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19th Century Faux Pas You’d Never Want to Make

at 3:25 pm | By


1800s men drinking wine

Credit: Shutterstock

The 1800s were a wild time for men and women. Mainly men.

Back in the day, there was a lot more to be careful about manners-wise. While in this century, our manners deal with cellphones, texting, and social media, back then many had to concentrate on not offending others by their actions. Did you know it was rude to drink your tea before your host? Or pet a dog without first petting the owner? Big faux pas of the time could get your in a lot of trouble, possibly even sentenced to death. Here’s 47 other faux pas that you’d never want to make in the 19th century.

1. Allow a woman to vote.

2. Be Irish

3. Don’t be racist

4. Being in an interracial marriage

5. Looking at a white woman funny.

6. Free slaves.

7. Forgetting to buckle your hat.

8. Dying of caissons disease in your sisters tenement before you can afford prosthetic legs for your six year old nephew who works in a coke oven.

9. Busting up an old chifforobe.

10. Organizing labor.

11. Housing fewer than 6 Italians to a room.

12. Fraternizing with the steerage passengers.

13. Letting a peasant draw you like a French girl.

14. Choosing alternating current over direct.

15. Buggering a scullery maid.

16. Letting your child laborers off for Christmas.

17. Cantilevering your distaff between your thighs in the anteroom.

18. Giving an orphan a second helping.

19. Taking a 5 minute break in the middle of your 14 hour work day.

20. Being unmarried after 19.

21. Peering into the mirror of a Jew.

22. Refusing advances from your brother, cousin, or father.

23. Straight up being a woman.

24. Being “quite fond of moving pictures.”

25. Removing your trousers to bathe.

26. Exposing your calves.

27. Talking to “a poor.”

28. Being seen in the company of an Italian.

29. Not wearing a tuxedo to dinner.

30. Using under-polished silverware.

31. Leaving your lime salts out when you have gendered company.

32. Sharing monocles.

33. Low tea before third brunch (but only AFTER early supper).

34. Not offering the skin of a freshly hunted rabbit to the first born male.

35. Using the furniture.

36. Sweating.

37. Supporting a child born out of wedlock.

38. Not tarring and feathering your congressman for lack of milk and bread.

39. Not going to Africa to kill a lion.

40. Handless mustaches.

41. If the front wheel of your bicycle isn’t dramatically bigger than the back wheel.

42. Calling steampunk “gay.”

43. If you don’t adequately spit on a gypsy.

44. If you haven’t slept with your sibling at least once.

45. Refusing a match of nude wrestling with your uncle “Like the Greeks once did, old boy!”

46. Reading a novel authored by a Frenchman.

47. Reading.

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