Crumbs

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

Crumbs

Post by Stevenloan » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:14 am

A: Employees are set to receive $1.6 billion in cash payouts, Delta's largest employee profit-sharing pool on record and one that handily tops what many other companies offer their employees.
B: I’m sorry, but this just smacks of BS PR crap. Of course the employees are deserving. This feels like crumbs off the table.

- Hi everybody! The idiom I found online is “crumbs from someone’s table”. But in this situation it is “crumbs off the table”. Which one is more common?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.

StevenLoan
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: Crumbs

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:50 pm

The saying (in a slightly different form) can be traced back to the Gospel of St Luke.

Here are verses 16:20 and 16:21 of the King James version of the Bible (published in 1611):

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

The saying is generally used in reference to being given an unfair, inadequate or unsatisfactory share of something.

Anther common variant refers to "the master's table". It seems to be a saying that people freely adapt to suit the situation they are describing, so you will undoubtedly find it in many forms. But "crumbs from the rich man's table" is the closest to the modern-English source.
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

Re: Crumbs

Post by Stevenloan » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:55 am

Erik : Thank you very much for your answer. It helps a great deal.

StevenLoan
ACCESS_POST_ACTIONS

ACCESS_END_OF_TOPIC
Post Reply