Bring something to the table.

Posted by Lewis on March 06, 2003

In Reply to: Bring something to the table. posted by R. Berg on March 05, 2003

: : I can't find anything anywhere concerning the origin of the phrase "Bring something to the table," or "Bring to the table." Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

: I don't have any solid information here, but I believe the table is one where negotiations take place, as in peace talks, rather than a dining table. More context for the phrase might help.

Definitely the 'negotiating table' - it's been used for some years in the context of "there's no point having a meeting if you haven't got anything new to bring to/put on the table". Trades union/employers' soundbites are good sources of examples of such expressions. Proposals or their constituent parts are usually set out in writing and physically put on the table to be circulated to those present for discussion.