A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Give me all your money or you’re geography!” (bank robbery joke) (6/24)
“A tragedy is a ship full of bankers sinking. A catastrophe is when they can all swim” (6/24)
“You said you had between ten and fifteen million dollars in the bank” (joke) (6/24)
“Cell phones keep getting thinner and smarter…people the opposite” (6/24)
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Entry from December 30, 2012
“Welcome is the best dish on the table”

"Welcome is the best dish” is the title of a poem by John Heywood (1497-1580); the saying has also been attributed to John Lydgate (1370-1451). “Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen” has been included in several books of Scottish proverbs. “Welcome is the best dish on the table” has been cited in print since at least 1904.

The Latin super omnia vultus/accessere boni nec iners pauperque voluntas ("the good faces and the good will, neither lazy nor poor, above everything, which add to the meal") is from Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 B,C,-17/18 A.D.).


Wikipedia: John Heywood
John Heywood (c. 1497 – c. 1580) was an English writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs. Although he is best known as a playwright, he was also active as a musician and composer, though no works survive.

Google Books
A Complete Collection of Scottish Proverbs Explained and Made Intelligible to the English Reader
By James Kelly
London: Rodwell & Martin
1818
Pg. 222:
Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen.
Lat. — Super omnia vultus accessere boni.

Google Books
Scottish Proverbs
Collected and arranged by Andrew Henderson
Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd
1832
Pg. 60:
Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen.

Google Books
Songs from the Dramatists
Edited by Robert Bell
London: John W. Parker and Son
1854
Pg. 31 (John Heywood):
WELCOME IS THE BEST DISH.
YE be welcome, ye be welcome,
Ye be welcome one by one;
Ye be heartily welcome,
Ye be heartily welcome every one!

When friends like friends do friendly show
Unto each other high and low.
What cheer increase of love doth grow,
What better cheer that they to know!
This is welcome!
To bread or drink, to flesh or fish,
Yet welcome is the best dish! (...)

Google Books
Proverbs, Maxims, and Phrases of All Ages
Compiled by Robert Christy
New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons
1887
Pg. 433:
Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen.

Google Books
The Wisdom of the World, in Proverbs of All Nations
By William John Shearer
New York, NY: Richardson, Smith & Co.
1904
Pg. 99:
Welcome is the best dish on the table.

Google Books
Body, Boots, & Britches:
Folktales, Ballads, and Speech from Country New York

By Harold William Thompson
Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott
1939
Pg. 501:
In old-fashioned apology you may avoid the banal reference to pot-luck by saying, “You’ll have to take monkey-fare today—catch as catch can”; or, more poetically, “Welcome is the best dish on the table”.

Google News Archive
30 December 1968, Windsor (Ontario) Star, “New Year’s meant for conviviality” by Gay Pauler (UPI Women’s Editor), pg. 1C, col. 5:
“Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen”—so wrote James Kelly, quoting Scottish proverbs in 1721. And through the centuries, there have been dozens of variations of what a warm welcome means. “Welcome is the best cheer” wrote John Ray in 1670.

Google Books
A Dictionary of American Proverbs
Edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Stewart A. Kingsbury and Kelsie B. Harder
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1991
Pg. 648:
Welcome is the best dish on the table. Rec. dist.: Ky. Tenn. 1st cit.: ca1430 Lydgate, Isopes, Early English Text Society (1911).

Google Books
Rome and Her Monuments:
Essays on the City and Literature of Rome in Honor of Katherine A. Geffcken

Edited by Sheila Kathryn Dickison and Judith P. Hallett
Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci,
2000
Pg. 553:
Line (Pg. 554—ed.) 677 through 678 seem to describe the gods as well as their mortal hosts in noting super omnia vultus/accessere boni nec iners pauperque voluntas, “the good faces and the good will, neither lazy nor poor, above everything, which add to the meal.”
(From the Metamorphoses by Ovid—ed.)

Google Books
Can You Say a Few Words?
How to Prepare and Deliver a Speech for Any Special Occasion

Revised Edition
By Joan Detz
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2006
Pg. 146:
Welcome is the best dish in the kitchen.
Old Scottish saying

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Sunday, December 30, 2012 • Permalink