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AIBU - cutlery etiquette

(57 Posts)
FantaIsFine Sat 31-Dec-16 01:35:48


Self-acknowledged total snob so I have MANY things on which people may differ but.

I keep trying to ignore this, but it makes me wince every time I see it. Someone I love dearly and grew up with, licks eating knives mid meal. Is it me? What can I say, if anything?


MommaGee Sat 31-Dec-16 01:37:02

Nothing, just eat your own meal

MissMatchedSocks Sat 31-Dec-16 01:39:47

I lick cutlery and very rarely bother with using a knife at all, it's my meal that I'm eating and it doesn't affect anybody else so I'd be very confused if anybody felt the need to say anything to me about it. Continue ignoring it.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 31-Dec-16 01:40:11

The very best etiquette is to make people feel at ease. So don't say anything.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 01:41:09

Are they your child?

If so then straight to the confessional for flagellation. grin

DoomGloomAndKaboom Sat 31-Dec-16 01:41:38

I would shriek with horror and call the my head.

Outwardly I would avert my eyes and very Britishly not know whether to seethe, judge or call for the smelling salts.

Also I would make sure the only meals I shared with this person again, would be sandwiches. grin

CaraAspen Sat 31-Dec-16 01:42:40

The politest thing to do would be to lick your own cutlery in a similar manner.

FantaIsFine Sat 31-Dec-16 01:44:54

Thanks and esp MrsTP for reminding me of the best way to think about anything similar! You're quite right, doesn't stop these things making you cringe, but you're bang on the money

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 01:47:31

cara that is undeniably true. Strange, but true.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 31-Dec-16 01:49:46

Now if only I could stop myself wanting to kill my family member for his clicking jaw while he eats... grin

TrustySnail Sat 31-Dec-16 01:51:19

It would be rude to make the person feel uncomfortable by 'correcting' them in an obvious way, especially in front of others.

If you're sufficiently close to the person, I would suggest speaking to him/her on a separate occasion, and just saying casually that you find it a bit off-putting when you see it, you're sorry if you sound fussy etc. If that's not feasible, I think you'll just have to avert your eyes and bear it.

Manumission Sat 31-Dec-16 01:57:21

When you started with the "I know I'm a snob" but I thought this would be an archaic point about fish knives and spacing. But knife licking?!? Eurgh that's not even a question of etiquette, it's decency. Kill them.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 02:05:14

If someone licked their knife in front of the Queen what would she do? wink

A) have them beheaded with the same knife
B) ignore
C) spear the half hog she was eating, chew a wedge off then sling the rest behind her and call for wine

I blame the parents grin

DoomGloomAndKaboom Sat 31-Dec-16 02:10:41

D) immediately rearrange the seating such that they were now between Prince Philip and a very smelly old corgi

Marcipex Sat 31-Dec-16 02:10:46

I believe MrsTerryPratchett is correct.

RichardBucket Sat 31-Dec-16 02:13:04

If you're sufficiently close to the person, I would suggest speaking to him/her on a separate occasion, and just saying casually that you find it a bit off-putting when you see it, you're sorry if you sound fussy etc.

How is it good etiquette to put your feelings of "a bit off putting" above somebody's feelings of hurt and embarrassment?

Leave it and concentrate on your own manners.

BlueFolly Sat 31-Dec-16 02:13:28


But then I have no manners.

CommunionHelp Sat 31-Dec-16 02:17:55

Why do people lick knives?! I totally agree that you don't pull guests up about however they choose to eat (within reason) but I can't remember seeing anyone licking a knife!

Is it one of those things that everyone's doing and I've just never seen it before?

PerspicaciaTick Sat 31-Dec-16 02:18:39

Teach them the rhyme "I eat my peas with honey, I've done it all my life. It makes the peas taste funny but it keeps them on the knife".

CauliflowerSqueeze Sat 31-Dec-16 02:19:48

I have a friend who does this in restaurants. She also runs her finger round the plate to get any gravy or juice etc and slurps it noisily off her fingers, loudly smacking each finger as she does so. Sometimes she (barely) conceals a loud burp. She takes mouthfuls of food which are massively too big and ends up dropping them down herself. If I leave food on my plate I can't manage she will often ask to swap plates or ask to have my spare potatoes etc.

Genuinely I find it really embarrassing and disgusting. But she's a good friend and I don't mention it, although sometimes I move serving dishes away for the waiter to collect as otherwise she starts hoovering these up too. She does sometimes refer to being a bit of a messy eater who loves her food and I think must consider it a bit of an amusing foible. I do struggle to ignore it all. She doesn't have SN or anything.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 02:19:51

Never yick a yeak yife.

Baylisiana Sat 31-Dec-16 02:23:59

It's very bad because they could cut their tongue.

Italiangreyhound Sat 31-Dec-16 02:25:30

They may cut their tongue! Ask them their blood group and put the local hospital on speed dial!

You cannot really tell a friend what to do, or a parent! If the person is a child, you can, and if it is a partner or potential partner, you could say how off putting it looks.

Missmatchedsocks "... it doesn't affect anybody else ..." actually other people's table manners can affect people. Some things can be very off putting to others at the table.

Agree with TrustySnail. And it does make a difference if it is a friend you rarely eat with or a family member you need to endure meals with.

FastWindow Sat 31-Dec-16 02:26:06

Back to what I said about blaming the parents. In this case I really do- if you haven't been brought up with any table manners, your adult friends are hardly likely to be the ones who point out the lack. So there are these unfortunate people who do what cauliflower said, although hopefully they are the extreme exception, but who will pull them on it? No one, and so they'll go on being the embarrassing friend or relative that you can't really invite.

TrustySnail Sat 31-Dec-16 02:26:31

How is it good etiquette to put your feelings of "a bit off putting" above somebody's feelings of hurt and embarrassment?

But how is it good etiquette to allow someone close to you to carry on doing something for which someone else might pick them up much more unkindly and publicly?

Suppose the person was dining with business colleagues, and someone chose to score a point by humiliating them about their table manners? Or was 'corrected' patronisingly at a meal with partner, and snide/snobbish future in-laws?

I would rather be told of an etiquette breach compassionately and casually by a good friend than risk being ridiculed by someone less well-disposed.

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