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Supper vs. Dinner

posted 7/29/2007 8:24:16 PM |
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Earlier today, around the lunch hour, I was visiting my hubby who is hospitalized with pneumonia, yet again. It's a down side of being bedridden and he manages to get it every 10-12 months. But he is doing wonderfully and will be home soon.

While I was there this sweet young thing of a CNA comes prancing into his room carrying his food tray and proclaims, in this drippy southern accent, "darlin your supper is here".

Now I know with that voice she is not a native Californian so I asked where she was from and sure enough it was South Carolina. She is attending college in the area and is working part time at the Nursing and Rehabilition Center.

When she left I started to reminisce with hubby (something I do often with him..I talk he listens) about my first visit to meet his family in his small home town of Apache, OK. I had not been in the family long (this was 30 years ago) and this was my first trip to meet his extended family of Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

We were staying with his Aunt in her farmhouse that somehow just wasn't as large as he remembered it from when he was a child. The land had long ago been divided with each child granted a portion and all building homes within shouting distance of his Aunt.

We were leaving that Sunday morning for a sight seeing tour and as we leave his Aunt said to us "now be sure to be home for supper" and out the door we went.

Hours later after touring the area my husband had called home we made it back to his Aunts house and through the back door. Yikes...there sat his Aunt and a few cousins but nothing I could see that resembled dinner in preparation.

His Aunt merely pointed to the warming stove and said "supper is probably cold but there it is". My husband and I just stared at each other not understanding exactly what was happening.

With that, his 85 year old Aunt gets up from kitchen table, places her hands on her hips and says "Bobby Gene, you been gone so long you don't know what time supper is".

OOps....."supper" was at noon and yes, he had been gone so long he had forgotten and to me being a "city girl" supper/dinner was the evening meal.

So, what is it folks - supper or dinner?

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Jul 29 @ 8:26PM  
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner here

Jul 29 @ 8:29PM  
supper to me is another term for the evening meal. Dinner, on the other hand, can be afternoon, as in sunday dinner, or evening. same thing, i guess. but the noon meal is lunch, to me. so i guess it's "When in Rome...."

Jul 29 @ 8:40PM  
I have known lots of people from Oklahoma and the south plus reside in Texas and have never heard or even read on menus of supper being anything other than dinner or lunch ever being anything but lunch. It might just be something unique to his family. Did you ever ask your husband if anyone outside of his family made that reference? Kind of curious.

Jul 29 @ 8:45PM  
While I had heard the "supper" phrase and it's meaning of a lunch time meal, while I was growning up it never stuck with my family. In this case I know the term was used county wide in OK. So perhaps it was only a regional thing.

I do still laugh about the moment and was so glad I was still accepted into this wonderful and loving family, even if I was a city girl.

Jul 29 @ 9:07PM  
hmm and i've been from as far south in texas you can be without bein in mexico and all along and back up thru the carolinas.....and yup ..supper n dinner have always been interchangable

Jul 29 @ 10:05PM  
I'm from Illinois...... grew up on the farm. We always called the 3 meals Breakfast, dinner, and supper. I've noticed people in town tend to call them Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

So, the noon meal could be lunch or dinner and the evening meal dinner or supper but I've Never heard anyone call the noon meal supper.

Any restaurant menu I've ever seen anywhere that has 2 menus, calls them the Lunch menu and the Dinner menu. I"ve NEVER seen a supper menu at a restaurant.

Jul 29 @ 10:08PM  
maybe i can help ya a little bit. being christian has had an impact on my thinking . a fella named of leonardo da vinci is famous for what painting? the last dinner or the last supper!

Jul 29 @ 10:16PM  
Well, Ynot, these days, you don't have to go very far south into Texas to think that you are in Mexico.

Jul 29 @ 10:36PM  
I have said this before, and I will say again that this is an educational site.
Breakfast in the morning.
Lunch or dinner at noon, but I always think lunch.
Supper or dinner in the evening, but I always think dinner.

Jul 29 @ 11:01PM  
Mom and Dad have been gone along time thanks for bringing something up from my childhood brought a smile to my face ....Its was breakfast ...supper...and dinner in my house don't think its a state to state thing maybe what era people are from ...they were born in 1918 ...and I'm a yankee the minute I open my mouth according to the people I met in N.C. .........

Jul 29 @ 11:36PM  
I use breakfast, lunch, and supper and dinner are interchangeable... doesn't matter to me what ya call the meal, just don't call me late for it!!

Jul 30 @ 1:04AM  
In my experience (growing up in PA), and in agreement with a few other folks here, breakfast is the morning meal, lunch at noon, supper in the evening.

The exceptions would be on a Sunday where you might have 'brunch' (somewhere between breakfast and lunch, usually around 10:30 or 11:00 in the morning), or Sunday dinner, which at my folks place was the noon meal after Sunday Mass (raised Catholic).

The other exceptions were the three big holiday meals: Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, Easter dinner (which were usually closer to noon than 5:00 for us, but I knew many families who had these meals in the late afternoon, around 4:00 or 5:00).

So I have always assumed that it was a matter of family tradition moreso than regional.

Jul 30 @ 4:51AM  
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. But supper is interchangeable with dinner.


Jul 30 @ 8:54AM  
I dont know about his family, but i was born and raised in Oklahoma, and still live here, and supper has always been the evening meal. But maybe that was from my parents being from Kentucky for my mom and Arkansas for my dad..but always supper was at night.

Jul 30 @ 10:05AM  
supper is the evening meal in the south

Jul 30 @ 10:41AM  
i am from the Mid West. And i can remember my grandmother calling us on SUndays (when i was a child) asking if we were coming over for supper. We usually went over around 4ish. And i also remember my mother telling me when i was a child, especially during the summer cause we were always out playing i the neighborhood, be back in time for supper. That meant food on the table around the 5 o'clock hour cause dad was gonna be home from work and by golly we had better be there. So..we called it..breakfast, lunch and supper.

Jul 30 @ 11:22AM  
Since about 74 and a resident of the South east USA; dinner has been lunch, and supper the evening meal at 5-ish

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Supper vs. Dinner