Kissing as a greeting in the UK

If you do not like to give or receive kisses then we can’t be friends.  Sorry.  Here in the UK and Europe in general, this is a standard way to greet someone. Cheek kissing is acceptable between parents and children, family members (though not often two adult males), couples, two female friends or a male friend and a female friend. Cheek kissing between two men who are not a couple is unusual but socially acceptable if both men are happy to take part. Cheek kissing is associated with the middle and upper classes, as they are more influenced by French culture. This behaviour was traditionally seen as a French practice.

When I met my English boyfriend (who is now my English husband), we greeted each other in this way.  As you do. BUT there was a HUGE problem. That bloke was the doppleganger of Pierce Brosnon and I thought that all of my Christmases had come at once. I immediately asked Green Tara to quickly come to my rescue.  Given the circumstances, she did the best she could.  I survived, and it ended pretty well.  So, don’t be squeamish when you are next in London Town, because this is how we are gonna greet you.

Cheers Y’all.



  1. Yvonne · December 28, 2014

    I highly approve of the continental manner of greeting. In England, which cheek gets kissed first, right or left? @ kisses, or 3?

    • samdfb1 · December 28, 2014

      Right. 3 kisses if you are in France. Gotta love it!

    • samdfb1 · December 29, 2014

      Yvonne, in NZ don’t they greet one another by touching foreheads? I have seen Prince Charles do that when he has been there. I like it, its really lovely.

  2. Cat (CFIGFY) · January 3, 2015

    I’m born and bred a Brit but I still find the kissing a little awkward! I’m a big hugger myself, so always find the pecks a little impersonal – more so than a nice big bearhug anyway! But my french friend insists on the triple kiss 😉

    • samdfb1 · January 3, 2015

      Hugs are SO much better. That triple kissing gets confusing. Numbers are not my strong point!

  3. Julie · January 3, 2015

    Our Spanish friends always do the 3 kisses thing, and I stick to just 1 normally, 2 if the other person goes for it first! Honestly it’s all a bit of a mindfield! Doesn’t Michael Mackintire do a very funny sketch along these lines?

    • samdfb1 · January 3, 2015

      Major minefield if you ask me! Not sure, but MM is Ha-larious! I will have to check it out on Youtube.

  4. Kourtney · August 8, 2015

    I wish we did this in America!! 🙂 I think that it is an awesome way to greet people. I can’t wait to visit London one day! 🙂

    XO Kourtney

    • samdfb1 · August 8, 2015

      Yes it is awesome way to meet and greet someone. Oh you’ll love London. You should read my ENTIRE blog to get you ready for your trip! Hint hint. 😉 thanks for stopping by!

  5. adrianscrazylife · August 9, 2015

    I did not know that. It seems very un-British for some reason. I don’t see Brits as a kissy-kissy people, but I guess ir’s just something else I didn’t know about y’all.

    • samdfb1 · August 9, 2015

      Oh we are very kissy people-and kissable too. As a Yank, I’ve had to get used to that. Thanks for stopping by.

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