georgie’s rules

While still a youth, George Washington transcribed over 100 Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Click on the link if you want to see them all, otherwise you can read the most amusing ones here

george washington's teeth

When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.


Shew Nothing to your Friend that may affright him


In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet

Put not off your Clothes in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.


Spit not in the Fire, nor Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.

Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs, Roll not the Eyes, lift not one eyebrow higher than the other, wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle.


Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.

Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.

greetings convention participants

In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not Knowing therein.


Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.


Happy Boxing Day!!!

Published in: on December 26, 2009 at 8:21 am  Comments (26)  
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26 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. He must have been wondering around like some kind of humanoid automaton. Or maybe a member of the English royal family.

  2. Oh dear, I’ve got loads to remember now – all those AND the TG’s rules.

    Seems very odd to me that you have warm Christmas’s – lovely piccies yesterday BTW – *hugs* and *smooches* from Blighty!!!!

  3. I love the No Spitting sign, because it portrays exactly how the Chinese do it. Not some flashy 40-yard hork-pitooey for them, but a slight lean forward to let go straight to the ground with a splatter.

    Forgive me if I’ve pointed this out before…

  4. Happy Xmas to you too, darling.

    Kisses from Brazil.


  5. And a rainy St Stephen’s Day it is too. Perfect for Sherlock-ogling at the movies and catching up on the latest ettiquette sensations. Most diverting!

    • did you see sherlock yesterday? I’m going today!

  6. Aiks…too many rules to remember. And i wonder he didn’t suffer from bad headaches as a result of speaking that way!

    Happy Boxing Day!

  7. Georgie really missed out didn’t he..
    Fun post, hope your Christmas was good.

  8. “…bedew no mans face with your Spittle

    i suspect i should hang this one up at work. might keep the overly-excited science types from painting my office with their DNA….

  9. “…Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.”

    so much for my sex life if i followed these rules…

    happy boxing day to you as well… xx

  10. “Wry not the mouth” is going to be a tough one for me. And it smacks of an Abbot and Costello routine.

    Phil Estine

  11. Wherever that no spitting sign is, I think I would get arrested thinking it is a No Cutting off your head and dripping blood on the ground sign.

    • That’s so you Bearman , but you are right that’s what it looks like.

      • Moi, do you have a blog?

  12. Its a good thing my American History teacher was a Greatful Dead Fan, otherwise I might have had to learn this stuff…and it would not have been accompanied by pictures like these!

  13. I’m going straight to Civility in Discourse Hell, I guess. There is probably not a single one of those rules that I have not broken, except the one about not raising one eyebrow higher than the other. That rule, much to my dismay, I am not capable of breaking despite hours and hours of practice before the mirror, I was never able to get the hang of raising one eyebrow. Oh well.

  14. Bedew no mans face with your spittle.

    What if I just slip him the tongue?

  15. Yeah, and then we wonder why us Americans are all uptight, stupid forefathers

  16. See that? No playing doctor.

    Hope you had a great holiday, Nursey.

  17. happy boxing day 2u2 nurse myra!

    haha those are funny “rules.” but i find more often than not, people who make rules only do so to suit themselves. rules are a way to assert power. it’s why i hate rules for the sake of rules.

  18. He must have been a stick in the mud at parties.

  19. Tag Larkin plays by his own rules.

    And I had a lovely Boxing Day.

  20. I would’ve been screwed…

    I’m all about a good tongue lolling.

  21. Ah, words to live by.

  22. An excellent list of rules. I thought number 53 was rather good as well…

    Run not in the Streets, neither go too slowly nor with Mouth open go not Shaking yr Arms kick not the earth with yr feet, go not upon the Toes, nor in a Dancing fashion.

    Sounds like George was a bit of a stick in the mud.

    Happy new year Nurse Myra!

  23. #17: “Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play’d Withal.” sounds like a most modern respect for the space of others I have seen here.

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