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?

  • 2
    "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, 2014 at 19:38
  • 1
    "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, 2014 at 19:44
  • 3
    The common phrase is "after-dinner conversation". "After-meal conversation" is used also.
    – ermanen
    Nov 25, 2014 at 19:46
  • @ermanen is right, "after-dinner conversation" sounds much less dated.
    – A E
    Nov 25, 2014 at 19:46
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2 Answers 2


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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