below stairs


Also found in: Idioms.

below stairs

adv
1. (formerly) at or in the basement of a large house, considered as the place where the servants live and work
References in classic literature ?
I shall remember it,' he had no excuse for dwelling on the subject any further, and so took a friendly leave with many expressions of good-will and many compliments to his friend on his looking so remarkably well; and went below stairs to report progress to Mr Brass.
(the fashion being of course set by the upper), was generally the cause of these disputes; for cards and dice were as openly used, and worked as much mischief, and yielded as much excitement below stairs, as above.
In fact, there was no one to see but the servants, and when their master was away they lived a luxurious life below stairs, where there was a huge kitchen hung about with shining brass and pewter, and a large servants' hall where there were four or five abundant meals eaten every day, and where a great deal of lively romping went on when Mrs.
Tulliver sent for her sisters, and there was much wailing and lifting up of hands below stairs. Both uncles and aunts saw that the ruin of Bessy and her family was as complete as they had ever foreboded it, and there was a general family sense that a judgment had fallen on Mr.
He had put them in possession of Bly, which was healthy and secure, and had placed at the head of their little establishment-- but below stairs only--an excellent woman, Mrs.
Archer and Janey trailed their long silk draperies up to the drawing-room, where, while the gentlemen smoked below stairs, they sat beside a Carcel lamp with an engraved globe, facing each other across a rosewood work-table with a green silk bag under it, and stitched at the two ends of a tapestry band of field-flowers destined to adorn an "occasional" chair in the drawing- room of young Mrs.
In the meantime, a horrible noise was heard below stairs, some crying, ``Secure the treacherous monks!'' others, ``Down with them into the dungeon!'' others, ``Pitch them from the highest battlements!''
The minutes followed each other, and still the servant below stairs waited vainly for the parlor bell.
The gentlemen below stairs left the dinner-table, and joined them.
He will however live to repent this slimy temporary below stairs putsch in splitting up Europe and the United Kingdom.
Below stairs as fascinating as up (the famous silver staircase).
The affair -- with the Duchess desperate to escape a loveless marriage and Joseph longing to break free from the confines of life below stairs -- threatens to scandalise the Royal court.