Our Christmas Eve Groaning Board

What's a Groaning Board, you say?

As a popular English idiom, “groaning board” simply means a dining table laden with a large amount of food. It is a feast of various foods served within a casual atmosphere.

The “groan” in “groaning board” (which dates back to the 17th century) refers, as you guessed, to the creaking and groaning noises produced by the wood of the table under stress by the weight of the food. The use of the word “board” for “table” was standard at the time, as tables for feasts were often literally long boards held up by trestles. This is the same “board,” by the way, found in the phrases “room and board” and “boarding house,” in each case referring to the inclusion of at least some meals in the deal.

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Merry Christmas Everyone!

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