GENERAL RULES ON TABLE ETIQUETTEShare
Refrain from making a noise when eating, or supping from a spoon, and from smacking the lips or breathing heavily while masticating food, as they are marks of ill-breeding. The lips should be kept closed in eating as much as possible.
It is rude and awkward to elevate your elbows and move your arms at the table, so as to incommode those on either side of you.
Whenever one or both hands are unoccupied, they should be kept below the table, and not pushed upon the table and into prominence.
Do not leave the table before the rest of the family or guests, without asking the head, or host, to excuse you, except at a hotel or boarding house.
Tea or coffee should never be poured into a saucer to cool, but sipped from the cup.
If a person wishes to be served with more tea or coffee, he should place his spoon in his saucer. If he has had sufficient, let it remain in the cup.
If by chance anything unpleasant is found in the food, such as a hair in the bread or a fly in the coffee, remove it without remark. Even though your own appetite be spoiled, it is well not to prejudice others.
Always make use of the butter-knife, sugar-spoon and salt-spoon, instead of using your knife, spoon or fingers.
Never, if possible, cough or sneeze at the table.
At home fold your napkin when you are done with it and place it in your ring. If you are visiting, leave your napkin unfolded beside your plate.
Eat neither too fast nor too slow.
Never lean back in your chair, nor sit too near or too far from the table.
Keep your elbows at your side, so that you may not inconvenience your neighbors.
Do not find fault with the food.
The old-fashioned habit of abstaining from taking the last piece upon the plate is no longer observed. It is to be supposed that the vacancy can be supplied, if necessary.
If a plate is handed you at the table, keep it yourself instead of passing it to a neighbor. If a dish is passed to you, serve yourself first, and then pass it on.
The host or hostess should not insist upon guests partaking of particular dishes; nor ask persons more than once, nor put anything on their plates which they have declined. It is ill-bred to urge a person to eat of anything after he has declined.
When sweet corn is served on the ear, the grain should be pared from it upon the plate, instead of being eaten from the cob.
Strive to keep the cloth as clean as possible, and use the edge of the plate or a side dish for potato skins and other refuse. (Read more.)