Language
Fact-checked

At LanguageHumanities, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is Table Talk?

Table talk is the art of casual conversation around the dining table, where stories are shared, ideas exchanged, and bonds strengthened. It's a time-honored tradition that turns meals into memorable experiences. But how can we elevate these discussions to enrich our relationships? Discover the secrets to masterful table talk that can transform your next meal into an unforgettable gathering. Ready to learn more?
A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn

The English idiom “table talk” refers to casual talk that is done around a table. In many cases, this idiomatic phrase is used in regard to the dinner table, where groups and families will informally talk about the events of the day. Another more specialized use of the phrase involves poker jargon, and references discussion of inappropriate information during a game that might constitute cheating.

One specifically different use of the term table talk relates to poker and various other card games. In poker, players win or lose money by playing against each other. In these cases, it’s essential to maintain a fair play environment. Often times, this includes a requirement to limit what buyers call table talk, which in this case is any conversation related specifically to the hidden cards, whether they are in a player’s hand or on the table.

There are few limits to what can be discussed between close friends during table talk.
There are few limits to what can be discussed between close friends during table talk.

Even when money is not at stake, card players often refer to rules requiring the limitation of talking at the table. This is a large part of etiquette for card players, and something that most experienced players comply with automatically. In some cases, it may be necessary to reference these rules using this common idiom, where the more experienced players, or those with command of the rules, will point out what is and is not allowed.

Table talk may refer to friends or family having inform talk about their day.
Table talk may refer to friends or family having inform talk about their day.

It’s important for all of the players at the card table to understand, not just what they can and cannot say, but how other players may be using table talk in subtle ways. One of the most common forms of hidden table talk consists of code words for the four suits in the card deck: hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs. In some cases, players may simply use these four words in a seemingly innocent context, for example, if a player says, “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” in order to clue another player in that he or she is holding diamond cards or needs more of these cards. In other cases, a player may substitute a code word for diamonds, usually something that relates to value, like money. It can be very difficult to assess whether players are using code, which is why in some games, any kind of casual talking at the table is banned.

In general, table talk can consist of any sort of informal topic. It may even take place in a variety of areas, not just the dinner table in a home. For example, eaters in a local diner may engage in “table talk,” where the table at hand is the lunch counter or dining area of the restaurant. Though there are few limits to what this kind of casual conversation can consist of, it’s generally implied that the topic will not be excessively serious or important. Topics that are highly controversial, or which might conjure up unappetizing thoughts should be avoided.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • There are few limits to what can be discussed between close friends during table talk.
      By: Alexander Zhiltsov
      There are few limits to what can be discussed between close friends during table talk.
    • Table talk may refer to friends or family having inform talk about their day.
      By: corepics
      Table talk may refer to friends or family having inform talk about their day.