While this tabletop rule has been drilled into your head since you graduated from your high chair, its supposed origins suggest it’s more need-based than the pinnacle of politeness. During medieval times, everyone and their barber would be invited to elaborate dinners at long, crowded tables. With surface space at a premium, no elbow could be placed on the table without landing in someone else’s territory—or in their food! But seeing as how we now enjoy more spacious dining accommodations, have at it! Modern rules dictate that elbows are free game once you’ve put down your utensils.