This Is Where the Phrase “Turn the Tables” Comes From
by Matthew Gilligan
You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase before…but where does it come from?
Well, here’s your history lesson for the day!
The phrase “to turn the tables” on someone basically means when you reverse the odds in your favor and now YOU are in control.
And it comes from board games.
There is a class of board games that use tables and backgammon is the most noteworthy example. If you happen to be losing at backgammon, the goal is to “turn the tables” so you can come out on top.
Players don’t actually “turn the tables” as the phrase suggests, but it’s actually a metaphor for saying that someone is going to make a comeback in order to be victorious when they are losing a game.
There’s also some history in the phrase when it comes to dinner parties used to operate back in the day. If someone was being left out of a conversation, the dinner host would turn and include that person and everyone else at the table follow suit so the “table would have been turned, so to speak.
Now, isn’t that polite?
The more you know…