boardinghouse reach

boardinghouse reach

A long, awkward reach across a table (and other people) to take food, rather than asking for it to be passed over. It is considered rude in polite company and thus likened to manners one might find in a boarding house. What have I told you about using that boardinghouse reach at the dinner table? Pardon my boardinghouse reach—I'll try not to spill anything on you!
See also: reach

boardinghouse reach

Reaching across fellow diners for food instead of asking them to pass it. For example, At holiday meals when the whole family is gathered, Dad always scolds at least one child for his boardinghouse reach . This term alludes to the formerly common boardinghouse practice of seating all the residents at one large table and to the rudeness of those who simply reached across others to help themselves. Heard less often today, it is not quite obsolete. [c. 1900]
See also: reach
References in periodicals archive ?
There were the replays of Favre's boardinghouse reach, just thrusting the ball into the corner of the end zone as he fell out of bounds on the run that made it 27-14.