boardinghouse reach

Idioms & Phrases

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]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: boardinghouse
Next Definition: boardlike
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for boardinghouse reach
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing boardinghouse reach
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature