Why is it considered rude to burp in public? It's largely involuntary and better for one's health than holding all that gas in.

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    @ConfusedHuman Questions are not required to be about how to interact with other people. The help center specifically mentions questions about "the written and unwritten - but well-established and expected - rules or conventions of behavior in a specific setting (also called etiquette)." as being on topic here. That being said, the current post is asking 4 different questions, which makes it quite broad.
    – Rainbacon
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:42
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    @Thomas I think it's likely that this question will get closed as being too broad. It would probably be beneficial for you to focus your question on just one of the things you are asking. The most on-topic one would probably be about the etiquette of burping.
    – Rainbacon
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:45
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    This question probably needs a country (or similar) tag, as the etiquette around belching and reactions to it are largely cultural. Jun 7, 2019 at 15:46
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    This question seems on-topic enough, but I think that it's likely unanswerable. "Rudeness" is usually a broad social consensus following an arbitrary distinction. "Because enough people think so to matter" is the proximate answer to this question, but is also useless. And actual provenance of that prevailing opinion seems difficult, if not impossible, to track down and support.
    – Upper_Case
    Jun 7, 2019 at 15:53
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    I cast the last vote, because like Dave rightfully remarks this really needs a culture tag. I'm also curious what prompted this question...
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


Largely cultural and country specific, but I'd say pople tend to dislike it because of the smell it might make, as well as the noise, which can be quite loud. The same is true for farts and cleaning out the nose, at least in Brazil.

Luckily, you have a bit more control when burping than the others, so you can turn your head down and make sure to cover your mouth, so that the smell won't spread too much, and apologize afterwards. I don't burp often, but by doing this I've never met anyone that genuinely reprimanded me and even though it is not your fault and something that arguably you shouldn't need to apologize for, apologizing makes it clear that you didn't mean to do it on purpose.

This is basically what Maralee McKee, an etiquette expert says.

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    I think that this is a reasonable, even likely, guess, but it's totally speculative. If you're aware of any backup from an etiquette manual or expert, particularly older ones, adding references would improve this answer.
    – Upper_Case
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:40
  • Added culture and reference. Jun 7, 2019 at 19:05
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    The second paragraph and reference seem to be about "What is the etiquette for politely burping in public?", which is a helpful aside, but not an answer to the question as currently written.
    – Em C
    Jun 7, 2019 at 20:00

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