Advanced search

It's lunchtime, surely?!

(27 Posts)
Scottishtanguera Thu 31-Jan-13 12:28:26

It's that time of day when people start talking about going off for their "dinner" and it being "dinnertime" and I start to grind my teeth.

So, I've come on here to a)ask the question of where this nonsense started and b)have a rant, basically.

I'm from Scotland - obviously - so dinner is always, always the evening meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner -no variations. Imagine my confusion when I moved here. And years later I still have to bite my tongue, especially when my mil refers to my dc having their "dinner" when it's sandwiches. I can just about accept it IF it's a cooked meal at lunchtime - but sandwiches??How the fuck does one "dine" on what is essentially finger food??" confused

Why does it annoy me so much? I don't know, but quite possibly it's the way I'm treated like a mental case when I correct people and being forced to call my dinner "tea" because these mad people will get confused. <sigh>

I've had all the arguments - I usually get the "school dinners" thing, and yes, I called it that - in Primary School when it was a cooked meal. But not as an adult, never. I try to get people to see sense: "Look at the menu - breakfast menu, LUNCH menu, DINNER menu - see?!" I wail, and, "what do you think you're going to get when you book a hotel for 'dinner, bed and breakfast'??", but no-one listens(or cares) so I have come to Pedants' corner for some much needed common sense empathy.....

Ahh, feels better already.

Disclaimer:my first long Pedants' Corner post - be nice. <worried about spelling/grammar>

ilovepowerhoop Thu 31-Jan-13 13:26:48

also Scottish and also have breakfast, lunch and dinner (and maybe supper before bed if you are really lucky)

Londonmrss Mon 04-Feb-13 13:53:29

Definitely a regional thing- I'm from Yorkshire and my family and I all have breakfast, dinner and tea. I still say this even though I've lived in London (and mocked repeatedly for this) for almost 10 years. I thought it was purely a North / South divide, but obviously not if it doesn't stretch to Scotland.

jaynebxl Tue 05-Feb-13 06:04:46

Yes definitely a regional thing. Another Yorkshire lass here and I grew up with breakfast, dinner and tea, but having moved south at 18 I've adapted and now say breakfast and lunch. For the evening meal I say dinner if we are going out or having people over but tea if it is just us and the kids.

MrsMangoBiscuit Tue 05-Feb-13 06:12:31

I thought a full meal at midday was dinner, and a light one was lunch. Also a full meal later on was dinner, and a light one was tea. So you could either have breakfast - lunch - dinner, or breakfast - dinner - tea. If you're still hungry in the evening (probably because you had breakfast - dinner - tea!) then you have another light meal called supper.

Alternatively, if you're pregnant and permanently hungry, you could have breakfast - breakfast 2 - dinner - dinner - supper. <raids fridge> grin

Imflabulous Tue 05-Feb-13 06:22:53

Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Fact. I agree op and could of written your post had I been able to spell also from Scotland and now live in England.

Imflabulous Tue 05-Feb-13 06:23:51

Sorry was supposed to strike through not bold!

Londonmrss Tue 05-Feb-13 12:46:37

Imflabulous, I hate myself a little bit, but as we're in Pendants' Corner, please can I just correct your use of 'could of'. I know it's easily done, but I hate to see it written down.

<creeps away, slightly ashamed>

NotMostPeople Tue 05-Feb-13 12:52:14

Its regional, one of the tales I tell our Dc's is about how when DH said he wanted to take me out for tea I thought he meant afternoon tea with scones. It was part of why I agreed to go as I thought it was such an unusual thing for a man to suggest.

I write lunch money on the envelope for school, can't bring myself to write dinner money.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Tue 05-Feb-13 12:57:31

Its regional and confusing.

Afternoon tea and high tea are different things and neither of them is a curry or a beef stew or a chop.

Tea instead of dinner bugs me much more than dinner instead of lunch. For some reason I say dinner for school dinner. Dinner money. Dinner or sandwiches? but packed lunch is 'lunch' and if they have had 'dinners' when they get home I'll ask 'what did you have for your lunch?' confused

HighJinx Tue 05-Feb-13 13:05:59

As I understand it, 'dinner' is the main meal of the day whether it is eaten at midday or in the evening.

I think regional variations on when this main meal was traditionally eaten has probably caused the variations in everyday use of lunch or dinner today, regardless of when the main meal is actually eaten.

One thing is certain. You are not going to be able to universally change this so you may as well embrace it.

HousewifeFromHeaven Tue 05-Feb-13 13:09:20

Well the dinner ladies at school are now are called lunch time supervisors so I guess no one really knows confused grin

Scottishtanguera Thu 07-Feb-13 10:58:13

smile at notmostpeople - I know, it hurts my eyes when I read it(I'm inspired to change it now!), and despite my feelings about it I still refer to it as 'school dinners' with my DC to save confusion.
Agree with the allowance of "dinner" at midday if it's a cooked meal (Christmas dinner,for example) but it's STILL lunchtime and I won't be budged on that.
My mil - who knows my feelings - and I will continue to have verbal passive-aggressive conversations about it though, such as this whenever she babysits:

mil:So you're coming back just after dinnertime?
me:<inwardly rolls eyes>yes, and Ive packed their lunchboxes to make it easier.
mil:that's good, I said I might take them over the park so they can have their dinner there as the weather's nice.
me:yes, will probably be busy around lunchtime in the park though...
mil:well, I'll make sure they only have a small ice cream if they eat all their dinner so they don't spoil their tea.


And if a man offered to take me out to tea I would assume scones and teapots would be involved(and that he was a bit odd) - and that would be scones as in pronounced "(s)gone" not "scouns" but that's a whole other thread....<grumpy>

Myliferocks Thu 07-Feb-13 11:03:53

I've lived in the South West of Engalnd all my life and to me it's breakfast, lunch or dinner and tea.

Greythorne Thu 07-Feb-13 11:24:31

But are there seriously "lunch ladies" anywhere in the country?

JaquelineHyde Thu 07-Feb-13 11:30:58

Breakfast, lunch and dinner...Supper if you eat very late on.

Midlands born however, I have lived in the South East most of my life. Regardless of where I have been living it has always been this way.

IfYouCanMoveItItsNotBroken Thu 07-Feb-13 22:11:52

We have breakfast, dinner then supper here. However, I can often be heard shouting "just eat your dinner!" at supper time. I think in my corner of Scotland lots of people use "dinner" for either, sometimes requiring clarification. I have lived in different parts of Scotland though, and have only ever heard supper used to describe a snack before bedtime. I suspect that the terms I use are only used within a 15 mile radius of my hoose.

pigsDOfly Thu 07-Feb-13 22:28:56

As I understand it: children in the nursery have, breakfast, dinner and tea -therefore children will have school dinners and school dinner ladies. Adults have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

ceeveebee Thu 07-Feb-13 22:41:46

I'm from north west England and its always been breakfast, dinner and tea in my family.

However I have heard via Mark Radcliffe on t' radio that:
1pm - dinner if at home, lunch if in a restaurant/cafe
6pm - tea if at home, dinner if in a restaurant/cafe (although my DM calls it 'going for a meal' which is very non specific

JessieMcJessie Tue 19-Feb-13 15:28:23

The use of "supper" for an evening meal (e.g. David Cameron's "kichen suppers") caught me by surprise when I went from small town Scotland to a posh university. It's always toast and hot chocolate at about 10pm as far as I'm concerned.

We always talked of the midday meal as "lunch", though didn't bat an eyelid at the anomalous and universal use of "school dinners". However in our house at least, whether it was "dinner" or "tea" in the evening depended on how heavy the food was. My Mum had a further gloss of her own- a "tea tea". This was a meal with which you drank tea, such as fish and chips. smile

somebloke123 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:16:43

I remember "Tea" being used for the evening meal, as in the old saying "I'm coming 'ome and I want me tea on't table".

blue2 Wed 20-Feb-13 10:23:30

I'm from the South East and we say:


Tea is drunk at tea time (4-ish in my book) maybe with a biscuit

So - no idea what dinner is - maybe it's in the dog??!! grin

shrimponastick Sat 23-Feb-13 16:09:47

I am from Yorkshire and grew up on breakfast, dinner and tea.

I now have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This has lead to confusion. We invited friends for dinner. They turned up at noon. (DH's fault, as he didn't state a time).

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 23-Feb-13 16:16:01

I hate to say it, but I think it's a class thing more than a regional thing.

SanityClause Sat 23-Feb-13 16:22:32

I am Australian.

We had breakfast, lunch and tea.

Now I live in SE England, it's breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Supper is either a small late meal, or something very grand people eat at dinner time!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: