boardinghouse reach

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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

boarding house reach

Table manners in which manners were sacrificed for survival. Most cities and towns had boarding or rooming houses, large private dwellings whose owners took in paying guests who usually stayed for relatively long periods of time. Dinners were served family style, with boarders joining the owners. If you were one of a large number of people, the choicest or largest amounts of food might be gone by the time the platters reached where you were sitting. And so, disregarding the good manners that you learned at home, rather than wait your turn or asking politely, you reached across the table—and often across your neighbors—to grab serving platters. That arm extension was known as a “boarding house reach
See also: board, house, reach
References in periodicals archive ?
Gamber's study features a wealth of details about the generally unpleasant work that went into running a boardinghouse, from shopping to cooking to caring for sick boarders, as well as the shifting cultural meaning of domestic labor.
In the last decade at the boardinghouse, Grandma Kate operated a rescue mission for post-Depression homeless people commonly known as bums.
In the same boardinghouse bedroom, 100 years later, Bailey and Michell get about a third of the way into a sexual encounter before they are disabled by cold floods of self-awareness--they sit up, scratching their heads and not looking at each other.
They did this in two primary ways: as keepers of boardinghouses and as proprietors of small establishments such as tearooms.
Another form of lodging was the boardinghouse occupied by single male Chinese labourers who worked in canneries or on the railroad in summer and returned to town when jobless in winter.
He is co-author of "Living on the Boott: Health and Well Being in a Boardinghouse Population," World Archaeology (1989).
Holmes's intellect, wit, and humanity found a perfect medium of expression in the imagined conversations at a Boston boardinghouse on subjects that intrigued him: trees, books, sports, poetry, painting, the human mind, etc.
They are conducted at a boardinghouse breakfast table, and a variety of characters participate; the autocrat does not always get the best of it.
When Old Goriot first moves into her boardinghouse, she considers him as a possible suitor, but after he fails to respond to her coy attentions she makes him an object of gossip and ridicule.
Joe Turner is set in a Pittsburgh boardinghouse in 1911 and so is the earliest of the three plays so far completed in Wilson's projected decade-by-decade history of the black experience in America.
1979) is concerned with loneliness, failure, love, and death in an English boardinghouse.
O'Quinn has bridged the gap between the core retailers like Huntington Surf & Sport, ZJ's Boardinghouse and Sun Diego to high-end retailers like Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom's and world-famous trendsetting specialty boutiques like Lisa Kline and Fred Segal.
The formerly dilapidated two-story brick building has a colourful history as a boardinghouse, a tattoo parlour and, if legend is to be believed, a brothel.
Day, who said he is a friend of several residents of the home, said it is used as a boardinghouse.
IN Sacramento, California, police find a body buried in the lawn of 60-year-old boardinghouse landlady Dorothea Puente.