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Happy plate

noun compounding
A completely finished meal, leaving a clean plate.
 
This term is usually used with children, especially when they are given a dish that they find unappealing. In order to receive dessert or another treat, they must finish the food they have been served. It is assumed that the child will derive utility from the reward, thus making the plate a “happy” plate.
Etymology : Adj. “happy” + “plate”
Source : My mother, ca. 1998. “If you don’t make a happy plate, you aren’t getting dessert.”
Last modified: 25 November 2013


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