Lunch, Dinner, or Supper SOL 9/31

There was a big debate over pizza at lunch yesterday. No it wasn’t what the best kind of pizza is, or where to buy it, but instead what the meal is called when we eat it. Not just pizza but any food. Is it lunch? Is it dinner or supper?
Growing up my mom usually made lunch during the day, and we had supper in the evening. But if we were at my grandparents it was dinner at noon and supper in the evening.
To me lunch is something quick, a sandwich, salad, pizza, and it always falls anywhere from 11:00 to 1:00. Lunch is often eaten away from home.
Dinner on the other hand is a “meal.” It is always hot, home-cooked and consists of meat, potatoes, veggies, bread, salad and sometimes dessert. It is sit down at the table, everyone home, important conversations, and made for family.
If grandma was cooking it was almost always at noon, unless grandpa was going to be delayed in the field or in town with a load of wheat. It was on the table by noon and cleaned up and supper started by two or three.
Dinner happened every day on the farm, and is one ofthe best memories of my childhood.
Today dinner is also during the afternoon, but can range in time from noon to 2. It’s always a hot meal, but usually only happens on holidays and Sunday. I wish it happened more.
And then there is supper. That is always the evening meal. For grandma it meant another hot meal unless once again grandpa was in the field. Then it was a rare treat of butter and sugar sandwiches and cold lemonade in the shade of an old oak tree, or grandpa’s combine. Dessert was usually leftovers of dinner. Supper happens in the twilight of the day, and after the dishes are cleared or grandpa returns from the field is topped off with a Pepsi on the porch.
Supper for us as a family was at the end of the day and the one time we could gather as a family. It was a time to reflect on our days and ask about our lives. It was finding out about school work and the latest news about friends and family. Sometimes supper was brought home, sometimes it was mom cooked. But it was always at the table and time together.  And more often than not in the summer it is topped off with a Pepsi on the porch as the sun goes down.   


  1. Dinner is later in the day unless it's Sunday. Then dinner is right after church at my parents' house. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. Growing up, my meals were labeled exactly as your were for exactly the same reasons. However, as my life has changed (and I no longer live on a farm), we have breakfast, lunch and dinner--though my husband uses "dinner" and "supper" interchangeably. On weekends, when our schedule is more relaxed, we will sometimes have "brunch" or even "slinner" (a combined lunch and dinner/supper). I love this piece of writing, as it brings back home and the reasons behind the meanings of our lingo.

  3. So much image in a word.

  4. In our house breakfast and lunch are the typical morning noon time meals. I just had a conversation with my son about the difference between dinner and supper. He decided if we eat at home it is dinner, if we eat at Mimi's (grandmothers) it's supper.

  5. Hmmmmm - this post really got me thinking. I guess I equate "supper" with a meal rather late in the evening - perhaps because dinner got delayed for some reason. Supper would be a smallish meal, not necessarily hot, - just a few bites of this or that to tide you over til the morning.
    We are definitely a breakfast, lunch and dinner family. Love this post and how it highlights the power of a single word

  6. You explain this SO WELL I wonder if you are from North Dakota! haha - I spent half of college, 1500 miles away from home, trying to explain what meal I was talking about every time I spoke a meal word! And our dinners, sometimes, happened in the field amidst the combines, with dad, grandpa, and my big brother, and even then, it was hot and plated. :) But, those are some of the BEST meals I remember. Thanks for such a warm post!