How to indicate you’re done eating

What is the Emily Post way of saying you’re done eating when you’re at a nice restaurant or eating at someone’s home (in the United States)?

I was under the impression that it was rude to put the napkin on your plate and that you should put the napkin on the table, lightly folded (i.e. not bunched up and not folded precisely). The etiquette guidelines I’ve found tend to agree (although they state the napkin should go on the right side of the plate).

Alternatives include flipping your fork upside down on the plate or pushing your plate away from you. Belching is right out. However, as a kid I was told by friends that a burp was a compliment to the chef in Germany, but others have heard that’s the case in nearly every country you can think of, even in the southern United States. Anyone from the south who can validate that claim?

Etiquette is a vague and elusive pursuit because everyone has a different opinion of what’s proper and what’s not. I look for general rules that make sense to keep me out of trouble, and for the moment, burping at the end of the meal, while entertaining, will not become part of my dining etiquette.


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  1. I want to know how ‘canker sore almost gone’ is related. Might as well say ‘jock itch being treated’ is related. =P

    Comment by Rick on October 19, 2006 @ 11:07 pm
  2. You’ll note that they’re now potentially related. It’s a plugin I found that looks for similar titles to find related posts. It could use some work.

    Comment by dan on October 20, 2006 @ 6:10 am

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