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some more words to consider for the test

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:43 pm
by Monterey Girl
Dinner. My mid western friends use this word to mean the mid day meal. Supper is the evening meal. Out west we say dinner to mean the evening meal. My bro. in law from PA says hairs. As in he is going to wash his hairs. Is this common for that area ? My Mother in law says greasy ( rhymes with easy) It drives the rest of us nuts. Has anyone heard the expression "every TWICE in a while" ? I said that in a group and people wondered where I was from. Born and raised in N. CA.

Posted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:51 pm
by Bailey
Mostly what I've heard is that Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner is more Urban while Breakfast, Dinner, & Supper is Rural. But I hear that Supper is used in Urban settings to indicate a very late meal as well.

mark

Re: some more words to consider for the test

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:52 pm
by sluggo
Monterey Girl wrote:Dinner. My mid western friends use this word to mean the mid day meal. Supper is the evening meal. Out west we say dinner to mean the evening meal.


In SE PA we had (and they still have) breakfast, lunch and dinner, period. When we would visit our Mississippi cousins it was breakfast, dinner and supper. But I still wonder if that rule applies every day of the week (i.e. formal and informal occasions).

Wrong section

Posted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:31 pm
by Dr. Goodword
You should post these comments in the Rebel-Yankee section where people come to discuss issues of dialect.

Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 10:12 am
by swinglish,anyone?
I'd like to chime in with an amateurish theory to explain why midwesterners are calling their MID-DAY meal dinner. It's a stretch, but hear me out on this one...

Many midwestern settlers were of Scandinavian (mostly Swedish) origin. Now, many moons ago (and currently in Swedish nursing homes) the LARGEST meal of the day was the meal served at mid-day. This stemmed from the fact that most Swedes were farmers and a hearty midday meal was essential. In Swedish, the meal was called "middag", meaning "MID-DAY". Is it possible that immigrants to the midwest blurred things by learning that the English word for the largest meal is "dinner"?

Picture this...Fresh off the boat and new to Minnesota, Sven goes in search of someone who might be able to teach him a little English. So he meets a man who is not so new to the neighborhood. We'll call him "Broken English Olle". So Sven says to Olle, "Hey, Ol. I'm new in town and looking for a nice, big meal. What do people here in the new land call the big meal of the day?" Broken English Olle replies, "Dey call dat dinner". Flash, bam, alacazam (sp?)...suddenly Minnesotans are calling their "middag" dinner.

Just a theory...

Comments welcomed and appreciated.

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:23 am
by AdoAnnie
Interesting usage of words for meals. i've lived most of my life in Texas and it has always been Breakfast and Lunch for the first two meals of the day, but Dinner and Supper are almost interchangable depending on (usually) the festivity of the occation. Daily we would have dinner or supper in the evening, but we would have Sunday Supper at Nana's and it would be around 2 in the afternoon, after church and before football.
Thanksgiving Dinner (capital D) is between lunch and dinner. Same with Christmas, but I don't recall ever using the word 'dinner' for plain meals around mid day. It was always lunch.

Posted: Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:22 am
by hotshoe
Dinner might be earlier than supper in these parts - western Canada -, I think. Depends on when the meal is served. Somewhere around 6pm is the dividing line. Vague, I know, but there's my $0.02!

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:25 am
by tcward
I wonder if Andrew couldn't simply move this whole thread to the proper location... People keep coming back to it.

And my 2c worth is that the term 'dinner' is reserved for special occasions that involve a larger group of friends and/or family. The time of day is somewhat irrelevant (I always have to check my spelling with that word, because the 'e' and 'a' seem like they should be switched), although it's never before lunchtime... I think that's more of a social commentary (who wants to do anything like that before noon?) than a particularly rigid meaning intrinsic to the term itself... if that makes sense.

-Tim

Dinner/Supper

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:12 pm
by Lee
Where I grew up on a farm (in West Tennessee), it was Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. I have since lived most of my life in south Texas, upstate NY, and now in north-central Texas where it was/is typically Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. I believe that, in some parts of the world, there are sometimes four meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Supper (with Supper being the optional meal later in the evening. But I agree that in most of the U.S., Dinner and Supper may be used interchangably.

Lee

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:06 pm
by tcward
Lee, I agree... In most of the South (at least, the South that I know), we call it 'dinner' at lunchtime. But, again, I think this is basically an informal, unscientific social commentary. In most of the rural areas, 'dinner' is the largest meal of the day, at lunchtime. In urban areas, 'dinner' is still the largest meal, at suppertime.

-Tim

Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:36 pm
by AdoAnnie
All of this reminds me of the visit I made to England where the late afternoon meal was called "tea". It had the feel of dinner, but seemed to be directed towards children. The children would be off to pre-bedtime activities and we would walk down the corner to the pub for a pint and a chuck of darts. When we got back (not really late 9 or 10ish) we would have another light meal, an omelet or sandwich (sarny?) and a last cup of tea.

It was such a relaxed, easy kind of eating pattern. Breakfast, lunch, tea and bedtime were all relatively small meals with little fuss. It may be that the family I stayed with were just very laid back folks, but their eating pattern seemed to jive with the other families in the neighborhood as we would meet them about the same time at the pub.

Dinner/Tea/Supper

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 1:53 pm
by Nightgaunt
I have to agree with AdoAnnie. I'm from England originally (although I live in Georgia now), and I remember having "Breakfast," "Lunch," and "Tea" also. But if we did have a later evening meal, it was usually called "Supper." The word "Supper" tends to be used to refer to a meal eaten before going to bed, anywhere that that the word "Dinner" is used for a meal eaten around midday.

*Sorry if this topic is a dead horse by now. I just joined and this was one of the first things I read. :)

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 2:14 pm
by Perry
I hope that I am not misremembering, but I believe that supper comes from the French souper; a light late-evening meal including soup often eaten after theater. (Like the Ukranian borscht served at the Russian Tea Room, which was next door to Carnege Hall.)

Re: Dinner/Tea/Supper

Posted: Thu May 04, 2006 5:45 pm
by sluggo
Nightgaunt wrote:I have to agree with AdoAnnie. I'm from England originally (although I live in Georgia now), and I remember having "Breakfast," "Lunch," and "Tea" also. But if we did have a later evening meal, it was usually called "Supper." The word "Supper" tends to be used to refer to a meal eaten before going to bed, anywhere that that the word "Dinner" is used for a meal eaten around midday.

*Sorry if this topic is a dead horse by now. I just joined and this was one of the first things I read. :)


No dead horses here, Gauntlet- welcome!

My Mississippi cousin tells me that her mom/my aunt would make a big meal called "dinner" at midday, enough that leftovers could later serve as supper.

Re: Dinner/Tea/Supper

Posted: Fri May 05, 2006 6:19 pm
by Stargzer
Nightgaunt wrote: . . .
*Sorry if this topic is a dead horse by now. I just joined and this was one of the first things I read. :)


Horses are regularly resurrected around here.


During a political corruption trial years ago in Maryland, one of the defendants was quoted as saying "Let's not beat a dead horse to death."