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Old 05-15-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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Dinner vs supper

As I was posting in today's menu thread, I realized I typed supper and thread was titled dinner. Growing up, we had breakfast, dinner and supper. It wasn't until I moved to the Cleveland area that I heard people talking about the noon meal as lunch and the evening meal as dinner. Talk about a confused little girl! I have switched dinner to lunch for the noon meal but still tend to call the evening meal supper. Yet when we go out to eat we go out to dinner!
What do you call your meals?

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Old 05-15-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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My understanding is, if you had your main meal at midday, it was dinner and the evening meal is supper. If you have lunch at midday, the evening meal is dinner. I guess what that says is that the main meal of the day is dinner regardless of when you eat it.

All that said, the evening meal was always supper when I was a kid. We had lunch at noon. Now SO and I lean more towards calling the evening meal dinner.
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Old 05-15-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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I grew up with breakfast, dinner and supper or tea.

The midday meal was always larger than the evening meal and the evening meal tended to be made up of leftovers from the midday meal. Preparations for dinner started immediately after breakfast in my grandmother's house.

The term lunch was more of a quick snack. This was about the only time a sandwich of some type appeared on the table. I have been told that the sandwich did not come into regular use until the mechanical bread slicing machines became common. That idea would fit into my experience. I believe that was about the time of the Great Depression. My grandmother's routine was established prior to that time.

The word tea was a term that my mother adopted when I was about 11 or 12. It was her way of being modest about the size of the meal.

I think this pattern was a holdover from the days before refrigeration.

I try to follow that same pattern most days.

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Old 05-15-2013, 05:01 PM   #4
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It was breakfast, dinner, and supper when I was growing up as well.
I reckon it don't truly matter what you call it, as long as you call me when it's ready!
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:29 PM   #5
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While growing up, it was breakfast, School Lunch or Sunday Dinner. Lunch in the summer or off days, unless it was dinner again, for some reason. Supper was always supper, and was the big meal of the day, unless again, it was Sunday Dinner, which was often the main meal.

Nowadays, it's breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pick 2, I almost only eat 2 meals / day and sometimes a miidnight snack, which can be served anytime and seldom occurs 'round midnight.

I am with Hoot, I don't care what you call it, just don't call me late to the tabloe.
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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I'm with the majority. We had breakfast, and lunch was a school or midday meal, with the main meal being dinner.

If, on the weekends or in summer, we had the main meal early, we had breakfast, dinner and supper.

Nowadays, with my hubby working 3 - 11:30 pm Monday to Friday, we always have dinner around 1 pm and he takes sandwiches, while I have a salad or something light in the evening, which would be supper!
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:52 PM   #7
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I grew up in a small farming community where we always had breakfast, lunch, and supper. The only time we ever used the word dinner was on Sundays, when we would all trudge down the street to my grandparents' house for a mid afternoon meal. Usually it was some kind of roast. My grandparents, who spent most of their lives on a farm, always referred to any big meal as dinner.

I don't remember at what point in my life supper became dinner, though. I suspect it may have been a nationwide trend, because when I now go back to the town where I grew up, most people refer to the evening meal as dinner.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Growing up we had breakfast in the morning, lunch around noon, and dinner for our evening meal, but it was basically interchangeable with supper. Big family meals (whether in the afternoon or evening) were usually dinner (Sunday Dinner, Thanksgiving Dinner, etc.). I never actually heard anyone call the midday meal dinner until we moved to Missouri when I was 8.
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Old 05-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #9
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Breakfast, lunch and supper here, too. I believe the word dinner was reserved for a holiday meal, as in Thanksgiving Dinner, which we sometimes ate at 1:00 and sometimes ate at 4:00. And sometimes I ate both at different houses.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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My Canadian mom felt there was a difference between dinner and supper. I never did understand her explanation. I simplified it to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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At one time I had the impression that dinner was a fancier word for supper. Rich people had dinner, we had supper.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
What do you call your meals?
Sometimes Betty, sometimes Pete. Oh, that's not what you meant?

As a native Clevelander we had breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or supper. We used those terms interchangeably. I guess it depended on whether it was a BIG meal, like salad, a roast, potatoes and vegetables, or something smaller like fried bologna and onions. (The Food Police would have had a field day with that one!)

It was always dinner for Sundays or holidays though. That's when Mom went full-out with meals and we always waddled away from the table.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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I think this question has "geographical" answers. In other words, in our region (which is and always has been a heavily-farmed area) the midday meal is called dinner.

As a bit of an explanation, the farmers here begin their days at or before the crack of dawn, usually with a hearty breakfast because they have hours of work ahead of them. Then, at midday they return home for another more substantial meal to sustain them for their remaining hours, which, by the way, are spent in the heat of the day. This environment does sap one's energy, hence the need for a hearty "dinner" near noontime.

So...here, it's breakfast, dinner and supper.

However, there's still room for enjoying a "special" evening dinner.
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Old 05-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #14
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Breakfast, lunch and supper...we go out for dinner and have dinner on holidays.

It comes down to napkins, paper towels for supper, nice paper napkins for dinner.
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #15
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I was always confused as a child, my parents always said "breakfast, dinner and supper". We'd go to a restaurant and they would have a lunch menu and a dinner menu, to me lunch and dinner were the same thing, supper was the evening meal.

Since moving away, I've come accustomed to saying "breakfast, lunch, and dinner". I now feel that this is more correct, but dinner and supper can be used interchangeably.

The midday meal at school was always called lunch. So confusing as a child. My dad would get confused when he would visit and I asked him what he wanted for dinner, he'd say "I've already eaten lunch".
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:57 PM   #16
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Growing up in Minnesota, we always had Sunday dinner at about 2 PM on Sunday afternoon, but the rest of the week dinner was the evening meal. Breakfast (every day) and lunch (the other 6 days) were at the usual times. Sunday evening was toast and cocoa. We didn't call it anything else.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:02 PM   #17
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Breakfast, lunch and supper. Dinner on Sunday and holidays.

While the rest of you have a living room, we have a parlor. Regional. But we all know what we mean when we say it. At least we are all in agreement on breakfast.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Sometimes Betty, sometimes Pete. Oh, that's not what you meant?

:
you reminded me of an old joke.

a grasshopper walks into a bar and orders a drink.

the bartender says, "you know, we have a drink named after you."

the grasdhopper replies, "you have a drink named pete?"

bah dum dum.

don't ask me about when a horse or duck walk into the same bar...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Breakfast, lunch and supper. Dinner on Sunday and holidays.

While the rest of you have a living room, we have a parlor. Regional. But we all know what we mean when we say it. At least we are all in agreement on breakfast.
my dad and mil called the living room a parlour. must be an old term from europe.


getting back on topic, my mom called it dinner: dad called it supper no matter what time we had the third meal of the day.

the two meals before it were always breakfast and lunch.

we weren't rich enough for brunch.
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:38 AM   #19
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IMO you don't have to be rich for brunch. In my case it's just being lazy! Hence, my first meal is rarely before noon. So if I'm breaking my fast at traditional lunchtime I'm having brunch!
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #20
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that was just when we were growing up.

we still have breakfast on weekends at 10 or 11am when possible, but have never called it bruch. on those days, we have a late lunch, then later dinner/supper.
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