top table's tit-bits

artep

Member
Sverige
The context is an episode of the British tv-serie Drop Dead Gorgeous, about a family whose daughter becomes a supermodel. The mother then turns inte her greedy agent.
The mother is arranging a party, sponsored by the local paper, for her two twin daughters (one of whom is the supermodel). Friends of the mother is organizing the catering, preparing the food in the school kitchen (where they work during day time).
Here is the dialogue between the two women working in the kitchen:

- She didn't have to give us this you know.

- Oh, I'm so grateful for the top table's tit-bits (ironically). Or should I say nibbles.
- It's a good bung.
- Yeah, it would have to be.

I'm not sure about what "top table" refers to here. They're making the food, so it cannot refer to a restaurant.
And does "bung" mean the same thing as "bribe". Is the food then considered as a bribe, because apparently they don't like this work ... Perhaps I should ask this separately? Sorry it's just that the whole dialogue here is the issue.


Hopefully I've given enough context, I find it very confusing to understand myself.
Thanks a lot in advance for any help!
 
  • AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I'm going to try this just for fun.

    The two women are miffed at the sexy model's mother, who's party for her precious daughter is causing more work for them to do.

    Top-table = the tabletop in the U.S.

    This is funny: tit-bits. A play on words, said in a bitchy way to refer to
    tidbits = tasty treats they're preparing to place on the tabletop.

    The "Nibbles" part is them correcting themselves and saying the proper British word. The sexy supermodel must have a Grand Pair on her. Whoa...Nibbles are, ahem, nipples, so I guess maybe she's not had the Grand Pair inserted, if she's flat-chested, or it's another snippy barb at the daughter if she's a healthy-looking girl.

    Bung= I love this word. A Brit friend said it to me and I laughed out loud. "I'll bung this over to you, AngelEyes, as soon as I can." Meaning, she would e-mail me some information, as soon as she got home from work. Bung here, I think, means to place them on that table.

    British people sure have a way of talking, don't they?

    Of course, maybe I totally screwed this up.;)


    AngelEyes
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    The "top table" or "head table" is the table where the guests of honour would sit. For example, at a wedding it would be the table where the bride, the groom and their respective parents sit.
    Being "bung" some "tit-bits" or "nibbles", in this case I think refers sarcastically to these workers being thrown scraps of food from the table as if they were peasants at a mediaeval banquet.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    liliput,

    Thank you for correcting me. I understood it so totally differently. Is it me or would other Americans have interpreted it like I did?


    AngelEyes
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Almost agreeing with most of what AngelEyes has said ... ... ...

    - She didn't have to give us this you know.

    It would help a great deal if we knew what "this" refers to.
    But I guess "this" means "this job of preparing the food for the party."
    I assume they are being paid extra for the additional work.

    - Oh, I'm so grateful for the top table's tit-bits (ironically).
    The phrase "top table's tit-bits" almost certainly refers to something passed on in a condescending way - like crumbs from the rich man's table (or woman's).
    In this case it refers, on the surface at least, to the small benefit of additional work/ additional pay/ they are receiving as a result of the supermodel's sponsored party. Perhaps the girls' mother has been rather condescending about asking them to do this.
    Tit-bits is normal BE spelling - but of course it may be alluding to the supermodel's chest - of course it is - hence:

    Or should I say nibbles.
    Which is no doubt a passing comment on the smallness of the supermodel's breasts.

    - It's a good bung*.
    We're getting well paid for this, of course - sounds like this will be off the books, tax-free.

    - Yeah, it would have to be.
    Ungrateful, aren't they :D

    * Edit: Bung in this sense is related to "I'll bung you twenty quid each if you'll ....."
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Panj,

    Is "titbits" the same as the AE "tidbits"?

    I also looked up bung and it has so many different meanings, from the innocent to the profane.

    I get BBC America over here on my American TV, so I watch a lot of British television. I must be laughing at all the wrong parts during their comedies.

    That is, when I can understand what they're saying at all, because I think British people speak almost faster, sometimes, than Americans.

    Thanks for your input. (My way was funny, too.)

    AngelEyes
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I have to disagree with some of these comments. The term "tit-bits" has nothing to do with the word "tits" (meaning breasts). There is a vague possibility that their is a play on words here (it's difficult to say without seeing the program), but I think it more likely that "tit-bits" is a simple metaphor for whatever reward or remuneration they receive and "nibbles" emphasizes the paucity of this reward.
    Perhaps the phrase "It's a good bung" is used to disagree and state that the reward is good. I'm afraid this expression sounds rather rare even to my BE ears.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Tit-bits is used in BE to mean exactly the same as tid-bits (AE) - it is listed as an alternative spelling.

    Come on liliput - you can't seriously expect a British TV comedy programme about supermodels to be talking about tit-bits without there being some allusion to breasts!
     

    artep

    Member
    Sverige
    She didn't have to give us this you know.

    Yes, I think this refers to the job (it must, mustn't it?).
    Thank you for your answers!
     
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