“The 39 steps to being a modern gentleman”

According to Country Life magazine in the UK, a gentleman’s traits include such gems as:

  • Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent
  • Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit and a dinner jacket
  • Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes
  • Breaks a relationship face to face
  • Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time
  • Can undo a bra with one hand
  • Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson
  • Would never own a Chihuahua
  • Can tie his own bow tie
  • Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition

There are many more at the link.  How do you rate?

(Personally, I’ve never owned a pair of lilac socks in my life . . . )



  1. What does it mean to "sing lustily in church"? That's a new one. Surprised (pleasantly) that something like "doesn't own a gun and never will" sissy nonsense was not on the list.

  2. I've had the pleasure to encounter a few gentlemen of that nature. Very few. I find the comment that they can train both a dog and a rose the most telling.
    'Sing lustily in church', in the British context? Means they almost certainly went to a school were choir was mandatory and have essentially memorized the hymnal. (otherwise, Anglican hymns are tricky to sing, leading to mumbling at sub-audible levels) Which means Anglican and of a certain class.

  3. Need to add #40 – knows how to cut with both a knife and with words. And has the precision of a surgeon at each.

    stay safe.

  4. If those suggestions are the definition of a gentleman, than I am a slovenly lout, lol. Lilac socks – giggle snort chortle!

    I always try to be early to appointments,and am courteous to the waiter / waitress. I don't even own a single suit.

  5. I'm 39/39, but I'm not sure that is really a credit to me. Some are not just UK-centric, but UK-rural-centric. My encounters with game-keepers were few and far between in my 10 years living in the "home-counties".
    I probably wouldn't own the bow-ties and dinner-jackets (British for "tux") had I not been a gigging musician.

  6. I score about half, with some ambiguity.
    When to use an emoji: basically never, right?
    No lilac socks: check. Polish my shoes? I don't think FiveFingerses polish worth anything….
    Bow tie: used to. Haven't worn one in many years, and don't remember how they work.
    Early for meetings: like Old NFO, I'm usually more like 15 minutes early. Not a military influence in my case; I'm just neurotic that way. Seems like the rest of the world is usually late, though.
    Is not vegetarian: YES! Off to grill some bits of dead animal now.

  7. Such lists are usually the author describing himself.

    41. Once owned a 76 Rambler Rebel and had to rebuild the engine, as a high school student.

    42. Lettered in Swimming AND Water Polo.

    43. Had a drill sergeant named Green, who was Black and a Drill sergeant named Friend who wasn't one.

    Stuff like that. No real value that anyone else should try to emulate.

  8. Heh.

    Someone tell my mother that lilac (and other funny-colored) socks are NOT stylish on a man… or even a teenage boy. My sons know to dread soft packages from their grandmother.

    But yes, many of these are quite region-specific. (Well, what do you expect from http://www.countrylife.co.uk anyway?)

    Still a better than average example of the "gentleman list".

  9. Not a bad list – got most of 'em, but I've never "trained" a rose (I think in the desert SW that would require more training than I have time for), I certainly don't hang out in any private home that employs household staff, and I think if one tried to tip the gov't officer who would be the US equivalent of a "game-keeper" you'd likely get rousted for an attempted bribe.

  10. 1 Negotiates airports with ease:
    I hate airports
    2 Never lets a door slam in someone’s face:
    I don't let it – I make it.
    3 Can train a dog and a rose:
    Dog yes, rose–well, I guess I could look it up.
    4 Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent:
    Really? Who'da thunk
    5 Knows when not to say anything:
    6 Wears his learning lightly:
    7 Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit and a dinner jacket:
    Or not.
    8 Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes:
    no on the lilac. You polish your hiking boots?
    9 Turns his mobile to silent at dinner:
    Off is even less annoying.
    10 Carries house guests’ luggage to their rooms:
    11 Tips staff in a private house and a gamekeeper in the shooting field:
    Never happened.
    12 Says his name when being introduced:
    When I introduce myself, sure.
    13 Breaks a relationship face to face:
    There's another way?
    14 Is unafraid to speak the truth:
    15 Knows when to clap:
    16 Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time:
    Or more.
    17 Is good with waiters:
    18 Has two tricks to entertain children:
    19 Can undo a bra with one hand:
    Back when that was an available option.
    20 Sings lustily in church:
    21 Is not vegetarian:
    22 Can sail a boat and ride a horse:
    True, but I'm better with boats than horses.
    23 Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson:
    24 Never kisses and tells:
    25 Cooks an omelette to die for:
    Only in my dreams, but I'm working on it.
    26 Can prepare a one match bonfire:
    27 Seeks out his hostess at a party:
    28 Knows when to use an image:
    It's been known to happen.
    29 Would never own a Chihuahua:
    TRUE – really, really true.
    30 Has read Pride and Prejudice:
    31 Can tie his own bow tie:
    Hmm — almost never the first time.
    32 Would not go to Puerto Rico:
    Okay, but why?
    33 Knows the difference between a rook and a crow:
    Never seen a rook (except chess piece.)
    34 Sandals? No. Never:
    Yes, I do.
    35 Wears a rose, not a carnation:
    When I wear a flower.
    36 Swats flies and rescues spiders:
    Files yes, spiders – sometimes.
    37 Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition:
    38 Never blow dries his hair:
    Hair? What hair?
    39 Knows that there is always an exception to a rule:

  11. Heh, number 34 is aimed at Germans since that's more or less a trademark for Germans: wearing sandals with socks (not necessary purple)… 🙂

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