sit beneath the salt

sit beneath the salt

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 beneath the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to sit rather beneath the salt.
See also: beneath, salt, sit