a bit of ham

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Senior Member
Catalan - Catalunya

I have found this expression in a book, but the context doesn't help me to understand the meaning. Maybe you can help me...

"He had beautiful manners: "Hello, are you well", "Goodbye, take care", "I'm sorry for your trouble", "Put that money away now", "That's a lovely bit of ham"..."


  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    It means the ham (meat) that was served to him was delicious, excellent, etc. "Bit of" means example or portion. It's British informal; it's rather "cozy" speech, perhaps quaint, although you may still hear it.

    It forms part of the list of examples of the man's manners: he is complimenting his host on the quality of the meat.


    Senior Member
    It's just an example of a courtesy.

    He could very well have said, "That was a lovely cup of tea" or "That was a lovely sandwich". "A bit of ham" is exactly what it says. It also used to be a staple of the English hospitality. Whenever you invited someone over for a snack, or "high tea" there would inevitably be a plate of ham or ham sandwiches.

    (even today, nine times out of ten, whenever there are sandwiches on offer, there are usually ham ones!) :D
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