Old-Fashion Manners

No matter when your ancestors grew up, they more than likely were taught what was considered ‘Good Manners.’

You might be surprised at what was considered good manners decades ago.

A long-standing sign of good manners was saying ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. That still holds true today.

Some manners ‘lost’ over time include: A child saying ‘Ma’am’ or ‘Sir’ to an adult. Another was asking permission to be excused from the dining table. Also at the dining table, a child could not push their food with their hands, had to use the silverware. Also never speak with their mouth full of food. Another behavior was for a child never to argue with an adult. Plus a child never would interrupt an adult who was speaking. How a child asked for something was done with ‘May I?’, never ‘Can I?”

Good manners also applied to adults. One not done anymore was for males (including boys) to remove their hat (including a baseball cap) when entering a home, business, building, etc. – going indoors. Hats were taken off also a prayer, if someone was injured or dead or when talking to a police officer. Of course, hats are not worn as much today as they once were. The exception would be baseball caps.

Adults with good manners were expected to give up their seats on a bus or train for a lady or for an older person. If a person was handicapped, for sure the seat was given up.

Whether in the home or at a restaurant, a person with good manners did not put their elbows on the table. Another poor behavior for child or adult was to brag or show off. People were expected to be modest at all times.

Another nearly lost good manner is writing thank you letters. Such letters were to be done by children and adults if someone visited you while you were sick, or you got a card or a gift from someone.

Most are truly old-fashion manners.

Photo: Men removing their hats.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Social Behavior of the 1800s

Traditional Social Manners

Our Ancestors and Social History

< Return To Blog That was my childhood, except sir and ma’am, it was Mr. or Mrs or Miss, and a close family friend might be “Aunt” or “Uncle”. My children now in their 30s or 40s could probably say the same!
Janet 11/03/22

So true. Some good manners never go away.
alice 11/03/22

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