Above the salt...a phrase indicating social stature. Salt was an extremely valuable commodity and not to be wasted on hoi polloi (A "the" would be redundant so I resist the urge.) Salt was so valuable as to be used as currency. And yet..
Another popular phrase of the time was to salt the earth, rendering fields...well, the opposite of arable, (a word that eludes me at the moment).
Where the hell did they get enough salt to salt someone's fields?