Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    5,000
    Post Thanks / Like

    at the head of the table/ at the foot.../ on an equality with ???

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to help me by the interpretation of the following expression of an English text?

    "The captain honored us the next night with his presence at dinner, and so did the chief engineer…Now, one at the head of the table and the other at the foot, they sat with equality…."

    I know the meaning of the expression “on an equality with” . But to come back to the subject. What kind of “equality” at a table with a differentiated “head” and”foot”. I am all mixed-up.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: at the head of the table/ at the foot.../ on an equality with ???

    The "head" of the dinner table is usually the place of honor, or the place where the most venerated/respected member of the party sits. In a family situation, usually the father sits at the head of the table, and mother at the "foot," or the opposite end, which subtly indicates that she's "second-in-command." Of course, this is also helpful so they can keep an eye on any unruly children during the meal. ("Johnny, quit kicking your sister under the table." "Susan, eat your peas, don't hide them under the mashed potatoes.")

    On a cruise ship, it is considered to be invited to sit at the captain's table. The captain, of course, would sit at the head of the table. In your example, the guests had two esteemed members of the crew at their table - the chief engineer sat at the foot of the table. Normally, the captain would be at the top of the hierarchy, but apparently in your scenario the two men treated one another as equals. However, it's impossible to tell the exact meaning without seeing the rest of the sentence ("they sat with equality....") It could mean that they treated the passengers as equals.

Similar Threads

  1. wag his head = shake his head
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 17-Apr-2008, 12:13
  2. to wag
    By jctgf in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-Apr-2008, 19:00
  3. Movement of the head
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 16-Mar-2008, 09:15
  4. you can eat the apples on the table
    By Progress in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-May-2007, 18:12
  5. sitting by the table
    By kohyoongliat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Jan-2007, 14:12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •