"Kitchen table "

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Sep 13 18:13:12 UTC 2006

Nearly ten years ago I met a very successful real-estate developer who had enormous disdain for housewives (there must have been thousands of them) who went to law school and emerged to try to keep him from developing fabulous properties.

  He said pointedly, "I call 'em 'kitchen-table lawyers."


Charles Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Charles Doyle
Subject: "Kitchen table "

Saturday I heard someone being interviewed on PBS who repeatedly used the phrase "kitchen table issues." It was new to me--though Google gives several hundred instances of similar "kitchen table" locutions.

The epithet "kitchen table" seems to signify "of concern to ordinary (American?) folks (or maybe families)." I don't know whether the metonomy "kitchen table" invites us to visualize an earnest married couple in leisurely confabulation after supper--or a harried single mom desperately trying to persuade her unruly children to eat their vegetables so they can stay healthy, since they have no health insurance.


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