Mores, (pronounced morays) are public morals, usually referring to morals of the times. These are basically standards of personal behavior, usually as expressed by a social group. Mores have been the butt of criticism in literature for centuries, referring to the hypocrisy of societies which preach moral standards but don't practice them. In most cases this criticism has been amply justified. The most famous usage of the term is the Latin expression O tempora! O mores!, meaning 'O the times! O the morals!'
Examples of Mores:
Some of the more notable mores of recent Western history include:
Wearing 'French bloomers' (panties)
Wearing hooped skirts (some of which were so wide women couldn't shake hands with each other.)
All of these denoted sexual promiscuity or immorality to some degree.
A 19th century children's book informs its readers that the dutch are a very industrious race, and that chinese children are very obedient to their parents (implicitly, relative to the british.