I just caught a little Andy Griffith Show

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    • #379950
      • Total Posts: 5,241

      and Andy asked Aunt Mae what was for SUPPER. It was always supper for me growing up. When did it become ‘dinner’?  Anyone still use ‘supper’ for the evening meal?

      Inquiring minds…

    • #379956
      • Total Posts: 716

      Though I often have to repeat what I said and replace it with “dinner.”

      But since you mention Andy Griffith, I’m reminded of something I read awhile back:

      “I was watching the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ the other day with my kid. Yes, I still watch old TV on occasion. I thought, why is everyone so happy in Mayberry? It hit me like a ton of toothpicks….NO ONE IN MAYBERRY IS MARRIED! … The only one that was married was Otis. Guess what? Otis stayed drunk the whole time. Coincidence? I think not.”


      "The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them." -Julius Nyerere, First President of Tanzania

      • #379958
        • Total Posts: 5,241

        funny about that, though Barney tries and tries!

    • #379964
      • Total Posts: 3,072

      In civilized parts of the country, it’s always been breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    • #379966
      Populist Prole
      • Total Posts: 525

      Oh I’m aware of the term supper, but I’ve only heard it used IRL by some people from the rural south or midwest, or in TV/movies dialogue depicting people form the rural south or midwest.

      During my upbringing and beyond, in the areas I’ve done so, it was always breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    • #379973
      NV Wino
      • Total Posts: 6,056

      Somehow it changed to dinner when I became an adult on the west coast.

      “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee
      “Politicians and pro athletes: The only people who still get paid when they lose.” William Rivers Pitt

    • #379976
      • Total Posts: 4,865

      Supper is the last meal of the day, while dinner is the big meal of the day. Among the upper crust, supper was often served quite late in the day, maybe 9:00 PM. Working class people had the big meal in the evening, but not so late, so dinner and supper were the same for them. Farm families often had the big meal at Noon, and some of them called it “dinner.” That was the case among the farm family where I worked, and they traced their ancestry back to England.  They referred to a salt shaker as a “salt caster.” I think there were clear distinctions in England. After all, they made up terms like “exaltation” of larks and “skein” of geese because they were not happy just saying “flock” for a group of birds. I’m not sure if the dinner vs. supper distinction survives in England, but we blurred the lines the first chance we got, just to annoy the king.

    • #379980
      a little weird
      • Total Posts: 708

      Although it’s common to hear both terms.  Actually my dad always used to use ‘dinner’ in place of lunch which did seem weird to me but I’ve heard other people from older generations do that too.

    • #379993
      • Total Posts: 6,586

      Her name is Aunt Bee.

    • #380020
      Babel 17
      • Total Posts: 4,030

      So “I’ve already supped” means I’ve already chowed down, with the presumption being that that was after lunch.

      Dinner = Dining, which has a connotation of a formal sit-down, and yeah, since it got mentioned up-thread, I guess that can easily take place later in the evening. Go out on the town, maybe to a play, and then have your dinner by dining out.

      If at large home, the kind that hosts guests, you’d want to have a formal dinner after everyone had time to clean up, and change into evening attire, so I could see that being around seven or eight in the evening.

      It would have also served as a way to remind everyone that you were upper class, and could afford to light your abode, and not rely on daylight.

      P.S. Funny scene in one of the Hornblower books when he dined at a Russian estate where the czar was to appear. They served a buffet, he thought that was how they served dinner, and he stuffed himself, to the amusement of the Russian Countess he later slept with. I think it was to her that he used a line about having “supped wonderfully”. Not long after that, everyone sat down to a seven course meal, lol.

    • #380022
      Babel 17
      • Total Posts: 4,030

      Which I later learned was spelled “Victuals”.

    • #380027
      • Total Posts: 2,953

      I’m 59 and was born and raised in Chicago, and it was always dinner. I always associated supper with rural or southern areas, but this is probably my urban bias.

      All governments lie to their citizen's, but only Americans believe theirs.

    • #380055
      • Total Posts: 2,775

      and we had dinner.  Must have been right on the cultural border —

    • #380060
      Babel 17
      • Total Posts: 4,030

      “It’s dinner time, did you eat?”

      “I had my supper.”

      “But did you have your dinner yet?”

      “I ate my dinner when it was supper time.”

      “Did you eat with your Mother?

      “My Mudder? She ate her fodder.”


    • #380099
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 17,940

      My mom grew up on a farm and my dad in a small town. We had breakfast, lunch, and supper. We only had dinner when we had guests or if we went out to eat. Of course, many of our San Antonio neighbors had breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a few old Southern money families had breakfast or brunch, then dinner and supper.

      And of course, there was Thanksgiving Dinner in the early afternoon and Christmas Dinner at night. In Ohio nobody knows what supper is unless it’s the Last Supper.

      English is a wonderfully flexible language with lots of class and regional variations, and sometimes I’ll side with the country bumpkins. For example vittles is just a cooler-sounding word than victuals to me. @babel17

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

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