Supper or Dinner?

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Supper or Dinner

So which is it?

Supper or Dinner? There are folks who call their noon meal, dinner. Though most people in our modern world break for what they call, lunch. But dinner can also be the evening meal. Or, supper. One thing we’ve noticed is that nobody calls their noon meal, supper. You can see where this is going, right? We’re eating breakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch, dinner, and supper. Dinner twice, it seems.

You can see where this is going, right?

Well, either term – supper or dinner – is acceptable (and we don’t mind how many you have in a day). Dinner became the most commonly used one among English speaking countries when referencing the main meal of the day, but where did this supper word come from?

The French, who know something about food, brought it to us. Originally Old French – to sup. Visit the French speaking province of Quebec and you may find yourself invited for a Sunday souper – actually souper du dimanche. And no, this isn’t a big bowl of soup. More likely it will be one of those overflowing tables with lots of food and wine and chatter.

Upper crust Brits had supper but it was more like a snack served late in the evening. Dinner would be the evening meal. As for the mid day meal, that’s luncheon. There were also high and low teas (for a country not especially well known for their food, they sure had a lot of meal options). The lower British classes had dinner at mid day and tea was, and still is for many, including Australians and New Zealanders, what we Canadians and Americans call supper.


It doesn’t matter. We’re called Sunday Supper because supper is the name we grew up with. And, lucky for us, supper sounds good with Sunday. But when you shop for groceries at Ralph’s in San Diego or at Publix in Fort Lauderdale, a staff member from either store is happy to help you put something together for your Sunday (or anytime) meal without noticing what you call it. By the way, that meal never has to be complicated or fancy, just make something and watch people sit down and share. They’ll just naturally catch up with each other before another hectic week begins. It’s a great ritual with so many benifits, whatever it’s called.


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