Is it Rude to Not Cover Your Mouth When Yawning?

All human beings yawn, some more than others.

The thing about yawning is that you aren’t always expecting it. 

In other words, yawns sometimes sneak up and slip out without warning. 

So, what happens when you yawn without covering your mouth? Is it offensive?

Read on below and find out whether or not it is rude to yawn without covering your mouth!

Is it Rude to Not Cover Your Mouth When Yawning?

Generally speaking, yawning is not rude, but doing so without covering your mouth is. 

No one really wants to see the inside of your mouth, or smell your breath… and, more than likely, you feel the same when others yawn with a wide open mouth.

That said, yawning with an open mouth isn’t always exactly considered rude, because we are human and we can’t help yawning.

Further, sometimes yawns have a way of just popping out before we know what’s happening. 

In these cases, it’s less rude than it is unfortunate to not cover your mouth when yawning.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, not covering your mouth when you yawn rates 7

When people yawn, in general, they cover their mouths if they want to be polite. 

The exception is when the yawn slips out without warning (or you are in the privacy of your own home).

Hence, yawning with your mouth wide open rates high, rudeness-wise.

Why is it Rude?

When you don’t cover your mouth when yawning, you are showing people the inside of your mouth (to various degrees, depending on where they are standing and how you are positioned).

Further, depending on the time of day, and what you’ve had to eat (or drink), you may send out a hot blast of smelly breath when you yawn without covering your mouth.

To some folks, seeing your mouth stretched wide open and quiver while you yawn is flat-out disgusting. 

Other people simply look the other way when someone yawns without covering their mouth.

At any rate, it isn’t polite to yawn with your mouth open while in the presence of others.

Common Questions

Is yawning rude?

Yawning is a bodily human function, there is really no way to avoid it. 

Everyone yawns, with absolutely no exceptions. That’s why it isn’t rude to yawn any more than it’s rude to breathe. 

That said, evening breathing with your mouth open may be considered rude if done too close to someone else (particularly if they can feel or smell your breath). 

Why do people yawn?

Scientists who’ve studied yawning believe that it occurs for a number of reasons. 

The primary reasons people yawn include stress, lack of oxygen, and simply being tired. 

The main times of the day people yawn are early in the morning, and towards evening/night.

Why don’t people cover their mouths when yawning?

Most people indeed cover their mouths when yawning in front of others. However, this is not always the case.

More often than not, the reason someone doesn’t cover their mouth when they are yawning is that they aren’t prepared (they don’t feel the yawn creeping up on them).

Some folks, however, simply don’t think about it or find it rude to yawn with a wide open mouth.