The kitchen table.
This is a place we gather several times a day to enjoy a meal. Around it, we often have heart-to-heart conversations with our family and friends. And on it, we even battle in strategic board games.
Yes, life just wouldn’t be the same without the kitchen table.
But, did you know that this word (table) is used in many popular idioms today?
In this post, we are going to look at 23 popular table idioms.
23 Table Idioms and Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
1. To Be Off The Table
- Meaning: used to refer to something that is withdrawn from consideration or discussion.
- Use In A Sentence: You already know how I feel about hiring more people on the floor. We just can’t afford it right now. That solution is off the table. We need to find a better solution.
2. To Be On The Table
- Meaning: used to refer to something that is available for consideration or discussion.
- Use In A Sentence: The offer on the table is part of a long term partnership.
3. Box On The Table
- Meaning: to die while on the operating table or to die in surgery.
- Use In A Sentence: The doctor tried the best he could, but Johnny boxed on the table.
4. Coffee Table Book
- Meaning: a large book that contains a lot of pictures. It is often kept on the coffee table in order to start conversations.
- Use In A Sentence: Julie sat down on the couch and immediately reached for the coffee table book.
5. Crumbs From One’s Table
- Meaning: when a person who has a lot of money offers very little or an unsatisfactory amount to those in need.
- Use In A Sentence: His large donation seemed like a lot to others, but in reality, they were just crumbs from his table.
6. To Drink Someone Under The Table
- Meaning: to be able to drink more alcohol than another person.
- Use In A Sentence: Mark doesn’t seem to be much of a drinker. I bet I can drink him under the table.
7. To Get Someone Around The Table
- Meaning: to gather people together for a purpose usually for discussing something important.
- Use In A Sentence: Do you think we could get them around the table? I think if we had a chance to really talk about it, we could come to some sort of agreement.
8. To Lay One’s Cards On The Table
- Meaning: To be very candid with someone or to reveal something that previously was hidden.
- Use In A Sentence: Before we begin, I just want to lay down all the cards on the table and be completely honest with you.
9. To Table Something
- Meaning: to postpone the discussion of something to a later date.
- Use In A Sentence: Both parties couldn’t come to an agreement so we decided to table the idea until our next meeting together.
10. Table Read
- Meaning: when the cast members of a TV show or movie gather around a table to read the script together for the first time.
- Use In A Sentence: The script was so touching that there wasn’t a dry eye after the table read.
11. Table Hop
- Meaning: to constantly be changing tables in a place where you have a designated seat such as a restaurant.
- Use In A Sentence: Jack was so excited to see all of his friends, he spent most of the night table hopping.
12. To Turn The Tables (On Someone)
- Meaning: to reverse a situation in which the person who had a disadvantage now has an advantage over the other.
- Use In A Sentence: At first, we were winning, but then our quarterback got hurt and the opposing team really turned the tables on us.
13. Under The Table
- Meaning: to do something secretly.
- Use In A Sentence: They have been paying her under the table for years, but they finally got caught.
14. To Wait On Tables
- Meaning: to serve food in a restaurant. Waiter or waitress.
- Use In A Sentence: In college, I used to wait on tables, It didn’t pay the best, but it was a job.
15. Table Scrap
- Meaning: food that has been leftover from a meal.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t give him any more table scraps. I don’t want him to get sick again.
16. Round Table
- Meaning: an open discussion.
- Use In A Sentence: I think we need to gather all the parties together and have a round table. That way we can hear everyone’s opinion and hopefully come to a conclusion.
17. To Put Food On The Table
- Meaning: to make enough money to provide food (the basic necessities such as food, water, clothing, and shelter) for one’s family.
- Use In A Sentence: Dad never liked his job, but he always worked hard to put food on the table.
18. To Get One’s Feet Under The Table
- Meaning: to become confident in a new situation.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t worry about it. Today was your first day. I am sure you will feel much better after you’ve gotten your feet under the table.
19. The Tables Are Turned
- Meaning: a major reversal.
- Use In A Sentence: For years I have had to take orders from Jeff, but finally, the tables have turned and now he has to listen to me.
20. To Clear The Table
- Meaning: to remove anything that is on the table after a meal.
- Use In A Sentence: Before we play cards, Susan can you help me clear the table?
21. The Kiddie Table
- Meaning: at a social gathering a kiddie table is where all the children eat their meal.
- Use In A Sentence: I was so happy when Mom said that I no longer had to eat at the kiddie table.
22. To Lay/Set The Table
- Meaning: to prepare the table for a meal. Laying out plates, cups, silverware, napkins, etc.
- Use In A Sentence: Can you set the table before our Rich and Julie get here?
23. Table Talk
- Meaning: conversation enjoyed during a meal.
- Use In A Sentence: In our house, politics are never a topic of table talk. It always ends in a fight.
There you have it, 23 table idioms and phrases. Which one is your favorite?