In Spanish, the situation where you keep talking after the meal has ended with the people you shared your lunch or dinner is called "sobremesa" (literally over-table or after-table). Is there a word in English to mention that situation?

closed as off-topic by MetaEd Nov 30 '18 at 15:36

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    "Table talk" is a term for conversation over the dinner (or other meal) table, though it's not specific to after dinner, and it's probably becoming archaic (since no one talks at dinner anymore -- too engrossed in their iPhones). – Hot Licks Nov 25 '14 at 19:38
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    "After dinner table talk", even. It's dated (archaic), though after-dinner speeches still exist for very formal dinners here in the UK. – A E Nov 25 '14 at 19:44
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    The common phrase is "after-dinner conversation". "After-meal conversation" is used also. – ermanen Nov 25 '14 at 19:46
  • @ermanen is right, "after-dinner conversation" sounds much less dated. – A E Nov 25 '14 at 19:46
  • A word or phrase request can easily attract a long list of answers when it’s too subjective – more of a poll or request for ideas. Unfortunately neither are a good fit for the Stack Exchange model. A Stack Exchange question is objective and specific enough that it has a clearly “right” answer. – MetaEd Nov 30 '18 at 15:36

Being fluent in both languages, I would have to come to the conclusion that, short of @Hot Licks suggestion of 'table talk', there really isn't a perfect English substitute. As mentioned, 'table talk' has no sense of order, whereas the sobre in 'sobremesa' conveys a sense of 'over-and-above', 'in addition to', or, in terms of time, 'after'. Also, it may just be due to the fact that, culturally, the portion after the meal in which people often talk and joke is much less a vital part of the meal itself in English-speaking countries than in their Spanish-speaking counterparts.


There is a word for witty, philosophical chat at the dinner table, but it's taken directly from the Greek: deipnosophy. Someone who is particularly adept at such conversation is a deipnosophist. But you won't find one English speaker in ten thousand who knows these words.

A bit less obscure, but still rare, one could refer to a "post-prandial" chat or conversation. "Post-prandial" is actually used by doctors in reference to testing one's blood glucose level after a meal, but more typically they recommend testing "pre-prandial" (before lunch or dinnerl) or "fasting" (before breakfast) levels.

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