I have this great book called Etiquette for Young Moderns from 1954. It’s exactly what you would expect from a 1950s etiquette book for teens. And it starts out with how to make introductions.
The rules for introductions, according to this book, are pretty simple:
- You introduce men and boys to women and girls
- You introduce younger people to older people
This means that you say the name of the “socially superior” person first. Their charming examples:
Right: Mother, this is Chad Bowles.
Wrong: Chad, I’d like you to meet my mother.
Right: Mr. Walser, this is my kid brother, Bill.
Wrong: Bill, meet Mr. Walser, principal of Jefferson High.
They also list out acceptable and unacceptable phrases to use during an introduction.
- I’d like to introduce
- I’d like you to meet
- This is…
- Mostly this has to do with “giving orders” like, “meet” and “shake hands with”
- May I present is considered too formal for most introductions
When you are introduced to someone, you simply acknowledge it with a “how do you do” or “hello,” but don’t use frilly phrases like “charmed.”
Men and boys must always shake hands when introduced to each other, but when a man is introduced to a woman, it is up to her to extend her hand first!
These rules are very similar to all the rules you will find in older etiquette books such as Emily Post. Like I said before though, I’m just happy if someone introduces people at all, without having to remember who is introduced to whom.