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.
The modernist poet Jess Ornsbo is represented by an absurdist play, Odysseus from Vraa, about a contemporary Odysseus returning to his wife Penelope, who runs a boardinghouse.
The migration of its original residents to other neighbourhoods and the arrival of European immigrants transformed the east end into a mixed single-family and boardinghouse area by the early 1900s.
Among them are Klee Wyck (1941), dealing with the Indians; The House of All Sorts (1944), describing her experiences as a boardinghouse owner and dog breeder in Victoria; Growing Pains (1946), an autobiography; and Pause: A Sketch Book (1953), telling of her stay in an English sanatorium.
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.
Vauquer's boardinghouse. Among them is Father Goriot.
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. A Dream Journey (1976), about a failed painter, is characteristic of Hanley's powerful work, with its spare language and relentless insight into character.
Over time, the structure has been a store, a wagon shop, a boardinghouse a restaurant and tavern.