Aussies aren’t sticklers for good manners, but there are a lot of things to annoy us.
Aussies aren’t sticklers for good manners, but there are a lot of things to annoy us.

UK woman’s list of what Aussies hate

A British woman who has lived in Australia for almost 50 years has published a comprehensive list of all the things that Aussies consider to be bad manners.

Just in case you thought you read that incorrectly, I'll say it again: A British national has taught the world about Australian culture.

Ironic, perhaps - but her list is gold, so give it a chance will ya?

University lecturer Jennifer Donovan, 60, moved to Australia 49 years ago and currently lives in Queensland.

In a lengthy post, uploaded to discussion platform Quora, Dr Donovan listed behaviours she believed would be considered bad manners by the typical Australian.

While Aussies don't have an official etiquette handbook to refer to, many of the behaviours listed by Dr Donovan are woven into our social fabric, and Aussies rarely deviate from them.

She also defended Australians who are constantly labelled as 'bogans' by the rest of the world, claiming "we're not at all like that!"


University lecturer Jennifer Donovan listed Aussie's biggest pet peeves. Picture: Quora
University lecturer Jennifer Donovan listed Aussie's biggest pet peeves. Picture: Quora


She then listed our major pet peeves - from bragging to being on time - and, according to her readers, she absolutely killed it.

For anyone looking to call Australia home, this list is the only Lonely Planet guide you'll ever need.

Nail these simple rules and the keys to the kingdom are yours.



The good doctor said Aussies hate people who boast about themselves - the Brits call this 'skiting'.

Be it your wealth, status or intelligence, bragging is viewed as painfully obnoxious, and is not received well down under.

"It immediately brands you as a tall poppy and there's only one thing to do with them here - chop 'em off at the knees!" she said.



This habit is enough to make any actual Australian's skin crawl.

Dr Donovan reminded the rest of the world not to say 'G'day mate!' in an Australian accent because it's actually very offensive.

"That is really grating to us," she said.

"Just say hello or hi."

And Dr Donovan also warned against people using the 'shrimp on the barbie' adage.

"No 'shrimps' on the barbie, they are prawns. PRAWNS!" she said.


It's a prawn, OK?
It's a prawn, OK?


Unlike our … ahem … vocal American friends, Aussies are big on keeping the volume down in public places.

Except, as Ms Donovan pointed out, if you're at the pub and you're "three sheets to the wind".

"If people start glaring at you, tone it down," she said.



Punching darts is not encouraged in Australia.

So much so, that we have a whole bunch of laws in place to keep smokers far away from us.

Ms Donovan said while smokers aren't exactly social pariahs, most Australians don't want to be around them.

Except, as mentioned above, if you're three sheets to the wind.

"Places where you can legitimately smoke are few and far between," she said.

"Lighting up where you are not supposed to can create quite a bit of hostility. Don't do it!"



Tourist: "Want a dart?" Australia: "Nah, I'm good. You have to be 5m away from me btw."



No one likes a snob, so don't be one, Dr Donovan said.

Showing everyone respect, "no matter what their job" is extremely important to Aussies.

"Food service people, the garbo, street sweepers - they are all treated with respect and generally thanked for their services," she said.

"No talking down, even if you are the CEO of some greedy multinational.

"Without people prepared to do these jobs, the world would be a pretty unpleasant place."

Too right, doctor!

Speaking of respect, Dr Donovan said Aussies hold doors open to "anyone and everyone".

"In a lift, at a shop, getting onto a train, entering a room," she said.

"Of course, particularly for the elderly, those carrying a baby or burdened with packages, but we do it for anyone. we're nice that way."



Aussies generally don't tip.

"It can actually seem bad-mannered to the people you are with if you suddenly flash out your wallet and start leaving tips. If you feel you really have to, in some restaurants you can discreetly add a tip to the bill (some bills have a space for this) but really, it's not needed, and it is not expected.


Show us ya tips! But actually, please don’t …
Show us ya tips! But actually, please don’t …



The unspoken rule of the Aussie commuter.

Dr Donovan warned newcomers that they'll be on the end of a poisonous stink eye if they break this rule.

"Stay left, not only on the roads, but also on footpaths and in corridors," she said.

"And please don't stop dead in a thoroughfare to yak on your phone,

"Even though most Aussies won't say much, you will get poisonous stares."



Australians treasure their personal space, something Dr Donovan suggests may be due to a relatively small population living on a giant island.

"Please don't crowd us or touch us even accidentally if you can avoid it," she said.

Dr Donovan used public transport to illustrate her point, warning that if there are completely empty seats available on a bus or a train, "then don't sit next to someone".

"Don't sit right next to strangers, leave a seat or two," she said.


Aussies need our personal space, so back up, pal.
Aussies need our personal space, so back up, pal.



Litter bugs are the absolute worst, and Aussies aren't afraid to call them out.

Dr Donovan said littering is not only illegal, but "it is an affront".

"If you are eating in a fast food restaurant, clean up after yourself and put your rubbish in the bins provided," she said.

"Try not to drop stuff if you are not prepared to clean it up when you go,

"Definitely, no cigarette butts to be thrown on the ground or tossed out of car windows."

Dr Donovan also reminded the world that Aussies get pretty incensed when people don't dispose of their rubbish in the correct bins.

"Put the right stuff in the right bin. You might get scolded by someone if you are seen not doing this.


Dr Donovan said Aussies hate a litter bug. So don't be one.
Dr Donovan said Aussies hate a litter bug. So don't be one.



Aussies have some pretty well established queue rules, Dr Donovan said.

Not cutting, ever.

"Just ask if this is the end of the line," she said.

Similarly, if you're at the pub, and the bartenders asks for your order, but you know someone got there before you, "it's polite to say 'they were here first'".


Do you agree with Dr Donovan's list? Let us know in the comments below.

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