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Etiquette Tip of the Week: Finger Bowl

A finger bowl is a small, individual bowl of water placed before you on the table, usually before dessert. It may have a decorative flower or a slice of lemon floating in it. It may also have a doily underneath to keep the finger bowl from sliding around on the plate beneath.


The finger bowl is not for drinking or bathing. Do not plunge your napkin into it and wash your face.


Dip the tips of your fingers in the finger bowl, one hand at a time, then dry your fingers on your napkin. When you are finished, pick up both doily and finger bowl and remove them to the upper left corner of your place setting.

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North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7111 / Fax: (701) 231-8756
Campus address: Ceres Hall 306
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5280 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Career Center

Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013
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