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table talk (uncountable)
- (idiomatic) Conversation, especially of an informal or somewhat gossipy nature, among a group seated together for a meal or other social activity.
1874, Edward Payson Roe, chapter 33, in Opening a Chestnut Burr:
[T]hey all came out to supper. . . . She was also pleased to see how Gregory toned up the table-talk and skilfully led it away from disagreeable topics.
1921, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 1, in Indiscretions of Archie:
He ate like a starving Eskimo. . . . The growing boy evidently did not believe in table-talk when he could use his mouth for more practical purposes.
- 1937 Feb. 8, "Music: Stage Dagger," Time:
- Grand Opera mishaps are usually more silly than solemn, and provide people with amusing table talk.
- 1995 April 11, "Inside: p. B3," New York Times (retrieved 18 Sep 2012):
- On the first day of a new statute in New York City to restrict smoking, the table talk in many restaurants was about lighting up.
- 2007 Jan. 5, "It's late, poker's on," The Herald (Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA):
- [E]ven though there are announcers, they largely remain quiet, letting us hear all the table talk that goes on during and in between hands.
- (games) Conversation that illicitly conveys information or suggestions to another player.
2002, Roselyn Teukolsky, How to Play Bridge with Your Spouse and Survive, ->ISBN, page 186:
This then, is my hope: if at least one of us does not talk bridge at the table, the table talk will eventually be lessened.
2002, David Fiore, Darkling I Listen, ->ISBN, page 192:
"Did you see that?" Paula pointed a lit cigarette. "No table-talk!" Alex snarled.
2007, Joan Butman, Table Talk: Food for Thought That's Easy to Swallow!, ->ISBN, page 1:
One of the rules of the game is NO TABLE TALK, which means you don't want to bring moves to other players' attention that might benefit them or prevent them from making a damaging one.