Omnibus etiquette | The British Newspaper Archive Blog


A Guide to Etiquette on the Omnibus – Published in 1891

Oi! No spitting, no smoking, no swearing, no sitting next to sensitive souls on the last bus home and embarrassing them with coarse, stentorian conversation and awkward, impertinent questions – oh, these famous ‘strong advice’ signs on buses are sweet music to our ears.

We’re BIG fans of etiquette at The British Newspaper Archive. Indeed, we’ve posted several stories about etiquette on the blog over the past few months – just enter ‘etiquette’ into the search engine for the blog to find these articles. So when we found this article on bus etiquette from a newspaper published in 1891, we had to post it on the blog.

So if you’ve ever tut-tutted and tsked and grrred (or even gently remonstrated with) at somebody for displaying an absence of grace and etiquette while travelling on a bus/train/plane, then you’ll enjoy reading this article. And we do love the mysterious byline, ‘By a Mild Reformer’, and the ‘bus abbreviation is so endearing – we often forget that omnibus is the proper term, so we are very fond of that apostrophe in ‘bus.

Oh, and best not to get us started about uncouth behaviour on the last bus home – much missionary work still needs to be done in that most dangerous of areas. Truly, the abundance of bad manners suggests that ‘the country is going to the dogs’! That said, it’s ages since we’ve been to the dogs… hmm, think we might pop down to ‘the dogs’ next week and have a wee flutter…

The Graphic | 13 October 1900


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2 comments On A Guide to Etiquette on the Omnibus – Published in 1891

  • Perhaps a list would be useful these days re. children standing on seats, and being noisy, also adults also using seats for their feet.
    I was struck by the fact that the cigar was regarded as a weed even in those days. At least smoking is banned now on buses.

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