Do Your Manners Belong More in the North or the South?

By: Tori Highley

Do Your Manners Belong More in the North or the South?
Image: Zoo

About This Quiz

Everyone talks about how different Southern hospitality is from the cold manners of Northern Yankees: but is it all that different? In many ways, yes! A true Southerner would never ignore a neighbor in need of help with their lawn, but they would unwittingly hold back a busy person from keeping their schedule. A Northerner would never stop a stranger in the grocery store to ask about their day, even if it would have brightened their day. That's just how the manners are in these regions of America.

The differences between these manners are rooted in different philosophies of respect. Northerners expect people in need to let others know if they need help; otherwise, they don't want to bother the people around them. Southerners don't see socialization as a bother; they see it as checking up on their community and making sure everyone is doing well. Both philosophies are perfectly polite, and they both speak to people who respect the community around them. 

While both societal rules are rooted in kindness, they present in different ways: we can quickly tell where you are from based on how your politeness comes out. Our charming quiz will place you as a nice Northerner or a sweet Southerner. Take this quiz to see where your manners truly come from!

Would you hold the door open for someone behind you?
If they were close enough to grab it, sure.
I opened it first, so yes!
I might let it close if they are more than a few feet behind me.
Only if I am not in a rush.
Other.

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What is the proper way to excuse yourself from the table?
Stand up and say "I'll be back soon."
Place my napkin on my chair and say "Please excuse me."
Use the old excuse of "I need to take this phone call."
I usually leave without saying anything.
Other.

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Which of these items is most important to always have available on the table?
Salt and pepper.
Butter.
Cloth napkins.
Wine.

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How do you express your appreciation for a quick favor from your mom?
"Thanks!"
"Thank you, ma'am."
"Thank you, mom."
I give her a high five.

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At dinner, how would you ask for biscuits that are just out of reach?
"Pass the biscuits, please."
"Excuse me, would you please pass the biscuits?"
"Could I get the biscuits, please?"
I'll just stand up and grab them.
Other.

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Of the following, how do you take a compliment?
A simple "Thanks!" will do.
I thank them and return the compliment.
Usually with a little self-deprecation.
I tell them how nice they are for saying that.

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Of these dinner table faux-pas, which is the biggest offense to your manners?
Chewing with your mouth open.
Leaving the table before everyone is finished eating.
Having elbows on the table.
Not laughing at my jokes.

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If you open the mailbox and find an invitation, how do you RSVP to the party?
I text the person with my answer.
I reply with the included RSVP directions.
I give my friend a call and ask if they want the RSVP back.
I don't like to RSVP.
Other.

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Of the following, what do you call your best friend's mother?
Mrs. (first name).
Mrs. (last name).
Ma'am.
Momma.

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Of these options, what is the best gift to bring to a wedding?
I'd bring a quality, homemade item for their home.
I'd bring something off the registry with a personal card.
I'd give an all-expenses paid for a weekend away in the next year.
I'd give a check.

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When attending a dinner party, which of these gifts is most appropriate for the host?
A bottle of wine and a box of chocolates.
Homemade cocktail syrups and matching booze.
Locally harvested honey and fresh bread.
A quirky mug with hot cocoa.

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Which of these people truly exemplifies your manners?
President Barack Obama.
Reese Witherspoon.
Ellen DeGeneres.
The Dalai Lama.

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Of these options, how would you tell someone they have something in their teeth?
"Did you have spinach today?"
"Bless your heart, but you have a little issue in your teeth."
"You might want to check a mirror."
"You have a little spinach in your teeth."

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Would you ever regift an unwanted holiday gift?
Absolutely.
Only if it was from a white elephant exchange.
I would donate it to a local thrift store.
I would keep it forever.

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How do you usually get out of a conversation you do not want to have?
I tell someone that I am late for an appointment.
I excuse myself with a tight schedule after making small talk for a few minutes.
I fake an important phone call.
I tell them that I'm not interested in this conversation.
Other.

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Who should pay for the first date?
They should go dutch.
The gentleman should pay.
The person who asked should pay.
No one: just do free things.

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Of the following, what is the best advice you can give to an expectant mother?
Nothing at all. Everyone's experience is different.
Comfort them and tell them that their child's birth will go smoothly.
To take batteries out of kids toys before they play with them.
I offer to babysit.

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Of these options, how do you usually respond to fantastic news?
Quietly and with grace.
Oh, I usually get overwhelmed and start crying, laughing, and screaming.
I'm usually smiling and chatting rapidly about my excitement.
I post about it on social media a lot.

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How do you greet a new acquaintance?
I greet them with a wave.
I greet them with a hearty handshake.
I greet them with a big smile.
I greet them with a half hug.

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From the following, which of these phrases is the rudest?
Whatever.
Bless your heart.
I'm fine.
I don't think any of these are rude.

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Of these options, what do you call the restroom in polite company?
The bathroom is fine.
It gets called the restroom.
It gets called the toilet.
It gets called the lavatory.

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What do you offer guests when they first come into your home?
The WiFi password.
A cool drink.
A tour of the house.
Something else.

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Which situation do you turn your phone off for?
I turn it off when I'm at the movies.
I turn it off when I'm on dates, appointments, meetings, etc.
I turn it off on dinner dates.
I only turn it off if it is on the fritz.

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Do you say hi to strangers on the street?
No, I don't.
Absolutely!
If I'm feeling friendly and made eye contact.
I like to hand out flowers on the street, so yes.

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Do you ask about people's mothers when chatting with acquaintances?
I don't know why I would.
Of course! Everyone I know does too.
Only if I know their mothers really well.
I ask about their children, but not their mothers.

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How do you decline an offered cup of coffee?
"I prefer tea, thank you."
"No thank you, Sir. I just had some."
"No thanks."
"I'm good."

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Would you help someone on the side of the road if their car broke down?
No, it looks like they've already called a tow truck.
Absolutely, I stop for everyone.
It depends on the situation.
I might circle back later to make sure they got things handled.

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Of these quick responses, what do you do if you feel a burp coming on?
I burp and excuse myself afterwards.
Quickly excuse myself to the nearest restroom.
Turn away from the company and apologize.
I let it out!

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If you saw a server with a full tray of drinks trip, which sentence describes how you would respond?
I make sure they are medically okay, and leave them be.
I help them up and start trying to clean up the mess.
I make sure the other servers know to help them and leave a big tip.
I leave the restaurant to simplify their work for today.

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How well do you know your neighbors?
I know that they live next door.
I know the whole street really well, and I send them food and dessert for every occasion.
I go to the block parties during the summer.
I don't actually have neighbors.

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