The Great British Eye-Roll: Mapping Out the UK's Top Pet Peeves

Getting ‘peeved’ is practically woven into the fabric of UK culture, running through the veins of the nation, and to put it simply - it’s what makes Brits, Brits. Have you ever wondered just how often our British pals find themselves in a full-blown ‘peeved’ state? We decided to find out what well and truly gets under their skin by surveying 2,000 ticked-off UK residents. Get ready for a rollercoaster of quirks, opinions, and the oh-so-British gripes. It turns out there’s one thing that unites the country, and that’s their numero uno pet peeve, let’s unpack it!

Here’s what we found:

  • All countries agreed that ‘bad manners’ was the biggest pet peeve

  • 40 counties in England similarly voted ‘bad manners’ 

  • Out of the UK, England gets peeved the most, at 6.5 times per week

  • Among the counties, Nottinghamshire residents find themselves in a ‘peeved’ state the most often, at 11 times a week!

The UK’s Top Pet Peeves

It turns out that the UK is a land of unity, whilst they were presented with a choice of 20 common peeves, every country gave a unanimous collective eye-roll at ‘bad manners’. It seems misplacing pleasantries and niceties is the one thing that truly gets under their skin, whilst on the flip side, every corner of the UK agrees that the least peeve-worthy scenario is ‘someone using all of the hot water when you’re waiting for the shower’.

The Royal Rumble of Pet Peeves: What Really Grinds the UK’s Gears

Hot on the heels of the bad manners brigade, is none other than those infamous slow walkers-sauntering through life as if time has taken an extended vacation, making it England’s second biggest gripe at 10%. Sliding into the bronze position of our ‘’peeve podium’’ is ‘hygiene’ ringing in at 9.4 - think body odor, coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth, burping/farting in public, and the cherry on top, spitting in public. Need we say more?! A medley that has us all reaching for our metaphorical nose plugs. On the flip side, English folk aren’t as phased by the likes of ‘not putting the toilet seat down’, ‘scraping silverware’, or ‘someone using all of the hot water whilst you’re waiting for the shower’.

Crossing over the channel to Northern Ireland, who found themselves most wound up by ‘eating/drinking etiquette’ at 11.3%. Picture this: loud chewers, the soundtrack of slurping drinks, the art of conveniently partaking in a round of drinks but leaving before it’s their turn, and even the audacity of taking food off your plate without asking. 

The common ground stretches beyond borders, as Northern Ireland equally finds ‘walking etiquette’ to be one of their most annoying peeves, at 10.6%. Dodging disgusting chewers and sidestepping sidewalk strollers seems to be the dance of choice for the folk in Northern Ireland. Although, people talking during the movies or scraping silverware? No bother. 

Any form of bad ‘walking etiquette’ is one way of getting under the skin of a Scot, with 10.2% of Scottish respondents agreeing. Ever experienced that mysterious trailing aroma and then, like a lightbulb moment, you realize the source? Those dreaded dog owners who neglect to clean up after their furry companions caused a collective peeve among 10% surveyed Scots! However, the likes of ‘not putting the toilet seat down’ and ‘scraping silverware’ were all things that these respondents wouldn’t bat an eyelid at.

Welsh participants echoed their disapproval at a resounding 13.6%, declaring that the 2nd ultimate pet peeve is dog owners ghosting their pups’ poop duty. They also shared the annoyance with England that anything hygiene-related was enough to peeve them off, with 11.6% agreeing. A notable mention that gets on the Welsh’s public nerves is the ever-so-charming ‘mansplaining’. 

England’s Top Pet Peeves

County Chronicles: The Top Annoyances Across England

40 counties unanimously agreed that ‘bad manners’ is the ultimate pet peeve. A few rebels however declared some alternative pet peeves to take home the crown as the biggest nuisance. For Cambridge, ‘littering’ stole the spotlight as their biggest bugbear (12.5%). Meanwhile, up in Cumbria, respondents can’t shake off the cloud of ‘negativity’ at 16.7%.

It will probably come as no surprise for anyone who has stepped foot on a London tube during rush hour (or any hour, of that matter!) as Greater London found ‘walking etiquette’ and ‘bad manners’ to be their biggest pet peeve at 12.6% - hardly shocking when you’re navigating a sea of irate commuters every day. Hertfordshire similarly agreed with Greater London with ‘walking etiquette’ getting on their nerves the most (13.5%) whilst Northamptonshire was most annoyed by ‘hygiene’ (15.4%). 

Out of all of the counties surveyed, it turns out it’s Nottingham fellows who get the most peeved at an impressive 11 times a week! Which amounts to at least 1.5 times a day, *note to self…* always remember your manners around Nottinghamshire residents. Following Nottinghamshire is County Durham, at 10 times per week. Finding themselves peeved on average, 1.4 times a day. In third place closely following County Durham, we have Wiltshire at 9.9 times a week. 

Peeved Nations: Revealing the Most Annoyed Nation

We wanted to find out just how often each country finds itself in a state of peeve the most. So drumroll please, it turns out that England is leading the peeve parade, as English respondents find themselves peeved at least 6.5 times per week! Followed not too far behind by Northern Ireland, tallying 5.4 times a week. In third place, is Wales with 5.2 times a week and in the bottom place, and those who are most likely to ‘grin and bear it’ is Scotland, with an average of 5.1 times a week - giving themselves a couple of days off a week peeve-free!


It’s fair to say we’ve all got our fair share of pet peeves - whether they sneak up on us daily, make a weekly appearance, pop by monthly, or you simply find yourself peeved every second of the day - we’re not judging! But if there’s one thing respondents can agree on, it’s that ‘bad manners’ simply won’t tickle their fancy. 


We conducted a Nationwide survey of over 2,000 United Kingdom residents from England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland to establish their biggest pet peeves on a day-to-day basis. We provided respondents with a list of 20 common pet peeves and asked them to select their top 3. Respondents were also asked to select how often they find themselves ‘’peeved’’, which meant we could establish the most annoyed Nation across the 4. We also allowed England-based respondents to select which county they’re from, to provide a deep dive into England’s biggest pet peeves.

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