So called because the lodgers at a boardinghouse, dining at the same time, might have to reach past each other for dishes and condiments.
- The ability to reach a long distance across a table to get desired food.
- He developed his boardinghouse reach in the oil fields.
- 2003, Judy Barnes, Jolane Edwards, Carolyn Lee Goodloe, Coasting: An Expanded Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast, page 38:
- There is nothing contrived about this restaurant — it is strictly the basics — good food, good service, and good prices. All you need is a good boardinghouse reach and if you don't have one, then ask for the food to be passed.
- The act of reaching across a table to get desired food, often considered poor etiquette because it invades others' personal space.
2005, Peggy Post, Collins Gem: Emily Post's favorite party & dining tips, page 102:
- Avoid the boardinghouse reach. Reach for something only within the invisible boundary that separates your personal space from the other diners'.