sit below the salt

sit below the salt

old-fashioned To be 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 "below" or "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting below the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to sit rather below the salt.
See also: below, salt, sit

sit below the salt

be of lower social standing or worth.
This expression derives from the former custom of placing a large salt cellar midway down a long dining table at which people were seated in order of rank.
See also: below, salt, sit
References in periodicals archive ?
She never seemed to understand that life is what you make it, whether you are a King's daughter or sit below the salt.