Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Victoria's Victorian Etiquette

The Belgian Queen whispered to her son who was present, to pour out a glass of water and offer it to the Queen; this being done, it was graciously accepted, the act being, etiquette would not allow her Majesty to pour out a glass of water for her self when a servant was present! — Château d'Eu in Eu, Seine-Maritime, France


The Queen Can Never Go Shopping!


What belle of Chestnut street will envy her Majesty when she knows the fact, that according to royal etiquette, a Queen cannot speak to a tradesman! A late work says: "Victoria has been standing not a yard away from one, addressing all her inquiries to an equerry, who repeated them to a tradesman, and again repeated to her Majesty all his answer.” And the writer gives the additional information that the Queen must die of thirst rather than pour out a glass of water for herself!

“When on a visit to the royal family of France, at Eu, the Queen of Belgium had been told that her Majesty of England took, every morning at ten o'clock, a glass of iced water. Accordingly, on the day after her arrival, a servant duly made his appearance at the appointed hour, bearing on a silver salver, a carafe and two glasses, which he tendered to the sovereign, who declined the refreshments with a wave of her hand. The Belgian Queen seeing this, whispered to her son who was present, to pour out a glass of water and offer it to the Queen; this being done, it was graciously accepted, the act being, etiquette would not allow her Majesty to pour out a glass of water for her self when a servant was present!”


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Etiquette for Invitation Responses

Send a note of congratulation to the bride elect, expressing the hope that she will have every happiness in her married life.


An Etiquette Query...  S. from San Leandro writes, "I just received an invitation to a church wedding out of town, but am not able to attend. Is it proper to write a note of regret, and should it be sent right after, or should I wait until a few days before the wedding? Should I send a letter of congratulation to the bride in addition to sending a present?"


By all means, send a note of regret at inability to be present at the wedding. Also send a note of congratulation to the bride elect, expressing the hope that she will have every happiness in her married life. A wedding present should be sent as soon as possible after notice of the wedding. – San Francisco Call, 1912

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Whisper Etiquette

Whispering in public meetings, changing seats, leaving before the service is ended, are violations of the science of etiquette. 

Whispering Etiquette

We copy the following sensible remarks from the Berlin Messenger: 

"Those young gentlemen in the habit of whispering in church or public meeting must quit it — it won't do. Ladies may be excusable, but gentlemen cannot. Whispering in public meetings, changing seats, leaving before the service is ended, are violations of the science of etiquette. There are no doubt some exceptions, but this is the general rule and should not be violated except in the case of necessity. So let's hear no more whispering in 'meetin'." — New York Times, 1853

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Coffee Etiquette in Japan

“That’s for the sugar... The handle starts on the left so the customer can hold the cup steady with the left hand while stirring in sugar with the right. Once that’s done, the customer turns the handle clockwise, around the top, so the handle is easy to pick up with the right hand. That’s how we taught customers to drink their coffee.” — Japan coffee shop owner, Yasumi Yamabe

Coffee was hardly an everyday drink when Yasumi Yamabe started his career in the early postwar years. “Oh, coffee was still very much a luxury item then,” he confirmed. “A cup would set you back ¥50 when a portion of oden (stewed foods) or oshiruko (sweet red-bean soup) cost only ¥5. Most people weren’t familiar with coffee, so we had to educate them. Almost everyone in those days took their coffee with cream and sugar.”

No one knows exactly when coffee was introduced to Japan, but the first beans were probably brought in by 17th-century Dutch traders for their own use at their trading post at Dejima, near Nagasaki. Contact with foreigners was strictly limited, so if any Japanese were able to sample their coffee, it would have only been the few merchants, translators and prostitutes allowed to visit Dejima. 


The oldest known account of a Japanese drinking coffee was written in 1804, in which a man named Shokusanjin Ota described boarding a foreign ship and being served a drink called “kauhii.” It tasted quite unpleasant, he said, and was made by mixing sugar into water with a powder of roasted beans.

Formal imports of coffee began in 1858, and the first Japanese coffeehouse of record, the Kahiichakan in Tokyo, is said to have opened in 1888. Drinking coffee became fashionable among the intelligentsia and the upper middle class, but remained something of a rarity. 


Imports were halted in 1944, during the war, as coffee was branded both a zeitakuhin (extravagance) and a tekikoku inryō(enemy drink). It wasn’t until after the war, and the liberalization of imports in 1960, that Japan got on its way to becoming a major coffee-drinking nation. Today Japan is the third largest importer of coffee, after the United States and Germany.

At the All Japan Coffee Association, executive director Toyohide Nishino responded to the question of why the spoons are placed where they are when coffee is served in Japan.
 “Very often the inquiry comes from the executive offices of a large company, with the caller saying something like, ‘Our chairman is particular about manners and wants to make sure we’re doing it right.’ But actually there is no single accepted way to serve coffee in Japan.”

Even in the coffee industry, companies serve guests differently. Visitors to UCC (Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd.) headquarters in Kobe get their coffee with the handle on the left, while at Key Coffee, in Tokyo, the handle is on the right.

Some hypothesise​ about the tea ceremony, in which the cup is placed so its front, or decorated side, faces the guest so its beauty may be enjoyed. The guest, in turn, expresses humility by turning the cup before drinking so as not to place one’s lips on the most beautiful part of the vessel. Nishino found the idea interesting, but concurred with Yamabe that having the handle on the left is for convenience when adding sugar. He noted that coffee shops used to offer kakuzatō (sugar cubes), which take more effort to stir into coffee than today’s standard of granulated sugar.

The oldest reference found was in a 1922 book titled “Seiyo-ryori no Tadashii Tabekata” (“The Correct Way to Eat Western Food”). In somewhat archaic language, Kaneko Tezuka, who was a professor at Japan Women’s University, wrote that when coffee is offered after a meal it should be served in small chawan (cups) with the totte (handle) turned to the left and the saji (spoon) placed in front. Unfortunately, Tezuka didn’t offer a reason for this placement, nor did she speak to its origins.

In any case, the orientation of the coffee-cup handle may well become moot as tastes and consumption patterns change. Today, taking coffee burakku (“black,” without milk or sugar) is the most common preference, practiced by 38.3% of Japanese coffee drinkers. In addition, there is a clear shift away from genteel service and toward take-out, with convenience stores grabbing a growing share of the coffee market. Seven-Eleven, which offers self-serve coffee for just ¥100, expects to sell a whopping 700 million cups this fiscal year — and in disposable cups with no handle at all. — From the Japan Times, 2013

Austrian Kitchen Etiquette

One of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties, Sachertorte is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian Franz Sacher in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria.

According to the Motel Mail, every Lady of station in Austria knows how to cook. They do not learn the art at regular cooking clubs or at home, but they go to the house of a Prince, or a rich banker, where there is a famous Chef, and learn from him.

When a Chef engages to cook for any one he reserves the right to receive and instruct as many young ladies as be pleases​. When a banquet is to be given he notifies his pupils, and they come to watch the process, without necessarily knowing the Mistress of the house. At this time it would be a great breach of etiquette for any member of the family to trespass upon the Cook and his department. — Los Angeles Herald, 1881


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Etiquette and Li Hongzhang

Li Hongzhang was the leading Chinese diplomat of the late Qing era and 19th century. The article below describes his meeting Queen Victoria.

She was, in fact, every inch a Queen. Never under any circumstances did she permit any relaxation of the rigid etiquette of the Court, not even to the changing of a feather in the headdress of a Debutante of the highest rank and the bluest of blue blood; not even to the changing of a button on the uniform of the Prince of Wales, her son, and heir to her throne. Her experience of Orientals and their ceremonies saved her from even making the slightest lapsus in dealing with them. 


During Li Hongzhang's tour through Europe, he was received with courteous empressement by the other rulers whose Courts he visited. Each and all made the gross mistake of shaking hands with him and treating him almost as an equal. When the Viceroy was ushered into Victoria's presence chamber she remained seated, wrapped in the Imperial dignity that has awed mightier men than he. The intelligent celestial grasped his position at once. He groveled to the British Empress-Queen as he would have to his master, or the Dowager Empress, and when the interview was over and he had bowed himself out backward, he, deeply impressed, remarked to his entourage: "Her Majesty is the only real Monarch of them all." — Los Angeles Herald, 1901


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Universal Space Etiquette

Long before the International Space Station and American astronauts walked on the moon, on April 9, 1956 NASA unveiled America's first seven astronauts who would later make space-faring history. - Special thanks to eagle-eyed reader Kevin... This photo is actually from 1962.


Scientists Urge Laws to Govern "Universal Man"

ROME —A conference of world scientists called today for a new set of laws to govern the conduct of man if, and when, he conquers the universe. Problems of 'space etiquette' highlighted the second day of the seventh International Astronautics Congress meeting here. 


The main themes were discussed by chief U.S. Delegate Andrew G. Haley, President of the American Rocket Society, and A A. Cocca of Argentina. Haley argued that man may eventually be forced to conquer outer space because the physical resources of the earth are limited. Cocca discussed jurisdictional problems involving the right of possession of territory occupied by space explorers. – Desert Sun, 1956

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Carreño's Manual

    Manuel Antonio Carreño Muñoz was a Venezuelan musician, teacher and diplomat, was well known in the Spanish speaking world, during the 19th century— "Etiquette Book to Be Given Governor : University students today raised a fund to buy Gov. Gen. Robert H. Gore a copy of "Carreño's Manual," written by the 'Spanish Emily Post.' The students held the governor needed a course in Spanish courtesy because he refused to receive a delegation which wanted to protest the appointment of a trustee. Contributions were limited to four cents. The book is used widely in Spanish countries." — United Press, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sept. 30. 1933



In 1853, Manuel Antonio Carreño Muñoz wrote the Manual of Urbanity and Good Manners, for which he received great recognition and fame. This manual had a great repercussion on a global level, to the point that it was approved to be taught in elementary schools in Spain. So this 1853 work was used as a text since the beginning, not only in Spain but in other Spanish-speaking countries as well. 

An important book, it was directed towards children of both sexes in a time where education was almost exclusively for boys and the more powerful social classes. The book elaborates on the moral and religious standards that were so important in the 19th century, that, evidently, had already been lost due to the long period of time that had passed. 

In referring to courtesy and good manners, one has to remember that, even though it may appear an exaggeration, this book exercised an enormous influence in educated Venezuelan society for many generations and even today, some of these standards are easily identifiable to foreigners who have recently arrived to the country, all from a European origin.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Retro Etiquette of the Sexes

 When a man is careless or thoughtless, it is all the more evident. Begin as a boy to observe all the small, sweet courtesies of life.

Social Etiquette:
The Differing Courtesies That Marked Good Breeding in Man and in Woman, from 1891

 "Are girls as well bred as boys?" Yes— and no! says Marion Harland in answering this question in The Weekly. Their training lies along different lines. One thing must always be considered —namely, that a woman's part is in many points of etiquette, passive. It is the man who takes the initiative, and who is made such a prominent figure that all eyes are drawn to him. Have you ever noticed it? Man proposes, woman accepts. Man stands, woman remains seated. Man lifts his hat, woman merely bows. Man acts as escort, woman as the escorted. So when a man is careless or thoughtless, it is all the more evident. For this reason, begin as a boy to observe all the small, sweet courtesies of life.


I often wish there were any one point in which a woman could show her genuine ladyhood as a man displays his gentlehood by the management of his hat—raising it entirely from the head on meeting a woman, lifting it when the lady with whom he is walking bows to an acquaintance, or, when his man companion greets a friend, baring his head on meeting, parting from or kissing mother, sister or wife. These, with other points, such as rising when a woman enters the room and remaining standing until she is seated, giving her the precedence in passing in or out of a door and picking up the handkerchief or glove she lets fall—are sure indices of the gentleman, or by their absence, mark the boor.


But our girl should not think that she can afford to overlook the acts of tactful courtesy which are her duty, as well as her brother's. Her temptation is often to exercise a patronizing toleration toward her elders, aud while she is not actually disrespectful, she still has the air of a very superior young being, holding converse with a person who has the advantage merely in the accident of years. Another of our girl's mistakes is that of imagining that brusqueness and pertness are wit. There is no other error more common with girls from fifteen to eighteen, and they generally choose a boy as the butt of their sarcastic remarks—and, to their shame, be it said, they frequently select a lad who is too courteous to retort in kind. — From "The Weekly" as reported in the Los Angeles Herald, 1891


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Monday, May 22, 2017

"Phone Voice" Etiquette

Though the telephone has become an integral part of our daily lives, many people do not realize that voices are transmitted at a higher pitch over phone lines, than if one was speaking with someone face to face. Business professionals in particular, can benefit from speaking in a lower tone of voice than normal, when on business phone calls, in order for those on the other ends to hear them more clearly. 


Improve Your Phone Voice! 

Despite the fact that the telephone has become so commonplace as to be taken for granted in our daily living, many women have never learned to talk on the instrument. Technically adept at putting their calls through, and well versed in the rules of telephone etiquette, they still create an unfavorable impression upon their listeners because of their voices. Women who claim they don't like to talk on the telephone are usually admitting their discomfort. Their point that the facial expressions observed in personal chats add much to any conversation, is a valid one. Be that as it may, if they plan to use the telephone as a medium of communication, they should accept its limitations and set about correcting their own failings. 

One particularly unfortunate telephone voice is the meek, mild one that makes listeners yell, "What's that?" and "Louder, please." No matter how competent a person you may really be, the person at the other end of the wire is likely to conclude that you are ineffectual and without self-confidence. This is a handicap in both business and social relationships. Equally unattractive is the telephone-shouter who attempts to convey her message by vocal power alone. Not only is such a voice unpleasant to the unfortunate ear at the other end of the line, but it also marks the shouter as being unsure both of herself and of the instrument. - San Bernardino Sun, 1950


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette's First "Etta Kett"

Etta Kett was a five decade comic strip created by Paul Robinson. The original distribution began in Dec. 1925. The strip originally offered tips to teenagers on manners, etiquette and the social graces. By the early 1950's, it had changed its focus from etiquette, to her family, social circle and school life. The wholesome humor helped Etta Kett maintain a readership over 50 years. But there was a newspaper Etta Kett who came first, in 1900, as the article below shows. 






The Force of Habit

"I'll never invite Ryeyun to my house for dinner again." asserted Mrs. Etta Kett after she had exchanged the greeting of the day with Mrs. Soandso. "Is that possible?" queried Mr. Soandso. "I thought Mr. Ryeyun was excellent company at table. At least so I have heard." "You see, it's just this way." continued Mrs. Etta Kett. "I know that Mr. Ryeyun is forced by circumstances to take his meals at a restaurant or chop house, and thinking that a real nice family dinner would taste good to him. I invited him to my house one evening. He accepted the invitation with every manifestation of pleasure, and you may be sure I exercised my best culinary skill to prepare a dinner that would make any man's heart rejoice, let alone a poor unfortunate who must eat regularly at the chop houses." "Well, did he not enjoy it?" "Yes. But do you know. Just as soon as he sat down to the table he wiped off his plate with his napkin, then wiped off his knife, forks and spoons, and then held his glass of water up to the light to see if there were any bugs in it!"— Omaha World-Herald, 1900


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette, Elbows and Emily

One blogger unaware of her 1937 stance, states that Emily Post's position​ evolved on many subjects but,"There was one standard, she refused to relax, which was the importance of chaperones." In Victorian society which she came of age in, "no proper young lady would risk the damage to her reputation that might be incurred by an unchaperoned trip or overnight stay with a young man. Until the end, Emily Post believed that was sage advice."


The fountains of sacred rivers flow upward, everything is turned topsy turvy. This plaint of Euripides is echoed 23 centuries after the Greek dramatist by no less a modern mentor of manners and morals than Emily Post, whose name is synonymous with etiquette. Mrs. Post is nonplussed by the confusion of modern life, by the way in which the younger generation has taken the bit in its teeth. 


But she is not worried as to the basic goodness of her fellow women, she told a New York audience. Instead of deploring the disappearance of the ancient institution of the chaperone, she chuckles over the interesting problems that have resulted; instead of teaching the conventions to her young readers she finds she must adapt the conventions to fit modern behavior. 

Etiquette means something more important in human conduct than choosing the right fork, a lapse of which Mrs. Post herself frequently is guilty since she is both near-sighted and absentminded; she also, let it be whispered so that your children do not hear, puts her elbows on the table at dinner when she feels like it, and says, "it really makes no difference." 


What does make a difference is eternal vigilance to be considerate of the rights of others, and to be kind. At the moment, Mrs. Post is deep in the study of a great problem; Is it correct for a woman to pay all or part of the dinner and entertainment check? She is brooding about this to the exclusion of all others and will write a book about it when she has completely made up her mind. 

In the daytime in the business world, she muses, a man and woman are equals, work as companions, lunch as co-workers. But in the evening matters are changed, the woman becomes a woman again and the man pays and pays. Is that fair, she wonders, when women are earning as much or more than the men who entertain them? Would it not be fairer if he takes her out once and she takes him another time? We await with bated breath her decision on this vital question. – San Bernardino Sun, 1937


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Etiquette for Drinking Maté

 The universal custom of drinking it is by sucking it through bombillas, from maté cups. A bombilla is a tube, which may be of the simplicity of a mere pipe stem, or an elaborately decorated silver, or silver mounted, work of art. 


Paraguay Tea from an Evergreen Shrub...
Introduced in Europe, where its use is increasing

Yerba maté, or Paraguay tea, is the daily household beverage of the masses of Paraguay, and it is consumed to a great extent also in Brazil and Argentina. It has been introduced into, Europe, where its use is increasing, writes Consul Cornelius Ferris Jr. of Asuncion. The tea is the product of a plant belonging to the species ilex of the family of ilkacase
, related to the ilex aquifolium, an evergreen shrub or small tree well known in western Europe. The leaves of this plant are carefully toasted near the place where they are gathered, all the skill required in producing the tea being applied in the process of toasting. This is necessary in order to dry the leaves thoroughly and evenly, without scorching or affecting their flavor by smoke.

After toasting, the leaves are sent to the mill, where they are ground to fine powder and packed solidly into bags for market. There is no sorting, grading, cleanin, nor are any means taken to rid the product of impurities or foreign matter. The tea is prepared for drinking in the same manner as ordinary tea, and may be taken with sugar, cream, lemon or brandy. The universal custom of drinking it is by sucking it through bombillas, from maté cups. A bombilla is a tube, which may be of the simplicity of a mere pipe stem, or an elaborately decorated silver, or silver mounted, work of art. 

Maté cups vary in style from a simple little gourd, to interesting specimens of local craftsmanship in silver. It is the custom to use a single maté cup, with its one bombilla, for an entire household, including all the visitors who may happen to be present, among whom it is passed, like a pipe of peace. To refuse to partake would be a breach of etiquette. The tea is said to be disagreeable at first, but it is readily adopted as a habit when the taste is once acquired. — San Francisco Call, 1910

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Argentinian Dining Etiquette

"They declared with some warmth to the cook, that the foreigners did not know how to eat. I apologized as well as I could, and endeavored thereafter to eat according to gaucho etiquette."

Table Manners in Argentina 

"We encamped near a swamp," says a gentleman, describing a meal he had with some cart drivers in South America, "and supped on sliced pumpkin boiled with bites​ of meat and seasoned with salt. The meal was served in genuine pampas fashion. One iron spoon and two cow's horns split in halves were passed around the group, the members of which squatted upon their haunches and freely helped themselves from the kettle. 

Even in this most uncivilized form of satisfying hunger there is a peculiar etiquette which the most lowly person invariably observes. Each member of the company in turn dips his spoon, or horn, into the center of the stew and draws it in a direct line toward him, never allowing it to deviate to the right or left. By observing this rule, each person eats without interfering with his neighbor. 

Being ignorant of this custom, I dipped my horn into the mess at random and fished about for some of the nice bits. My companions regarded this horrid breach of politeness with scowls of impatience. They declared with some warmth to the cook, that the foreigners did not know how to eat. I apologized as well as I could, and endeavored thereafter to eat according to gaucho etiquette." —New York World, 1894


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia © Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, May 19, 2017

Dinner Seating Etiquette, 1895

Dinner tables of society hostesses, in the latter part of the Victorian Era, featured unique and ornate silver patterns. The more silver laid on a dining table, the better. Silver reflected candlelight, illuminating dining rooms that were not yet fitted with electric lights.

A New Dinner Table Fashion!

The new heraldry, or rather etiquette, for large public dinners, annual​ dinners and the like—to which more and more​ frequently ladies are invited—places the wife at the table by her husband's side. She has for some years sat side by side with bim on the box seat when he drives his four-in-hand, and now it is the recognized thing, even in London,where innovations come slowly, to have this arrangement at dinner. 


"It seems very odd," writes an English woman, describing the annual dinner of the Newsvendors Benevolent and Provident Institution at the Grand Hotel, "very odd to go down with Richard, this being one of the particulars in which the public banquet differs from the private dinner. Opposite us were a husband and wife, to the left of us another couple, and a little further off another married pair. None of us quarreled with each other. 

Richard talked to his friend, who occasionally threw me a crumb of the conversation, and I made friends with my other neighbor, admired the lovely tulips on the table and made energetic efforts to see what Lady E_____ looked like. She sat beside the chairman, her husband, her father, the Earl of Arran, supporting her on the right. So you see it was intensely British​, a family arrangement of the most pronounced kind." 

The first time that such an arrangement was tried in Philadelphia was at the dinner given to Dr. James Mac Allister by Mr. Edward T. Steel and a number of other friends. There, husbands sat by their wives, and the novelty and ease of this arrangement was very much enjoyed. Since then the arrangement has become quite a general one for public functions, when other placing of the body of guests would be awkward or impossible. — Philadelphia Public Ledger, 1895

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, May 18, 2017

1930's Smoking Etiquette

If people you care very little about are the smokers, the solution is simple enough, since you need not continue inviting them to your house. — Emily Post

Dear Mrs. Post:
How can I be courteous about letting visitors in my house know that I do not like cigarette smoke? Any one using strong perfume is supposed to be showing very bad taste, and yet cigarette smoke smells equally strong, to say nothing of smoke-drenched clothes worn by the inveterate smokers. When I have to spend a day or evening with smokers, I am completely seasick.


Answer: If people you care very little about are the smokers, the solution is simple enough since you need not continue inviting them to your house. If, however, all the people you like best smoke, you will, I am afraid, have to accustom yourself to smoke or resign yourself to loneliness. On the other hand, I think it only fair to mention that your friends should in their turn, show reasonable consideration for you. Every smoker should realize that smoking at a dining table, which has not been furnished with ash trays and cigarettes, is a breach of etiquette. After the meal, of course, the question of courtesy goes into reverse and those who dislike smoke are unhappily for themselves expected to tolerate it. One thing that might help you if you have not already discovered it, is to remove the dead ends constantly from the ash trays or better still, get especial ash receivers with water compartments beneath trap tops which prevent that stale smell which is more than likely the cause of your feeling of seasickness. – San Bernardino Sun, 1939




Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Meishi Etiquette in Japan

The exchange of meishi offers you an opportunity to make an impression on your counterpart.

Exchanging Business Cards in Japan

It’s important to exchange business cards correctly in Japan. In addition to the simple exchange of contact information, participants are often trying to glean as much information as they can about their interlocutor and that person’s company.

Takashi Nakano, whose company Soul Products advises business clients on business cards, says that the exchange of meishi offers you an opportunity to make an impression on your counterpart.

Here’s a list of basic rules that Nakano follows when exchanging a business card:

(a) offer your card with two hands;

(b) receive your counterpart’s card with two hands;

(c) ensure the card is turned towards the receiver; ensure no names or logos are covered up when you offer your card;

(d) if the person you are exchanging cards with outranks you in terms of seniority, you should offer your business card first;

(e) if the person you are exchanging cards with outranks you in terms of seniority, you should offer it at a lower level than the other person;

(f) after receiving a business card, you should read over the contents and either place it facing upright on top of your cardholder on the table or, if standing, place it on your cardholder in your left hand until the other person has moved on.

“You need to look at what’s written on a business card very carefully and ask questions, if you can, in order to show that you are interested in that person,” Nakano says. “And don’t talk about yourself the whole time.” — Japan Times, 2017


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Mega-Yacht Etiquette

From a guest column by Irena Medavoy for The Hollywood Reporter - Irena Medavoy, a Cannes fest regular with producer husband Mike, shares the secret of life aboard the world's most lux (and largest - but really, size doesn't matter) boats.


1. Never Invite Yourself - or Anyone Else 

Boat people are casting a movie — they know who they want on board. After all, cruising waters 24 hours a day, you'd better enjoy the people. Tight quarters make for tighter relationships. And if it doesn't work, you won't be back. On my very first boat trip, there was an Oscar-winning actor who brought his friends - Mike and I went to the side and said to each other, "Oh my God, how could you?" Luckily there was an extra cabin. There are no rules for A-list stars. What's amazing is they turn out to be the most gracious, kind and generous — and grateful.


2. Go with the Flow

Your hosts are the captains of your stay — where you go, what you eat and what you do — so you need to follow the program. Some want to go to Capri and disco and eat at the best restaurants, like Fontanel, which you can only get to by boat. Others want to see nature —places like the Porquerolles in France, where you can swim on deserted beaches and eat lunch served by a crew more beautiful than anyone in Sports Illustrated.


3. Bring Something to the Party — and oh,    Behave

Tell stories, be present and suggest interesting people they might like to meet on land. Jet ski, swim, explore, snooze, dance. Be yourself... Just a better-mannered self. I once saw a major singer get his laptop ruined by a drunk club-goer coming to visit the boat and hitting on him. You do not want to walk the plank and be escorted off by security in your black-tie dress and heels.


4. Tip the Crew 

The right amount for you and your family is about $10,000 for a week. You take care of everybody who took care of you. (And by the way, don't take the masseuse or the manicurist away from the owner's time.)


5. Know the Social Media Policy 

The most beautiful boats I have been on, I'll never talk about - the owners are that private. So you don't post it. You don't write about it. And you never say the name of the yacht or your hosts. 


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site
Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Facial Hair Etiquette

Simion Grahame was a Scottish-born writer and courtier to James VI. He urged gentlemen to keep their beards and moustaches clean, well trimmed and tightly curled.

Simion Grahame (1570-1614) was a Scottish-born writer and courtier to James VI. One of his better known works was Anatomie of Humors, in 1609. Much of this work dwells on human emotions, melancholy, in particular, something to which Grahame himself seemed familiar. 


Interspersed with advice on conduct, manners and how to forge and maintain good relationships with others. In one chapter Grahame urged gentlemen to keep their beards and moustaches clean, well trimmed and tightly curled. — “…A man is to be commended if he be [clean] in his linings, his hair well dressed, his beard well brushed and always his upper lip well curled… For if he chance to kiss a gentlewoman, some rebellious hairs may happen to startle in her nose and make her sneeze…”


Those who did not attend to their facial hair, wrote Grahame, were slobs, not fit to socialize with:. —“[These] snotty nosed gentlemen, with their drooping moustaches covering their mouth and becoming a harbour for meldrops [mucus]… He will drink with anybody whatsoever, and after he hath washed his filthy beard in the cup… he will suck the hair so heartily with his under lip.” — Simion Grahame, The Anatomie of Humors, Edinburgh


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, May 6, 2017

England's "Lady Kissing" Etiquette

A 17th C. Kiss on the hand —"Being unaware of the fact that it was customary in England to kiss the corner of the mouth of ladies by way of salutation, instead of shaking hands, as we do in Hungary, my younger brother and I behaved very rudely on one occasion..."

Kissing the Ladies

Nicolaus de Bethlen, a pupil of Doctor Basire at Alba Julia, visited England during the winter of 1663-1664 and relates the following in his "Autobiography": "Being unaware of the fact that it was customary in England to kiss the corner of the mouth of ladies by way of salutation, instead of shaking hands, as we do in Hungary, my younger brother and I behaved very rudely on one occasion. We were invited to dinner to the house of a gentleman of high rank, and found his wife and three daughters, one of them married, standing in array to receive us. We kissed the girls, but not the married ladies, and thereby greatly offended the latter, but Duval, a French Protestant clergyman, apologized for our blunder, and explained to us that when saluting, we must always kiss the senior lady first and leave the girls and children to the last; after dinner it was considered sufficient to kiss the hostess only, in recognition of the hospitality received. "Thereafter​," he adds, he and all his traveling companions, with the exception of one who could not be prevailed upon, "complied most scrupulously with the rules of etiquette." — Marin Journal, 1889


Etiquette Enthusiast Maura J Graber is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Black Forest Table Etiquette

The Black Forest, or "Schwarzwald," as it is called in German, is not precisely a land unknown to American tourists, though it is not so well known as it deserves. Pedestrians find it a kind of paradise in good weather. No part of Europe is better situated for excursions.

European Letter —

One of the best centres in the Black Forest is Frieberg, where there is an excellent hotel—the "Schwarzwald," — in an excellent situation. From this point the tourist can branch out in all directions. It has a railway station, and the line of the railway from Frieberg to Hausach is one of the most remarkable pieces of engineering in Europe, and quite as remarkable as the Semmering between Vienna and Gratz. Frieberg is famous for clocks and watches; and it is to be remarked that over one of the largest clock-making establishments in the village there is a large clock which has no hands, and that, almost without exception, every clock to be seen in the hotels or other places is either stopped altogether, or is entirely wrong as to the time.

The etiquette of German bathing places is very peculiar. In one of them the following is written in French on the bedroom doors; "Those persons recently arrived will place themselves at the foot of the table. A bather desiring to have a visiting friend near him at the table, may be accorded this privilege for one repast only. Such favors as selecting a place of his own choice, passing immediately to the head of the table, or of sitting opposite whom one pleases, will not be accorded for the reason that they would result in the juxtaposition of persons not agreeable to one another." 

The advancement to the head of the table is not coveted merely as a matter of distinction; for it includes the appreciable advantage of a first presentation of dishes at dinner and supper; and the difference of a plate as it comes from the chef, and the same plate when it has passed a file of hungry Germans, male and female, after their kind, is very marked. But the final right to sit opposite whom one pleases has possibly a more romantic signification, and may be intended as a check on the too ardent gallantry of susceptible youths who want to sit opposite the prettiest girls. – From C. A. S. in The Marin Journal, 1878

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette, Modesty and Dress

Oh, the irony! She wears a bathing dress that shows her limbs half way up to the knee, and doesn't care who sees them; but in the evening, when at home, if her dress should expose the least bit of a striped stocking to the gaze of her most intimate friends, she would clutch it frantically and drag it down quicker than chain-lightening.


The Absence of Etiquette in the Water

It is astonishing to see how much a young lady becomes attached to a gentleman while in the water, who she would barely recognize on the street the day before. We have seen such a one clasp a young man lovingly around the neck, just because a roller, a little larger than usual came along, and he had considerable difficulty in releasing himself before he was choked to death. 

The same young lady wears a bathing dress that shows her limbs half way up to the knee, and doesn't care who sees them; but in the evening, when at home, if her dress should expose the least bit of a striped stocking to the gaze of her most intimate friends, she would clutch it frantically and drag it down quicker than chain-lightening, while her face would become suffused with blushes. It makes a power of difference where we are, and what we're doing. (We presume that the same lady would blush to look upon Antony and Cleopatra.) – California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences, 1877

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the
Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Etiquette and a Grecian Bend

The Grecian Bend... it is the latest "thing" in polite accomplishments. Not to know the Grecian Bend at Saratoga and Newport this season is to "vote yourself out of refined society." 



Letter from New York


[From Our Special Correspondent] 

New York, August 15th

As I have not yet learned the "Grecian Bend," I have declined a visit to the watering places. Your fashionable readers, of course, know what the Grecian Bend is. But your more fashionable folk may require to be told that it is the latest "thing" in polite accomplishments. Not to know the Grecian Bend at Saratoga and Newport this season is to "vote yourself out of refined society."

When first your correspondent heard of the Grecian Bend, in the innocency of his heart and the antiquity of his ideas, he thought it referred to archery practice, including the drawing of the long bow by the newspaper correspondents at these watering places. Then it occurred to him that it might mean that graceful action by which a man in tight-fitting habiliments gets at his pocket book — a gentle stoop to prepare the pocket for the insertion of the digitals. As this is the most frequent action at our watering places, it seemed proper that it should possess a studied grace. But this is not the Grecian Bend.

Not to keep your readers longer in suspense, here is what the newest accomplishment of our belles and beaux really is. You must know in the first place that the very extreme of the present Paris toilette prevails at Saratoga, Newport and the other fashionable summer resorts this season. The most striking costumes are the chignon, worn on the top of the head, from which two long switches of loose hair depend, hanging from each side of the center down the back. The "pannier" is worn at the top of the hoop, and around and upon it are gathered five or six yards ot material, forming what is called the "blancbisseuse," or "washwoman's" style. A band encircles the wearer's hips, just below this monstrous hump, and the dress below falls straight to the feet. To relieve this straightness and give effect to the hump aforesaid, the belles assumed what is called the Grecian Bend.

This is performed, says a fashion critic, "by pulling the lower hips up to a point, even with the lower ribs, drawing the stomach in and throwing the shoulders forward, with the hands dropping pendent from the upraised elbows, like the paws of a dancing bear, or, to use a politer simile, like the shaking​ quakers in a dance." 


"When the whole affair is carried out in a dance," says a correspondent, "by a gay and luxuriant youth, with his hair parted in the middle, placing his right arm under the belt of the lady, with fingers extended as in a spasm between the shoulder-blades, while with the thumb and second finger of the other hand he holds her wrist, leaving the hand to hang lifelessly pendent, we have an exhibition of snobbishness and cockneyism which might put all sensible Americans to the blush." – August, 1868

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia