Learn you sumpin!

Round heah, we eat breakfast, dinner and supper. We being people over the age of 60 and me. When I was younger, it was confusing to visit S.C. (from Kansas, New Jersey, Germany, etc.) and hear my grandfather ask, “What’s for supper?” Or say it was dinnertime, at 11 a.m. I came to remember the diference thusly: D before S, dinner before supper.

This morning I learned “dinner” comes from “disnar,” c’est Francaise, honhonhhonhlepoisson. I’ve often wondered how American – actually, no, I guess I don’t wonder. Big greasy breakfasts are kinda a Brit thing, so that’s probably why a “traditional” American breakfast is considerably larger than a French or German Brotchen und Kaise (anybody who’s hostel’d knows what I mean). Anyways, dinner/disnar was the biggest meal of the day, eaten around noon. So that’s why, in the South, dinner means lunch.


2 Responses to “Learn you sumpin!”

  1. Issa Says:

    When I was growing up, dinner meant the big or formal meal, which might occur at either midday or evening. Especially on Sundays, dinner was likely to occur midday – a big spread with lots of food, lots of guests, etc. Then if you just had a sandwich in the evening, that’s supper. On most other days, it was the other way around. The midday meal is casual – it’s at work or school, or just grabbing something from the fridge or whatever, which makes it lunch. Then in the evening, when someone makes a “real” meal, and everyone sits down to eat it together, that’s dinner.

  2. N Says:

    My Mom’s family worked the supper/dinner confusion on me, then I lived among a lot of British ex-pats and got swerved by the whole “tea” as a meal deal. I stuck with breakfast/lunch/dinner as a means of keeping my bearings.

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