How Much Do You Know About…Manners?

August 21, 2016
By An unknown French painter. He worked in the 17th. cenury. -, Public Domain,


Manners are defined as the prevailing customs, ways of living, and habits of a people, class, or period, and they have been around since the beginning of time. Some of our manners have derived from strange early customs. In addition, some behaviors that are acceptable in our culture may cause offense in another. In this quiz that follows, test your knowledge about manners!

1. Where in the world is belching thought to be a compliment to the chef and a sign you have enjoyed your meal?

A. China.

B. Russia.

C. Bali.

2. In what country is a tip considered an insult?

A. Tahiti.

B. Japan.

C. Myanmar.

3. In what country is it frowned upon to eat bread as an appetizer before the meal?

A. France.

B. Iceland.

C. Korea.

4. Clinking glasses to celebrate derived from:

A. Making sure that the physical act of clinking glasses meant peace instead of war.

B. Making sure the sound would signify fellowship.

C. Making sure you weren’t trying to poison fellow partygoers since some of the drink would spill into more glasses.

5. Where does the term “God Bless You” derive after a sneeze?

A. During the plague period, when the Pope demanded anyone who sneezed be blessed.

B. In 19th century Russia, to celebrate health, akin to a toast to health.

C. In England, as a protective ritual in the slums where people were prone to illness.

6. Wearing white after Labor Day came from?

A. Greece, where white was historically worn just during the summer. B. India, where white showed adherence to Hindu religion seasonally. C. England, as a way to weed out those who came from old money.

7. Shaking hands started in England for the reason of:

A. Using a special handshake to show allegiance to a particular group. B. Showing that those involved were not armed. C. Signaling a peaceful prelude to breaking bread.

8. Covering your mouth when you yawn came about due to:

A. The fear of germs. B. The fear of evil spirits entering your body. C. The worry that showing your teeth might incite violence.

9. In the past, salad was served as a:

A. First Course. B. Second Course. C. Dessert.


1.  A

In  China, Taiwan, and much of the Far East.belching is considered a compliment to the chef and a sign you have enjoyed your meal.

2. B

Until recently, Japan and Korea considered tipping to be an insult.

3. A.

In France, it is frowned upon to eat bread as an appetizer before the meal. Instead, eat it as an accompaniment to your food or, especially, to the cheese course at the end of the meal. However, France is one of the only places where placing bread directly on the table is de rigueur.

4. C

Clinking glasses was developed as a way to make sure that you weren’t trying to poison your fellow partygoers. People would spill a little of their drink into their neighbors as a show of good faith.

5. A

Saying “God Bless You” dates back to 590 CE when Pope Gregory I demanded that anyone who sneezed be blessed, so that they don’t catch The Plague.

6. C

In the 1800s, In England, taking note of who was wearing white after Labor Day was a way to weed out old money from new money.

7. B

Shaking hands showed others that you were not armed.

8. B.

Covering the mouth when a person yawned came about due to the belief that an evil spirit could enter the body while yawning.

9. B

Salad was always served after the main course, until a tradition was started in California where the salad was served first for hungry restaurant diners. Other countries still serve salad after the main course.