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The word "supper"
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Author:  Fooge [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:33 am ]
Post subject:  The word "supper"

Does the word "supper" sound old fashioned to you? It does to me. I always call the evening meal "dinner".

Author:  linguoboy [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Depends on context. In Upper Midwestern English? Yes. In UK or Southern American English? No.

Author:  Zaarin [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

My grandparents call the evening meal "supper" and the afternoon meal (what most people call "lunch") "dinner." For me "supper" and "dinner" are interchangeable, except that I'd never call a formal function a "supper" and probably 85% of the time I'd just use "dinner"--but "supper" doesn't sound that antiquated to me.

Author:  Travis B. [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

To me, supper and dinner are interchangeable, but I normally these days use dinner; when I was younger I did use supper, probably because my dad also uses it, but at some point I switched to using dinner consistently, probably because I perceived supper as old-fashioned.

Author:  alynnidalar [ Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

I use the two semi-interchangeably (except when discussing a formal evening meal, which is always a dinner, or the middle-of-the-day Sunday meal, which can be dinner but is never supper), but I've also been gently teased for using "supper", so I recognize that other people in this area can view it as old-fashioned. Nevertheless, I think I mostly use "supper".

Author:  Fooge [ Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

In middle English "dinner" meant "breakfast". The meal at the beginning of the day was considered the main meal. "Supper" was a light meal in the evening close to bed.

Author:  jmcd [ Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

"Supper" is markedly English for me i.e. it's a word I'm aware of existing in the English language, but I'm not at all used to hearing in real life. I'm much more used to both 'dinner' and 'tea'.

Author:  Fooge [ Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

jmcd wrote:
"Supper" is markedly English for me i.e. it's a word I'm aware of existing in the English language, but I'm not at all used to hearing in real life. I'm much more used to both 'dinner' and 'tea'.


For me, "tea" is a drink, not a meal.

Author:  Travis B. [ Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Personally tea is a beverage, but I am familiar with English-speakers using it to refer to a light afternoon meal. (Apparently some English-speakers use it to refer to an evening meal, but I am not familiar with this usage.)

Author:  KathTheDragon [ Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

I have "tea" as both the drink and the main evening meal. A light afternoon meal is "afternoon tea", but that's a pretty old-fashioned concept for me and evokes images near-exclusively of tea and jam scones.

Author:  kanejam [ Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

I don't know if tea on its own refers to a light meal anywhere. I have both morning tea and afternoon tea which do (neither of which are old-fashioned), but tea on its own only refers to the main evening meal i.e. is interchangeable with dinner. Supper normally refers to a light late night meal, like having a hot chocolate and biscuit (cookie) before bed. Using it for dinner is a bit old-fashioned.

Author:  Zaarin [ Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Wait, wait, wait. You guys across the Pond call your evening meal "tea"? :o

Author:  linguoboy [ Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Zaarin wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. You guys across the Pond call your evening meal "tea"? :o

I learned this from watching the movie Beautiful Thing. One of the characters catches it for having "burned the tea" and I was initially like How the hell do you do that?

Hyacinth Bucket is the one who taught me that "supper" sounds posh to most people over there.

Author:  Vijay [ Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

For me, tea often is a meal, even if that's not really the intention. There was a point when I was in 5th or 6th grade or something that I'd come home from school to drink tea and eat cassava with a very spicy and saucy fish dish (a "quintessentially Malayalee" dish, as my dad once put it, usually made with mackerel in this case IIRC, but probably made a lot more often with sardines in India itself).

Author:  Richard W [ Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Zaarin wrote:
Wait, wait, wait. You guys across the Pond call your evening meal "tea"? :o

When it can't claim to be 'dinner', yes. 'Dindins' is a generic call to a meal.

Author:  Imralu [ Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

In my family, we only ever said "dinner", but lots of other Australians say "tea". I remember visiting a friend who's mum was my mum's friend in the afternoon when I was about 5 or 6 and my friend's mum asked if I wanted to stay for tea. I said I don't drink tea and both our mums laughed at me for being cute but I still just didn't understand.

Author:  Frislander [ Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

The calling an evening meal "tea" is a stereotypically Northern English thing; indeed the stereotype is "breakfast, lunch, dinner" vs. "breakfast, dinner, tea". "supper" is also found, but I think it's definitely more of a southern thing, and particularly more middle to upper class southern thing (it's the norm in Cambridge for example).

Author:  Jonlang [ Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

When I was a child, supper was a late night snack before bed, like cereal or biscuits and milk.

Author:  elemtilas [ Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Jonlang wrote:
When I was a child, supper was a late night snack before bed, like cereal or biscuits and milk.


Hi Jonlang:

Just to let you know, ZBB has packed up and left.

The new location is http://www.verduria.org.

Author:  elemtilas [ Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The word "supper"

Jonlang wrote:
When I was a child, supper was a late night snack before bed, like cereal or biscuits and milk.


Hi Jonlang:

Just to let you know, ZBB has packed up and left.

The new location is http://www.verduria.org.

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