So when discussing a specific time of the day it is easy to understand when someone says they want to do something before or after “supper” or “lunch” but there always needs to be clarification when talking about “dinner” as a time of day.
According to Wikipedia: “Supper” is the name for the evening meal in some dialects of English. While often used interchangeably with Dinner today, supper was traditionally a separate meal. “Dinner” traditionally had been used to refer to the main and most formal meal of the day, which, from the Middle Ages until the 18th century, was most often the midday meal. When the evening meal became the main meal, it was referred to as “dinner”, and the lighter midday meal was called “Luncheon”. Which is where the word lunch came from for the midday meal. If you think about it, we always had Lunch at school and our parents gave us “lunch money” not “dinner money”. On the other hand we say Thanksgiving Dinner, Easter Dinner or Christmas Dinner no matter what time of the day we serve it. And this seems to be the case whether you live in Alabama or Los Angeles.
Since we have lived in several regions of the US, I thought about what people said in the different places we have resided. There was a mixture of opinions. My very dear friend who still lives in Michigan had an interesting point of view, he said “I use both but I grew up saying supper because my mom always said it. I think it has to do with the generation. But I usually call it dinner now. I don’t know why…”
My other close friend, who lives in Missouri, says “I always said supper as a kid, but then I quit as an adult until I started dating M who is a commercial farmer. He grew up on the farm and now I say supper all the time because of HIM!” So who knows the answer to why we use the word we use. Is it a conscious or subconscious decision?
We now live in East Texas, which is where my hubby grew up, and he calls it dinner. But most of my friends here call it supper which tells me it is more of a regional word. I have been calling it supper more lately and my hubby likes to tease me by saying he isn’t ready to eat supper, but call him when dinner is ready! Or he has fed the dogs dinner but he hasn’t given them supper today. HA HA! (they eat twice a day)
Another thought is: People do not usually call it “fine suppering” when talking about going out to a formal meal. It is called “fine dining” no matter what region you live in and it always refers to an evening meal. On the other hand, I have never heard of a “Dinner Club” only “Supper Clubs”. I’m sure there may be “dinner clubs” around, it is just not something you see in East Texas or Western Kentucky where I grew up. I think most of us can agree on what “breakfast” means but I’m not going to even discuss “brunch”! I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer, just a preference.
So there is a friendly debate of sorts. What do you call it? And does it really matter? I don’t care what you call it, just don’t call me late for it! LOL! Y’all have a good one now, hear?! 🙂