Your Olympic etiquette guide: Walk on the left; when in doubt, queue; if you don't like the weather? Wait five minutes

The London 2012 Olympic clock in Trafalgar Square counts down to one day before the start of the Olympic Games Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Here are some tips for Olympic visitors hoping to get the most out of their experience.

WHEN IN DOUBT, QUEUE

British lines are usually orderly, often elaborate and full of gallows humor.

Be patient and don't try to barge ahead — all attempts at queue-jumping will be met by glares and furious tut-tutting.

Queues at Heathrow Airport Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

DON'T LIKE THE WEATHER? WAIT FIVE MINUTES

Britons have learned to cheerfully accept that all forms of weather are bad news.

It's best to prepare for the worst and treat the weather as a useful conversation-starter — though once on the topic, many Britons find it hard to stop.

Brits love talking about the weather Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

DRIVE ON THE LEFT, STAND ON THE RIGHT

British cars drive on the left. When walking, remember your mother's advice and look both ways before you cross the street.

In London Underground stations, the same rule applies: keep left while moving. This is especially important on escalators — nothing annoys commuters more than tourists blocking their progress.

You will be expected to buy a round of drinks

GET A ROUND IN

Britons take great pride in their sense of fair play. Many visitors will encounter it in pubs, where each member of a group is expected to take a turn buying a round of drinks for everyone.

TIP MODESTLY

American visitors are advised to pare back the amount they tip for services in Britain. In restaurants, it's customary to add 10-15 percent to the bill. In pubs where you order and pay at the bar, tipping is unnecessary.

London's famous cabbies possess a detailed knowledge of the city Credit: Katie Collins/PA Archive

ACCEPT SLIMMED-DOWN PORTIONS

Like tips, restaurant portion sizes are often smaller in Britain than in the United States and some other countries.

AVOID EYE CONTACT

In common with many big-city residents, Londoners scrupulously avoid acknowledging strangers on the street. This is especially true on crowded buses and subways.

Exceptions: Buses, trains and subways full of people who have had a few drinks will often be full of boisterous but generally friendly banter.

Avoid eye-contact on the tube, unless you've had a few drinks Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

ENJOY THE WORDPLAY

North American visitors will quickly learn that many common, everyday items have different names in Britain — fries are chips, a sidewalk is a pavement, pants are trousers and underwear is pants.

"Pants" is also slang for bad, rubbish, lame — just one example of the delight Brits take in coining new words and phrases.

London Mayor Boris Johnson Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

YES, THAT MAN REALLY IS THE MAYOR

Above all, Britons love an eccentric. That may explain the popularity of London Mayor Boris Johnson, a disheveled, bicycle-riding, Latin-spouting figure with a shock of blond hair who was re-elected to a second four-year term in May.

Johnson's behavior at Friday's opening ceremony is one more unpredictable element in an evening of surprises.

Bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 33-1 on the mayor accidentally setting his hair on fire with the Olympic flame.