In Reply to: 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.
It is complicated.
The key is the "on ceremony" part, stand just means to abide, go by ceremony, or is in "not".
Samuel Johnson - 1825
When the pale of ceremony is broken, rudeness and insult soon enter the breach
Men are often disposed to be more offended at at respass on ceremony, than at a serious injury, as a violation of decorum is usually regarded as an indication of contempt.
Communication between the lower class and men of
property was difficuly, add in British Royality and well the entire fabric of communication was doomed from the 17th Century. It became a cliche
with "not" most often preceeding the statement by the 1820's.