American Table Manners

by Claire Valenty on January 29, 2010

in Table Manners

table american etiquette

Ironically, most of the key factors that were covered in the article on “Table Manners for Kids” can also be applied to the adult world. If you missed out on being taught some of these golden gems when you were growing up, or if you want to brush up on your American Table Manners, you have come to the right place.

* Chew with your mouth closed and don’t talk with your mouth full.
* Give the food to the person next to you to pass the dish around the table; don’t reach across someone else’s plate.
* Use a fork, unless you are eating a finger food.
* Place a napkin on your lap after being seated.
* Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
* Say thank you to the host/server.
* Never insult the food. You can appreciate the time, effort and cost involved with making a meal. Do not insult your host or hostess by commenting negatively on the food. And never, ever do it in a restaurant unless you want your food returned to you with an extra shot of some spit dressing. It is much easier (and hygienic) to simply decide not to go back to that place of business.
* Keep your elbows off the table.
* American table manners states that when you are asked to pass either the salt or pepper, pass both of them together. To help you remember, pretend like the salt and pepper got married and they have to spend all of their time together. Ok, fine – pretend they are newlyweds and have not yet reached the stage where salt is out tending to the garden and pepper is working on something in the garage because they got in a fight about leaving the toilet seat lid up that morning and they want nothing to do with each other right now.

Photo: 123rf/Cathy Yeulet

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