Didja Know?

Didja Know? #5 It’s time to brush up on your table manners!

ID 46084550 © Seeables | Dreamstime.com
ID 46084550 © Seeables | Dreamstime.com

If you’re planning to dine with anyone from the Victorian Era (or really any civil person today), you might do well to know and practice the following Victorian Era table etiquette:

  • Never allow butter, soup or other food to remain in your whiskers (I wonder if this applies to old ladies or cats, too???)
  • Never wear your gloves at the table unless something is wrong with your hand and it is unfit to be seen
  • When serving others, do not overload their plates, nor give them delicacies they decline
  • Never make a display when removing hair, insects or other disagreeable things from your food. Place such quietly under the edge of your plate.
  • Each attendee must stay for an hour after dinner–it is impolite to hurry.
  • Do not sneeze or cough at the table. It is better to excuse yourself than to sneeze or cough at the table. A sneeze can be prevented by placing the finger firmly on the upper lip.
  • Avoid placing waste matter (potato skins, cherry pits, bones, etc) upon the tablecloth.
  • Making noise while trying to get the last drop of your drink or soup should be avoided!
  • Never open your mouth while chewing.
  • Do not tip your chair backwards.
  • Do not stand up from the table with food still in your mouth.

And finally…

  • Do not explain which foods do and do not agree with you!

There are actually TONS of other rules, some of these are common today and some of them just blew my mind (being required to hold your sneeze–hadn’t they ever heard that could blow your brain out your ears. *grins*).

6 thoughts on “Didja Know? #5 It’s time to brush up on your table manners!”

  1. Rose, you are giving me flashbacks! My Pa taught my sisters & myself Victorian Age table manners why we were kids! Most of those you have mentioned above, though the sneezing wasn’t one of them. No elbows on the table; no scooping peas & corn kernels, they must be pierced by the tines of your fork; always used serviettes & placemats; your soup bowl must be tipped away from you to get the last from the bowl; absolutely NO licking of fingers; & I can eat ice cream with a fork & a spoon to name just a few! I must say that the no chewing with your mouth open is one that has stuck & I find I can’t stand it if someone does actually chew with their mouth open!

    1. I read your comment, I promise. Unfortunately, the part that stuck the most with me is the idea of eating ice cream with a fork! I’d have had a hard time not giggling at the mental image of that (my favorite ice cream is butter pecan so I can just imagine someone eating the ice cream with the spoon and stabbing the pecans…).

      While some of their manners are ridiculous, I have to agree with you on the chewing with an open mouth. That’s a hard one for me to dine with (or excessive smacking).

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