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hi! could you tell me whether there is any difference between them? thanks in advance
New Member24
Dinner is usually more substantial than supper. Dinner for some people comes at noon, for others in the evening; so some folks eat 'breakfast - lunch - dinner', others 'breakfast - lunch - supper', and still others 'breakfast - dinner - supper'.

And then there are those who get the munchies and eat any time.
Veteran Member92,239
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I grew up eating breakfast, dinner and tea.

but now I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, except when I am volunteering at a residential project I go to each year, when I eat breakfast, lunch and supper.

At weekends I tend to eat brunch and dinner or dinner (if we are having a 'roast' as you don't say roast lunch) and yet another dinner, or possibly tea.

Confusing I know.

The word depends on the quantity and type of the meal, the age and social class of the diner (the people who decided we should have 'supper' as large evening meal are decidedly upper-class) and circumstances. Generally speaking though, I would call dinner a main meal whereas supper would be a late night snack.
Veteran Member11,782
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This was the 'traditional' BrE distinction:

1. Breakfast, dinner, tea (6o/c-ish) = 'working class', with 'dinner' used even if the midday meal was only something light (a sandwich, etc), and 'tea' used even if it was a heavy meal.

2. Breakfast, lunch, dinner (7o/c-ish) = 'lower/middle middle class'.

3. Breakfast, lunch, supper (8o/c-ish) = 'upper middle' or 'upper class', with 'dinner' reserved for formal evening meals, and 'tea' for a light meal of sandwiches etc at 4o/c-ish.

But now that it's all been exhaustively tabulated by sociologists and writers on etiquette, people are more self-conscious in their choice of terms, and it's no longer an accurate social indicator. I'm not myself convinced that the 'working/middle/upper class' distinction holds true, in post-War Britain.

Interestingly, the staff who serve 'lunch' at the schools that the children of No. 2s attend are nevertheless colloquially known as 'dinner ladies'.

MrP
Veteran Member12,806
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dinner--->A banquet or formal meal in honor of a person or an event.
supper--->A light evening meal when dinner is taken at midday.
Junior Member58
A night cap is a late night, usually alchoholic, drink.
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Dear Mr P,

I'm happy to inform that these social distinctions with regard to naming meals do indeed stand in post-War Britain!

I still have friends who "cook tea" for their children (at supper-time), have a break for their "dinner" (when we're all taking our luncheon), and never appear to eat supper.

They must be starving and very confused.

I belong to the supper brigade.

Lunch is lunch, tea is tea and dinner is an expensive treat reserved for special occasions.

Thank goodness we may all enjoy breakfast.

Love this kind of question - love the social traditions of this nation.

All best,

Spellcheck
New Member11
Thank goodness we may all enjoy breakfast.

Except that the supperly-inclined who return from a 'dinner' and subsequent revels at 2o/c in the morning may well decide to have 'breakfast' before they retire — not so long after those who 'cooked tea' the evening before were having their 'supper'...
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1 comment In Illinois, where I was born, they rang the dinner bell at noon to call the hands in from the fields. Dinner was always a very substantial meal, because they may work till dark. I agree Thank Goodness for Breakfast.
New Member02
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