Cell phones at the table? Rude! Ed Yourdon|Flickr.

Eating Etiquette

Which unspoken rules do you like people to follow at the table?

If I am sharing a meal with others, I don’t care if they put their elbows on the table. I do it all the time myself.

I do care if they chew with their mouths open, or slurp things unnecessarily. I shouldn’t be able to hear them masticating. And maybe don’t break out that toothpick while I’m still eating.

But a friend of mine freaks if the fork is placed on the wrong side of the plate, and another can’t tolerate a drink being served in the incorrect glass (juice gets a juice glass, not a regular glass).

According to this article from The Savory, it’s rude to smell your food in Tanzania. I agree with the part about Thailand: it is generally the case that people don’t eat directly from their forks. Also, you really must never turn down a Russian who offers you vodka. If you plan on visiting there and possibly meeting new friends, build up your vodka tolerance before your trip. Trust me.

Do you have any dining etiquette pet peeves?


  • Catherine

    Agreed on mouth noises! I don’t want to hear you swallow, chew, burp, snort, or gulp. It is possible to eat with one’s mouth closed and not choke down your food so loudly I can hear it going down. If this is a habit, perhaps take smaller bites.

  • Emma

    As a server, the only thing that bugs me is when people either don’t know where to put their silverware when they’re finished with their plate or they keep it there while they’re still eating! If you don’t know where that magical place is, good luck to you, you tacky slob.

  • Sara8983

    How about nose noises???
    Some blow their nose at the table and it’s like a horn goes off, and those people usually have to blow several times, so they HONK repeatedly!
    The others whose noses are really runny, well, enough said.