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Stand on ceremony

Posted by Vair on March 10, 2009 at 09:28

Stand on ceremony: I came across this phrase in Macbeth, and realized that it might have a completely literal origin. That is, people stand from (or sit to) the table in accordance with their recognised, ceremonial place in the hierarchy. As opposed to "stand" meaning "taking a stand to defend." True? False? Thought I might find an entry for the phrase here, but did not.