Friday, October 10, 2008

What do you call your evening meal?

In our house we have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When I was living in Minnesota, we had breakfast, lunch and supper (sometimes called dinner). I've noticed that most of my English friends have breakfast, dinner and tea. Yes, they refer to their evening meal as tea. It's interesting how the name of the meal changes from country to country and even from house to house within each country. Also, there are specific differences in schools, regarding the name of the mid-day meal. For instance, in English schools, when children bring in their lunch, the teachers refer to it as packed lunch. If they have paid for their lunch time meal, then their meal is always referred to as school dinners. What do you call your mid-day meal? What do you call your evening meal? Is it dinner, supper or tea?

14 comments:

  1. In Scotland, supper is a small bedtime snack (tea being the main evening meal).

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  2. Hi iota. So I guess that means you would have breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Very interesting.

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  3. Like you I have breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. However on Sunday it would be dinner at lunch-time and later it would be tea! Supper is as iota says.xx

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  4. Hi flighty, So your evening meal is called dinner Monday through Saturday but on Sunday it's called tea. Fascinating!

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  5. Hello! I just happened upon your blog today and figured I'd chime in on this question. I grew up in the Midwest (southern Illinois), very much in the middle of "dinner" country. My husband, who grew up just north of NYC, tends to say "supper." He grew up with the notion that "supper" is the more quotidien version and "dinner" is the snottier, special-occasion version.

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  6. Hello Marsha, I'm glad you found my blog and left a comment.

    This is getting very interesting.

    I'm from the midwest too (Minnesota) and we (almost) always called our evening meal supper. I do recall sometimes we called it dinner though. Perhaps it was for special occasions - like when your husband thinks the term is used!

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  7. That's right but tea would generally be sandwiches,fruit salad or trifle and cake rather than a proper cooked meal, especially during the summer. xx

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  8. Thanks for the additional info, flighty.

    Actually, now that I think about it, most English people tend to have their big dinner meal at lunch time on Sunday and then a light meal (like sandwiches) later at dinner time, like you do flighty.

    I can see where this adds to the confusion of what the meal is called. It would seem it depends not just on where you live but also on what day it is!

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  9. I guess the reason for that was at one time people worked a six day week and only had Sunday off. xx

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  10. That might explain it, flighty. Perhaps people simply liked the idea of changing the routine set during the week.

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  11. Breakfast like a King

    Lunch like a Prince

    hence the need for Tea.

    Dinner like a Pauper

    hence the need for Supper.

    From Up North (UK)

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  12. I love it - that explains it very well. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Hi |I found you over on Smitten by Britain and she had the same thing on hers...It does depend on where you come from.

    We have Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner....then Supper if you want it...There is also afternoon Tea..but we don't have that.


    It must be very confusing and you know tonight I have read two blogs for the first time with the same thing on and you are both expats..

    It all depends on lots of factors, where you were brought up, and when you have your main meals, but Supper is supper, always after Tea or Dinner...also used to say to the children "would you like some supper before you go to bed" milk and biscuits or milk and toast.

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  14. Hi Anne. Thanks for your comment. Yes, you're right, it does get very confusing! LOL It's not just the different terms versus American terms but it also changes in different parts of the UK.

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