Dinner or Supper

Richard   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 20:15 GMT
Do you call the evening meal ''dinner'' or ''supper''? There are two different words for this meal.
Mr.X   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 20:43 GMT
It would be better to use SUPPER when there is a social gathering. I wouldn't call my evening meal at my house a SUPPER.
Rugger   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 21:15 GMT
My family uses the term "dinner" when referring to the evening meal, but another common term used by Aussies is "tea" (e.g. "we're having fish n chips for tea").
Clark   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 21:48 GMT
My parents use dinner. But all of my grandparents use(d) supper because of where they or their parents came from (my great-g-parents came from England [supper], New York [dinner], Indiana[?], Wisconsin [supper], Missouri[?] and Kentucky[dinner]).
Ryan   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 22:04 GMT
My family always called it supper if it was just an informal meal, but dinner if it was a more formal occasion.
mjd   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 22:10 GMT
I always say "dinner." I think this is all regional, as Clark was trying to demonstrate.
Richard   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 22:21 GMT
I often call it ''dinner''.
Clark   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 22:41 GMT
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I say "dinner."
Juan   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 23:06 GMT
I was always under the impression that supper was kinda like a snack. You know, nothing to heavy .
Jim   Tuesday, November 11, 2003, 23:43 GMT
I've heard "supper" used for a evening snack after dinner. My dad often calls lunch "dinner". This has rubbed off on me a little.

I think that this comes from the tradition in the British Isles to eat your main meal in the middle of the day and have a light meal in the evening. I am right about this tradition?

Although "dinner" just pops out at lunch-time, I usually call it "lunch". Also, I usually call the evening meal "dinner", though I have often called it "tea".

The only time I've used the word "supper" is in reference to the last meal eaten by Jesus with his mates.
A.S.C.M.   Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 00:34 GMT
For me, tea and supper are separate even though they are the same for many Britons. I have tea (i.e. tea with some bread or a scone) at 4.00 PM and supper (a much heavier meal with meat and vegetables) sometime between 6 and 8 PM.

Talking about tea, don't you think it is strange that Americans drink their coffee with milk but don't drink their tea with milk? Do you think Americans would understand if I tell them that my favourite drink is "thé au lait", since café au lait is a rather popular term in the U.S.?
mjd   Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 00:57 GMT

A lot of people here drink their tea with milk. Trust me, as a waiter, it's one of the most annoying items to have to prepare with the hot water, tea pot, tea bag, etc. ;.)
zi   Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 01:10 GMT
<My family uses the term "dinner" when referring to the evening meal, but another common term used by Aussies is "tea" (e.g. "we're having fish n chips for tea"). <
Is not it odd to call your dinner "tea" ? then how do you call your "tea" ?
Rugger   Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 01:12 GMT
Comming from a staunch tea drinking family, a cup of tea has always been black tea with milk (plus two teaspoons of sugar). So, yes, I guess I do find it a little strange that in America a cuppa would be just plain tea with no milk. The exception is herbal/fruit teas (and iced lemon tea) which don't require the addition of milk.
Rugger   Wednesday, November 12, 2003, 01:25 GMT
Zi, I don't find it odd because it's all a matter of context. It's like the way we use chips/chips for fries/crisps.