuff like that we’ve observed that we thing is important to share… and things that we hold dear as well, like, starting off I can’t stand it when people don’t queue and it’s obviously foreigners, which is fine because they don’t know the rules, but British people all know you queue and I know that’s my problem. That British people queue too much. But we love the queue. It’s so important stand and wait your turn in a queue. If you don’t, everyone will hate you. But no one will do anything. Everyone will silently – you’ll just feel everyone looking at you at the back of your head, just like “I hate you”. Although some people… some bullshit people will speak up and say something. “Oi, there’s a line here!” Yeah, just like that. Yeah. It’s usually people that accent that say it. They’ll pop up and everyone’s grateful for them. Yeah, not every culture has queuing. I know in America they don’t really… queue as much firstly they say ‘line’, they don’t say ‘queue’. But, secondly, they just kind of all… gather in a big throng around wherever they’re going and they just remember where they are. That must be infuriating. It just takes pressure off if you just know… if you just stand in line, and you’re like “okay I know where I am. I know that I just look at the person in front of me.” Yeah. Oh, I can’t think of anything worse than being in a clump. I mean, “We got here first”. “No, we did.” “No, we were here before you.” “Oh, no, you were here before them.” Yeah. Another thing, uh, to mention with, umm, British manners and etiquette is just the simplicity of saying “please” and “thank you”. So if you’re going to come to the UK or, you know, if you’re trying to just be more British one of the things you should always do is say “please”. Constantly. We’ve encountered when we’ve done, like, promo work that people that aren’t from the UK are more likely to be like “Give me, give me that.” and not even kind of have that just like give me that… that… or like being quite rude. But all it is is inserting an extra word, “please”. But it is kind of stupid that we have that it’s like Why do we have to like tiptoe around and be like “please, could we…” But we just love a ‘please’. Love a ‘please’ and love a ‘thank you’. Yeah, so, if in doubt, just say “please” and “thank you” all the time. All the time All the time. You can’t say it too many times. Yeah, and ‘sorry’ is a good one as well. “Sorry”. Even when you’re not sorry just say “sorry”. If someone walks into you say “sorry”. Yeah. Someone stands on your foot. “Yeah, sorry.” If someone mugs you and takes your phone, say “sorry”. If someone starts beating you up on the street just keep saying “sorry”. just say “sorry” over and over again. “Sorry”, and maybe the occasional “thank you”. Thank you. They stop. They stop beating you up for a bit you’re like “thanks, thanks”. “Thanks, I needed that. Thank you.” Saying “thank you”. Sending a thank-you card as well. Yeah, people do that all the time. I was always brought up, like… I think most people were, I feel like. Send a thank you card. After birthdays, like, you send everyone a thank-you card. Say “thank you” after everything. Yeah, after Christmas send everyone a thank-you card saying “Thank you for that lovely present.” Even if you hated it. That’s the point. Yeah. We are so in sync. We are so in sync. Yeah, NSYNC. Oh, they were great, weren’t they? So, one that’s very London-based is… just to all tourists if you ever come to the UK, or people around the UK that are coming to London. Do not get on the Tube until the people have come off of the tube. Oh my God. It’s so annoying. They even announce it. They say “Please let people off the tube before you get on”. And like the doors open and everyone’s there, and you’re like they’re all streaming on. You’re like “Get out of the way!” You’re supposed to wait until everyone’s got off before you try to get on and it’s always people that aren’t from the UK that just like push their way on and you’re like “You have to wait.” Silly person. I hate it so much. That’s a really good one to mention. We’re just trying to change the world one viewer at a time. One viewer at a time. If we’ve even taught one of you to come on holiday to London and not get on the tube until someone’s got off… Then we’ve done our job. So if you’re out having a group meal in England… It’s normal for you to wait until everybody’s food has arrived until you start eating, and I’m sure that’s probably very similar everywhere else… Definitely, and another one similar to that I noticed when I went to America that the waitresses come and take away empty plates before everyone’s finished eating. If there’s empty plates they’ll take them. In the UK that’s seen as rude like you shouldn’t clear the table until everyone’s finished eating. And then you take the plates away. And so we were just sat there like… okay, this is rude. I hate it so much. If me and you were eating, and you finish first and your plate is taken… and I’m left there with my plate I don’t tip. They are not getting a tip. Because you’ve made me feel like he’s waiting for me, like I’m too slow… and like it’s just and all the focus is now on my plate looking at what I’ve got left. And if you were trying to enjoy your meal and someone was reaching over you to take empty plates and stuff you’re like “I’m just trying to have a quiet, nice meal and you’re trying to clear off the table. Like, leave me alone.” It’s so horrible. So guys that’s just a few things that we’ve noticed and we wanted to share. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel if you’re not already a subscriber. We post lots of videos like this Yeah, definitely. And don’t get to leave a comment down below if you’re not from the UK to let us know whether these things are the same in your country or what are some things that are good manners in your country. Lovely. Don’t eat with your mouth open. Bye children! Be polite. “Please” and “thank you”. Bye. “Please” and “thank you”, so true. Thank you for watching. Please come back next time. I just spat everywhere. No, really, thank you. No. Thank you so much.




Comments
  1. Lia you're lovely. I could listen to your voice everyday. So happy I found this channel. Y'all are amazing. My sister lives in the UK. I'm from the southern USA. I can't understand a single word my nephews say my niece sounds like peppa pig lol. But you have a magical voice with charm and wits to match. Your fan J.

  2. Please and thank you it difficult even when me in Spain i am quite polite i am sure in UK i am rude.
    Definetly in Spain everything is a mix between Brisitsh and American where queues are more relaxed, the tube is the same, the waitress with the plate is not rude unless you are old.

  3. Restaraunt’s here in the US do take your Plates away before everyone is Finished. I Like the way they take your plate away after the entire table is Finished eating. That’s the way it should be here, like London😃

  4. Yes, I hate that about American servers when they want to take my food away in the past while I’m still eating. Like don’t you see I’m eating ! I remember once a waitress was so rude she literally was telling me to pay when I wasn’t done eating partially becauseI wasn’t given something that I had asked for. Before taking your plate they should ask. Like that should be part of common courtesy to ask if they should take your plate.

  5. You guys are nuts. I will loose the manners I already have :P. You don't say sorry for people who hit you 😉 and saying thank you when they stop. You guys are nuts. Anyway, thank you? 😉

  6. I used to live in the UK but these rules are actually the same in Japan! It’s always the people outside Japan who couldn’t queue, who rush on the trains before everyone gets off… and also saying “sorry” before everything.

  7. We form lines because we socialize while in line to help pass the time and to get to know ppl instead of single file.

  8. This queuing that you speak of… You said there are no lines in the u. S. Where are you guys going here that it's like that because I was born and raised here my entire life and everywhere we go there's lines. Also, another video you said we eat pudding for breakfast. That's not at all true. Where are you guys getting this information from? Unless the British word for coffee is pudding, you would stand to be incorrect.

  9. We stand in line or take a number we don't gather around and guess you don't skip in line here or there will be a fight

  10. Canada is very much like the British manner wise. We let people off before getting on and if someone pushes on the driver will blast them.

  11. Americans love lines AND there is always someone who will tell anyone who cuts to get to the back of the line. We don’t clump together like pigeons hahaha. Manners in America vary by cultural difference. We are quite a large country with many different expectation in different areas in the country.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/midterm-election-photos-waiting-in-lines-rain-2018-11

  12. Well now, weren’t you lot just adorable back in March 2017??!!!??!! I can’t believe this video is less than 2 years old. You are both so different now… not just in appearance, but mannerisms, and how comfortable you are on camera!! Such nuggets you were!!!

  13. Much similar in USA I think, at least I think we are often taught these, not everyone follows them, I think brits seem to be more prone to follow unwritten rules perhaps? Not judging that as good or bad, just seems to be the overall gestalt I have…please do keep posting great videos and thank you for all you have done!

  14. Hi Joel and Lia: You guys are a hoot. Joel, you are so handsome, get your head shots/CV together and go to NYC and LA, 3 days in each city, go see! go see! go see! the studios, casting agents, modeling agents etc. Good luck.

  15. 1:10 ooooh I hear a tinge of posh snob Joel LOL!! 😉 you should do a partnered video with other vloggers with different British accents.

    Also noticed, Lia’s nose looks different in this video. Not sure if it’s just angles, makeup or surgery. Lia, did you have rhinoplasty?

  16. I agree cause I lived in London but I noticed too negative things .First you English are very dirty and disorded at home .All Italians are horrified because of that.

  17. The reason that plates are cleared as each person is finished is that generally Americans don’t like to sit at a table with an empty plate in front of them. I’m always happy to finish a drink while my dinner companion finishes their meal if I’m done eating first.

  18. Hilarious that you HATE people taking your plates from the table bc where I’m from, if they don’t get your plates out of the way, it’s considered bad service. To us that means the waiters are paying attention to us and I can’t stand having a bunch of dirty empty plates on the table and maybe no room for dessert or whatever. So funny.

  19. Joel and Lia: Great video and keep up the good work. I've traveled to Mexico a lot, and it's better to ask directions from a stranger by first saying 'Buenos dias' and then 'por favor' (please) can you tell me where (puede decirme donde…) This works in many situations, so thanks for making that point about saying please.

  20. Joel and Lia: I notice you don't use foul language or hateful comments in your vlogs. Very good idea. Many vloggers go out of their way to be hateful. You'll reach a bigger audience and no untoward comments come back to haunt you later.

  21. Now I understand why I and my little family of four was treated with just a smidgen of disdain while standing in line for the London Eye. We made the otherwise tidy queue into more of a glob, if viewed from above, I suppose. An older lady behind us reminded my children in no uncertain terms to wait their turn. I couldn't understand why, at the time. It was obvious they were with us. Now I get it. We'll do better next time. Sorry. I still love London.

  22. I know shops in england where they do the clump thing and it's just a cluster fuck of everyone saying you go first usually.

  23. That would never happen in New York. The subways are so disgusting and crowded that people just dont care about others . MTA workers say when a person dies on the subway ; as the workers/police are taking the body away people will complain about the subway stopping and that they need to get to work.

  24. A queue is not the correct term for a line because a queue means that when you add 1 to the list, the last 1 on the list is kicked off. That isn't what happens. List is correct. We fixed the English language 😉 Also, it is actually rude in America for a waiter or waitress to simply barge in and start removing plates. The polite thing to do, which is what they all do in my experience, is to ASK if you are done with a certain plate or other and then to ask if you can "get it out of [the patron's] way" thus implying that you are simply clearing table space as a courtesy for the patron.

  25. To be honest I hate it when I go to a buffet and when am gone I come back and my plate is gone. Am like "damn it, my plate is gone" and I have to get a new one lol.

  26. I waited tables when I was in school and can tell you that US wait staff will actively get in trouble with management if plates are not cleared when people are done eating. This is because diners expect to not have to look at their dirty plates after they’re done eating. I promise you it isn’t meant to be rude; indeed, it’s meant as quite the opposite.

  27. My math teacher would always tell me I was too polite for always saying please and thank you…. Also, I say I'm sorry way to much… Next time I get chastised for it I'll just tell them I was being British. I knew I didn't belong here!!!

  28. As a foreigner who lives in the UK I'd say if the compliment you receive from a British person extends beyond a sentence, then you should be worried! They definitely mean the opposite!
    Also, apparently there is nothing wrong with blowing your nose in front of everyone! They get to enjoy the music you make with your nose lol
    Ps: tipping is wrong on so many levels! Please dont do it so that they start putting it on your bill! Trust me, its good for the waiter/waitresses too! They'd know exactly how much they'll get paid by the end of the week!

  29. Please, Thank You and I'm sorry are courteous words that hold civilization together. I am from the Northeastern USA and I get the whole wait for the passengers to exit the train as well as the right and left side of an escalator norm. If you punch me or attempt to steal my mobile (as you call them) do expect my courteous demeanor to disappear faster than a pot of coffee at an AA meeting.

  30. Usually wait-staff here in the US will ask, "Do you want me to clear these plates out of your way?" You can simply tell them that you would prefer they not.

  31. "Americans do not really queue". Sorry, but you are wrong. It is part of our culture. You are so wrong. Waiting for an apology!!! Love your videos, however….

  32. MAte i'm from scotland and have lived in the states for seven years texas,they're some of the most polite people i've met and they do queue.So haud yer weesht

  33. Know in the states if someone asks how was your day that triggers my instinct tae say oh i've been down or that they want tae have a convo but no it'z just a greeting apparently

  34. I am from Colombia and I really liked your video. It was actually for a homework but I just subscribed to your channel, so I can keep seeing nice videos like this one. Thanks a lot.

  35. Im from the Pacific Northwest and I always say please and thank you. I hate when others don't, I will say something very rude back if it is not said, for an example if I hold a door for someone and they don't say thank you, I'll say very sarcastic"…and your welcome." Being polite goes a long way.

  36. If you're having dinner in a fine dining restaurant, no plate is removed until everyone is finished. In casual restaurants, the rules are more relaxed.

  37. OMG. People who do not wait for the exiters to exit before getting on/in DRIVE ME CRAZY. We are not fish, spawning up the damn river. It especially annoys me with elevators.

  38. From the US and that is one tradition I wish would become ubiquitous here: waiting until everyone is finished before removing the plates. In the finer restaurants, they do this. In "regular" restaurants, you will notice that the busier they are, the more likely they are to take your plate away before everyone is finished. This is their passive aggressive way of saying "Hurry up, table, we have other paying customers waiting for yours!"

  39. The tube thing goes for elevators too, wait for people to get off first and on sidewalks stay to the side so people can pass. At bars it sucks when people get service out of line. At grocery stores don't block the aisle with your cart and stay to one side. In th USA we usually stay on the right side in aisles and on sidewalks. On the dance floor there is etiquette too which many people don't follow, no drinks, don't cut across the dance floor, no standing around on the dance floor, don't get in the way, stay to the side if you don't know the dance and you're trying to learn, etc.

  40. Hello, I'm from America . Wisconsin to be distinct. I just did an ancestry dna test. So i thought i would have all these different areas in my dna. Most people in America call themselves European mutts . Come to find out I inherited 70% of my dna from the UK. I got it on both sides of my family. I had no idea because my moms dad was adopted. We had no idea what his ancestry was. So anyhow, long story short Im now looking to go on holiday in the UK . Now i know what not to do. Thank you ! I loved your video. Also I personally hate when plates are removed from the tables here as well. They always do it in restaurants. My pet peave by far. Looking forward to watching more of your videos ! Thank you again !

  41. I especially liked this video, it hit on many of the things which annoy me as well. Regarding "the line"or queue, I love the orderliness of it, there's a sense of comfort knowing things will just flow forward as they should. But…here in America, there are (quite often) those who think their time is more valuable than anyone else's, and try to get ahead using any number of strategies. There's the Oh, is there a line? (yeah right), the sidle up pretending you're mates, I've even seen the just tying my shoe. Puh-lease! Just head to the back and let it go. Oh, tangent, now I forgot what else I was going to say. Oh, yes, I used to be a waitress, and wouldn't think of reaching for a plate until it was clear that everyone was truly done eating. Very rude. I wonder if it is more prevalent nowadays because it seems many places are just trying to have people leave as quickly as possible so as to maximize their profits. I won't go back if they pull that, myself. Anyway, I feel that politeness is on the downturn, sadly, but agree that a please and thank you can make a big difference in someone's day. Maybe a smile too. So, just my humble opinion. Thanks for letting me vent. Cheers and thank you for the thought-provoking video. Oh, did I say thank you too many times? Sorry.

  42. OMG, not sure why this came up in my recommended now… but wow! You both look so different and I can totally see your growth! Love you guys.

  43. In America it depends on where you’re from with regards to manners. In the south, everyone is extra polite. In the east or west, not so much. I was taught to use good manners. Manners cost nothing, but will be appreciated, always.

    Thank you !

  44. OMG! I didn't think UK is so similar to Japan! Though the last bit about taking your plate is not a thing in Japan. You two motivated me and my husband to move to the UK!

  45. My husband's dentist is British, is one of the rudest people ever. My sister in law was called stupid to her face.

  46. I always say please and thank you. Someone stepped on my hand at the pool and I SAID sorry. I got paid so little as a waitor (2.83/hour, no lie!) Clearing the dirty dishes is a way to not get behind on tables. Also they usually don't have a bus boy. Besides who wants to look at nasty dirty dishes at their table lol?

  47. American waiters and waitresses take things away because it’s seen as good service here. If you aren’t finished eating then tell that you’re not done nicely.

  48. I am sorry but all the things were preety similar everywhere I have seen. Please tell us more about life of a school student , life of a college student on UK , about the family values and all. Please show so.e outdoors too if possible. Keep doing the great work , best of luck bye

  49. We're looking for a video on British dining ettiquette. But every single video on YouTube is done by Americans! What do they know? They don't measure distance properly and they drive on the wrong side of the road! Mike from NZ)

  50. Americans do wait in order in line. Also, if you come to America, and Someone waits on and plates are taken before everyone is done, tip! That is very rude. You're in somebody else's house. You respect the culture and etiquette of their home.

  51. Except for the plates being taken away, all of the things are good manners here in the states as well…but unfortunately not everyone practices them.

  52. I was raised with these same manners, as were my children. About the waiting to get on the tube until everyone has departed, the same should be said for elevators.
    Also, may I?
    Not, can i?
    Because of course you probably can, but you may not, when asking for permission.
    I could go on….

  53. It must be frustrating to live in a society that is so proper, class-oriented, and says things they don't really mean or want to say.

  54. American here. We definitely enforce lines. France is the country I noticed that jams everyone in a big blob and its a free for all.

  55. The world would be a better place if there was more common courtesy. Thank you for the reminders. Thank you. Thanks, again.

  56. It is interesting to hear your perspective about plate clearing in restaurants! You would rather have a dirty plate in front of you and not have it cleared until the other guest your dining with are done eating to be polite to the others. I can respect that. In the US, servers are taught to clear dirty plates as needed because it's rude to leave a dirty plate in front of them-the idea is to be polite to the guest who finished eating and clear their dirty dish so they are not just sitting their with dirty dishes front of them. It seems both ideas are based on being polite, they are just shown differently! I would hope that if you come to the US you would understand that, and still leave a decent tip. Each country has different forms of etiquette and not tipping because it's not what your used to is what is rude. A server has to tip out a busser, a food runner, and the bar. So when they don't get tipped, they literally have to still give those other people a percentage that is now coming out of their own pockets.

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