Dinner and supper are generally synonymous when referring to a meal in the evening. However, dinner can be considered by some to be a somewhat more formal word. In chiefly British English, supper can also refer to a light meal or snack that is eaten late in the evening.
It’s not necessarily an American South or Midwestern tradition, but instead is a farming families’ trademark. Because the Southern and Midwestern states were heavily agricultural, supper was implicitly the lighter, late evening meal and dinner was the larger, main meal of the day.
Supper is any meal had from 4 p.m. till late. And dinner can be seen as a special kind of supper that sometimes comes occasionally, a lot more food is served than at supper .
In the 1800s and perhaps even earlier, Americans in some rural regions started calling their midday meal dinner, while supper was reserved for the evening meal.
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Basically until around the 1800s everyone refered to the main meal of the day as dinner regardless of time. At this period in time the wealthy or upper classes started to favour the evening for the main cooked meal of the day and would have a light luncheon at midday.
In 18th-century London, supper was posh : an insubstantial final snack eaten by the upper classes long after dinner – cold beef and punch, perhaps, nibbled to sate the appetite before bed. But growing up in the 1980s, supper wasn’t grand.
And on NPR, food historian Helen Zoe Veit points out that in the past, especially in farming communities, the noon meal was the biggest one of the day. Which would explain why, in certain parts of the south, the word ‘ dinner ‘ has persisted as a reference to the noon, rather than evening, meal .
The most popular time to serve one’s Thanksgiving meal in the United States is in the early afternoon. A 2018 survey of U.S. consumers found that 42 percent of respondents started their Thanksgiving dinner between 1:00pm and 3:00pm .
North America. The distinction between dinner and supper was common in United States farming communities into the twentieth century, especially in the Mid-West and the American South, though today, most Americans consider the two synonyms and strongly prefer the term dinner for the evening meal .
More than half of middle class northerners call the evening meal “ tea ”, alongside 67 per cent of the northern working class.
Americans typically have dinner between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. While the average time people ate dinner was exactly 6:22 p.m., it varies an can be anywhere from 4:30 p.m. to 10:59 p.m. Unlike other countries, the US typically has a very short lunch — making dinner the biggest and longest meal.
The abbreviation lunch is taken from the more formal Northern English word luncheon , which is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word nuncheon or nunchin meaning ‘noon drink’. The term has been in common use since 1823.
Typically people eat dinner between 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM . Dinner time fifty years ago people ate between 5:00 PM and 6:30PM but now due to work and commuting schedules dinner time for many of us has shifted to eating later.
1a : the evening meal especially when dinner is taken at midday. b : a social affair featuring a supper especially : an evening social especially for raising funds a church supper . 2 : the food served as a supper eat your supper . 3 : a light meal served late in the evening.