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beneath the salt

In or at a position of low or common standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting beneath the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to be rather beneath the salt.
See also: beneath, salt

marry beneath (oneself)

To marry someone who is of a lower social class or standing than oneself. A: "I hear that Mr. Sullivan plans to marry a local fishmonger's daughter." B: "Why would a man of his esteem marry beneath himself like that?" Janet has a bright future with one of the best law firms in town, so it's beyond me why she's marrying beneath herself with some fast food worker.
See also: beneath, marry

slip beneath the/(someone's) radar

To go unnoticed or undetected (by someone). With so many different amendments to the bill being made, the Democrats were able to slip some healthcare funding beneath the radar. As the manager of this office, it's inexcusable that you allowed embezzlement by an employee to slip beneath your radar.
See also: beneath, radar, slip

fly beneath (the/someone's) radar

To go without being noticed, detected, or addressed. A: "Have you heard this band's latest album?" B: "I didn't even know it was out, it must have flown beneath my radar." Every year, the government promises to do something about the homelessness problem, yet every year it seems to fly beneath the radar.
See also: beneath, fly, radar

beneath (the/someone's) radar

Without being noticed, detected, or addressed. A: "Have you heard this band's latest album?" B: "I didn't even know it was out, it must have flown beneath my radar." Every year, the government promises to do something about the homelessness problem, yet every year it seems to slip beneath the radar again.
See also: beneath, radar

look beneath the surface

To focus on the deeper aspects of something, as opposed to the traits that are most easily identified. When you write your book reports, please look beneath the surface of the text and analyze the author's stylistic choices.
See also: beneath, look, surface

beneath contempt

Abominable. The atrocities committed by this regime are beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

beneath (one's) dignity

Said of an action that one deems inappropriate and thus would not do. Screaming at someone in public is beneath my dignity, but it sounds like not everyone feels the same way.
See also: beneath, dignity

beneath contempt

exceedingly contemptible. What you have done is beneath contempt. Your rude behavior is beneath contempt.
See also: beneath, contempt

beneath one's dignity

too rude or coarse for a polite person to do. That kind of thing is beneath my dignity, and I hope yours as well. I would have thought something like that to be beneath your dignity.
See also: beneath, dignity

beneath someone

too shameful for a polite person to do. That kind of thing is beneath Fred. I'm appalled that he did it. That sort of foul language is beneath you!

*beneath something

under something. (*Typically: be ~; sit ~.) What is that beneath the table? The cat is beneath the piano.

fall beneath something

to drop under something. The thimble fell beneath the sofa. The gift that Bob had purchased for Maggie fell beneath the wheels of a truck.
See also: beneath, fall

feel it beneath (one) (to do something)

to feel that one would be lowering oneself to do something. Tom feels it beneath him to scrub the floor. Ann feels it beneath her to carry her own luggage. I would do it, but I feel it beneath me.
See also: beneath, feel

marry below oneself

 and marry beneath oneself
Fig. to marry someone in a lower social class than oneself. He married beneath himself, but he is happy, and what more is required of a marriage? He did not want to marry beneath himself.
See also: below, marry

pin someone or something beneath (someone, something or an animal)

to trap someone or something beneath someone, an animal, or something. The mine cave-in pinned four miners beneath a beam. I held the alligator's mouth closed and pinned it beneath me.
See also: beneath, pin

marry beneath your station

to marry someone who belongs to a lower social class than you Her father, who felt that she had married beneath her station, refused to speak to her.
See also: beneath, marry, station

fall off/drop off the radar

  also drop beneath the/somebody's radar
to be forgotten or ignored, often because someone's attention is on something more important I was so busy at work, organising a summer holiday just dropped off the radar.
See also: fall, off, radar
References in classic literature ?
At length I found, as it were, a crack in the stone thrice as wide as a man can jump, and in length half a spear's throw, and near this crack stood great stones blackened by fire, and beneath them broken pots and a knife of flint.
They had simply vanished into thin air, for the native he had sent to inspect the ground beneath the open window had just returned to report that there was no sign of a footstep there, and what sort of creatures were they who could have dropped that distance to the soft turf without leaving spoor?
Yes, I will gladly wear your gift, and look upon it as my fairest ornament," the Water-Spirit said; and with the pearls upon her breast, she left the shore, where the child was playing gayly to and fro, and the mother's glad smile shone upon her, till she sank beneath the waves.
The therns fear the awful denizens of this cruel and hopeless world that they have fostered and allowed to grow beneath their feet.
The farther moon lay close to the horizon, casting a dense shadow beneath the cliffs that fringed the water.
Meanwhile, the tower trembled; he shrieked and gnashed his teeth, his red hair rose erect, his breast heaving like a bellows, his eye flashed flames, the monstrous bell neighed, panting, beneath him; and then it was no longer the great bell of Notre- Dame nor Quasimodo: it was a dream, a whirlwind, a tempest, dizziness mounted astride of noise; a spirit clinging to a flying crupper, a strange centaur, half man, half bell; a sort of horrible Astolphus, borne away upon a prodigious hippogriff of living bronze.
From this primitive function has arisen, unquestionably, all the forms and ceremonials of modern church and state, for through all the countless ages, back beyond the uttermost ramparts of a dawning humanity our fierce, hairy forebears danced out the rites of the Dum-Dum to the sound of their earthen drums, beneath the bright light of a tropical moon in the depth of a mighty jungle which stands unchanged today as it stood on that long forgotten night in the dim, unthinkable vistas of the long dead past when our first shaggy ancestor swung from a swaying bough and dropped lightly upon the soft turf of the first meeting place.
Porthos felt the very earth beneath his feet becoming jelly-tremulous.
Silently the dark hull crept beneath the cathedral arches of the dark and silent grove.
The accompanying roar was all but drowned in Perry's scream of fright, and he came near tumbling headlong into the gaping jaws beneath him, so precipitate was his impetuous haste to vacate the dangerous limb.
The noise appeared to be coming from beneath the rug.
For some time Tarzan lay where he had fallen upon the floor of the treasure chamber beneath the ruined walls of Opar.
There are some things than which death is to be preferred; and there came at last to the Englishman the realization that it would be better to die swiftly than to lie in this horrible predicament until his mind broke beneath the strain and he went mad.
Some of them were dozing against the boles of trees, while others roamed about turning over bits of bark from beneath which they transferred the luscious grubs and beetles to their mouths.
Unloosed from their lashing by the constant turning and twisting of the ship and the force of the wind, the boarding and landing tackle had been trailing beneath the keel, a tangled mass of cordage and leather.