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Whipping silvers
Mostly as bossman at dinner ?
2013/11/07
10:53pm
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RobertB
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Is there a word for when as American man or Englishman you start eating by gripping your knife and fork tight in each fist and whipping the silvers one over the other 3,4 times hard enough to scare the dog and startle and subdue any womanfolks at the table?

I have never seen it in real life but it seems frequent enough in movies to have a word for.

2013/11/08
2:21pm
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Ron Draney
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Sounds like an imitation of honing a knife on a sharpening steel. If you wanted to extend the metaphor a bit further, you could call it stropping (from the action of sharpening a straight razor on a leather strap).

I use the same term for the habit of birds to wipe their beaks back and forth across a branch. I don’t think they’re actually trying to put an edge on them (more like wiping off food debris), but that’s what it looks like.

2013/11/08
4:11pm
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RobertB
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Stropping is right, and you’re right, not functionally for that purpose- a body language that says ‘My territory! I’m the master here.’ So it’s not done if the person is sitting alone, and never done by woman.