meals

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amikama

a mi modo
עברית
Hi there,

English and Spanish have special names for the main meals of the day:

English: breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper
Spanish: desayuno, almuerzo, cena

On the other hand, Hebrew has no special names for them - they are simply called ארוחת בוקר ("morning meal"), ארוחת צהריים ("noon meal") and ארוחת ערב ("evening meal"). Quite straightforward, isn't it?

I'd like to know which languages have special names for meals and which don't.

Thanks.
 
  • ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch :
    - ontbijt (to bite, to put one's teeth into something, maybe taste, seems to be the original meaning, but now reduced to breakfast)
    - middagmaal, lunch (middaymeal)
    - vieruurtje (a little 4 o'clock meal literally (vier-uur-tje), no longer in fashion, I think, because it has been replaced by the evening meal/ dinner, a little bit later in the evening)
    - avondmaal

    The word maal (meal) seems to refer to the time of eating, and is related with our word maal/ 'time' (driemaal, three times). The funny thing is that we mostly add tijd (time), whereas we only mean the meal, not the time. Which shows that maal got associated with eating, and even maaltijd only with eating, not with time (tijd). So there is nothing strange about: 'Tijd voor de maaltijd' (Time for the meal).
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Russian:
    breakfast - "завтрак" /zavtrak/
    lunch - "второй завтрак" /vtoroy zavtrak/ (lit. "second breakfast"), also "ланч" /lanch/ :)
    dinner - "обед" /obed/
    afternoon snack - "полдник" /poldnik/
    supper - "ужин" /uzhin/
     

    federicoft

    Senior Member
    Italian
    In Italian meals are called colazione (from Latin collatione, meaning 'collection'), pranzo (from Latin prandium, with the same meaning) and cena (from Latin cinam, with the same meaning).

    Usually colazione is the morning meal, pranzo is the midday meal and cena the evening meal. Also, the mid-afternoon snack is called merenda (from the Latin gerundive of merire, meaning 'things that are deserved').
    However, in formal or business settings the midday meal is called colazione and the evening meal is called pranzo (e.g. Pranzo di Stato, State Dinner). In these cases, to avoid ambiguity, the morning meal is called prima colazione.
     
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    rusita preciosa

    Modus forendi
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian:
    breakfast - "завтрак" /zavtrak/
    lunch - "второй завтрак" /vtoroy zavtrak/ (lit. "second breakfast"), also "ланч" /lanch/ :)
    dinner - "обед" /obed/
    afternoon snack - "полдник" /poldnik/
    supper - "ужин" /uzhin/
    I'd say, these usages (both in English and in Russian) are quite outdated. Who eats a second breakfast nowadays? :)

    In modern Russian:
    breakfast - "завтрак" /zavtrak/
    lunch - "обед" /obed/
    dinner/supper - "ужин" /uzhin/

    I don't even remember when I last had an "official" afternoon snack - "полдник" /poldnik/. At kindergarten may be.
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    Haha, this turns into a history of civilisation! I think people working on the field got up very early, had some breakfast, worked hard, had some more to eat (I believe this is where the Germans had Imbiß (which also has the bite word), and those were the ones who got hungry halfway the afternoon...
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I don't even remember when I last had an "official" afternoon snack - "полдник" /poldnik/. At kindergarten may be.
    I heard this word in an army hospital, for example, and not only heard. :)
    As for "второй завтрак" - the word at least is definitely not archaic, even if this concept may take no place in life of most modern people (who are lucky if they eat three times a day).

    P.S.: Sorry for offtopic, but that strongly reminds me a Chinese boy from some old book saying "I eat once a day, but I eat everyday". )
     

    rusita preciosa

    Modus forendi
    Russian (Moscow)
    I heard this word in an army hospital, for example, and not only heard. :)
    As for "второй завтрак" - the word at least is definitely not archaic, even if this concept may take no place in life of most modern people (who are lucky if they eat three times a day).
    May be we should specify that poldnik was usually more than a snack, it's a sit-down small meal, like milk and cookies or a small sandwich and tea/cocoa, taken between 3 and 5PM.

    Yes, "archaic" was a bit too strong, I actually changed it to "outdated".
     

    Awwal12

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Yes, "archaic" was a bit too strong, I actually changed it to "outdated".
    As far as I remember, "второй завтрак" also take place in some hospitals. And while some phenomenon exists, the word with respective meaning can become neither archaic nor outdated. :) It can be replaced with some other word at best (and only then become outdated).
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    Hi there,

    English and Spanish have special names for the main meals of the day:

    Spanish: desayuno, almuerzo, cena

    .
    Besides those, we also have comida and merienda

    Desayuno it's something light, cereal; OJ, a piece of bread etc

    Almuerzo it's at noon; and it's something heavier like eggs, chicken etc..

    Comida (depends on the country) it's the heaviest of all, soup, salad, meal, and dessert.

    Cena: It's like comida again, or when you didn't have your comida you can arrive to your house to la cena.

    merienda, it's something very light, a pice of bread, milk, or coffe, even a sandwich can be eaten
     
    In Italian meals are called colazione (from Latin collatione, meaning 'collection'), pranzo (from Latin prandium, with the same meaning) and cena (from Latin cinam, with the same meaning).
    Usually colazione is the morning meal, pranzo is the midday meal and cena the evening meal. Also, the mid-afternoon snack is called merenda (from the Latin gerundive of merire, meaning 'things that are deserved').
    However, in formal or business settings the midday meal is called colazione and the evening meal is called pranzo (e.g. Pranzo di Stato, State Dinner). In these cases, to avoid ambiguity, the morning meal is called prima colazione.
    In Greek «κολατσιό» (kolatsço, n.) is the snack and it derives from the Byzantine Greek «κολατσίον» (kolatsion, n.). It was named kolatsion probably under the influence of the Venetians or Genuats who lived at Peran. It is also called «δεκατιανό» (ðekatçano, n.), lit. "of the 10th hour".
    Breakfast is «πρωινό» (proino. n.), "of the morning"; in ancient times it was called «ἄριστον» (ariston, n.), "the perfect one".
    Lunch is «γεύμα» (ʝevma, n.), lit. "that which is tasted" (named after the ancient γεῦσις, f.->taste). It's also named «μεσημεριανό» (mesimerʝano, n), "of midday".
    Supper is called «βραδινό» (vraðino, n), "of the evening". Formal or business dinner is called «δείπνο» (ðipno, n., of uncertain etymology). In ancient times, «δεῖπνος» ('ðeipnos, m.) was the main meal of the day. In Hellenistic times it described the supper and later the dinner.
     

    Nizo

    Senior Member
    In Esperanto, the main meals of the day are referred to as:
    matenmanĝo (morning meal)
    tagmanĝo (day meal)
    vespermanĝo (evening meal)
    Interestingly, the PIV2 (the most authoritative monolingual Esperanto dictionary) also includes:
    lunĉo, which is described as a short, light meal around noon, in countries where the morning and evening meals are large, and
    temanĝo, a light meal during the afternoon, usually consisting of tea, cakes, cookies or sandwiches.
     

    Nizo

    Senior Member
    P.S. I think it’s interesting that French, Spanish, and English all have chosen the same theme for the first meal of the day, i.e. the idea of ending a period of fast (dé-jeuner, des-ayunar, break-fast). Any others?
     

    psxws

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Venezuela, English-United States
    P.S. I think it’s interesting that French, Spanish, and English all have chosen the same theme for the first meal of the day, i.e. the idea of ending a period of fast (dé-jeuner, des-ayunar, break-fast). Any others?
    In Arabic it is فطور, (fuTuur) which comes from the root meaning to break the fast (the meal to break the fast during Ramadan, for example, is called افطار, "ifTaar")

    I had a question about this before because I used to think it was because you cannot eat an hour before church in Catholic tradition (or an hour before communion, at any rate) and so if you'd go to church in the morning you'd essentially fast until you got home. Which is why it surprised me to see the same root in Arabic, which obviously did not have this same tradition. It was explained to me as being related to the idea of there having been a natural fast during the night, since you have not eaten since dinner the night before. That makes sense to me, at least.
     

    sakvaka

    Senior Member
    Finnish.

    breakfast = aamiainen (very often in informal contexts: aamupala)
    lunch = lounas
    dinner = päivällinen
    (supper = illallinen, not so common in Finland)

    And finally, we have an evening snack called iltapala at 9 or 10 PM. It's similar to aamupala.

    The words are derived from aamu (morning), päivä (day), lounas (south-west!) and ilta (evening, night).
     

    Black4blue

    Senior Member
    Turkish/Türkçe
    Turkish:

    Breakfast=Kahvaltı
    Lunch=Öğle Yemeği (Noon meal)
    Dinner=Akşam Yemeği (Evening meal)
    snack=atıştırma, abur cubur
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Bulgarian:
    Breakfast=закуска;
    Lunch=обяд/обед;
    Dinner=вечеря.
    Only these 3 "standard" meals have generally accepted names. I've sometimes seen the expression "следобедна закуска" ("afternoon breakfast) for an "intermediate" meal in the late afternoon (mostly for children).
     
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    origumi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Who eats a second breakfast nowadays? :)
    Hobbits, of course.

    Only after reading this thread I can understand the origin of two "outdated" meals when I was a little child, grown in environment dominated by Jewish immigrants from central-east Europe.

    * 10 o'clock meal - between breakfast and lunch (Hebrew: ארוחת עשר)
    * 4 o'clock meal - between lunch and dinner (Hebrew: ארוחת ארבע)
     
    Greek while it does have separate names for each meal (follow my previous post) in our every-day colloquial language we just say «πρωινό» [pro.i'no] (neut. adj.) --> early in the day (meal is omitted), «μεσημεριανό» [mesimerʝa'no] (neut. adj.) --> midday (meal is ommited), «βραδινό» [vraði'no] (neut. adj.) --> evening (meal is omitted).

    Adj. «πρωινός, -νή, -νό» [pro.i'nos] (masc.), [pro.i'ni] (fem.), [pro.i'no] (neut.) --> early in the day < Classical adj. «πρωϊνός, -νὴ, -νόν» prōĭnós (masc.), prōĭnḕ (fem.), prōĭnón (neut.) --> early in the day, at early morning (PIE *proH-, early in the morning cf Skt. प्रतर् (prAtar), at dawn; Lat. prō, for, before)

    Adj. «μεσημεριανός, -νή, -νό» [mesimerʝa'nos] (masc.), [mesimerʝa'ni] (fem.), [mesimerʝa'no] (neut.) --> midday < Classical adj. «μεσημέριος, - ος, -ον» mĕsēmériŏs (masc. & fem.), mĕsēmériŏn (neut.) --> the middle of the day; compound, adj. «μέσος» mésŏs --> (in the) middle (PIE *medʰio-, middle cf Skt. मध्य (madhya), centre; Lat. medius) + fem. noun «ἡμέρα» hēméră --> day (PIE *Heh₂mer-, day cf Arm. օր (awr), day)

    Adj. «βραδινός, -νή, νό» [vraði'nos] (masc.), [vraði'ni] (fem.), [vraði'no] (neut.) --> evening < Classical adj. «βραδύς, -δεῖα, -δὺ bradús (masc.), brădeîă (fem.), bradù (neut.) --> tardy, late, delayed (PIE *gʷrd-u-, slow cf Lith. gurdùs, slow; Ltv. gur̄ds, tired)
     
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    AutumnOwl

    Senior Member
    Swedish, Finnish
    Swedish:
    Frukost (breakfast) - fru = early, kost = food
    Lunch (lunch)
    Middag (dinner) - mid = middle, dag = day; (earlier: middagsmål = midday meal) When lunch took over the name of the midday meal middag became the name of the dinner, evening meal
    Kvällsmat/aftonmål/kvällsvard (dinner/supper) - kväll = evening, mat = food, afton = evening, vard = old name for meal; Kvällsmat/kvällsvard was once dinner, the evening meal, but when middag became the name of the evening meal, kvällsmat came to mean a late evening meal, supper (at home)

    Supé (supper) used about a late finer evening meal, for example when eating out at a restaurant after having been at a theatre or similar
    Vickning - a late, usually after midnight, light meal at a party before people begin to leave
    Mellanmål (snack) mellan = between, mål = meal; usually used about a snack for children at school or at home, or when adults eat something light, if they have coffee with it, then it's a fika
    Fika (snack, coffee) - a coffee (tea, chocolate) break, if before lunch usually with an open sandwich, after lunch often with something sweet. Also used when taking a coffee (tea, chocolate) at a café
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    In France, generally:

    breakfast - petit déjeuner nm (literally: small "déjeuner", see below)
    lunch - déjeuner nm (literally, quite the same as "breakfast" (stop fasting))
    (snack around 4.30 for kids :D goûter nm (literally: taste)
    dinner - dîner nm (no idea where this comes from)

    But I think that in the past, it used to be as it is in some regions in France or in Belgium for instance:
    breakfast - déjeuner nm
    lunch - dîner nm
    dinner - souper nm

    So you have to be careful and specify the time if you invite Belgian friends in France :D
     

    asanga

    Member
    Indonesian
    Cenzontle said:
    I am not an expert on Indonesian, but these are from my Indonesian/English dictionary:
    breakfast > makanan pagi
    lunch(eon) > makan tengah hari, makan siang
    dinner > makan(an) malam
    supper > makanan malam

    makan = to eat
    makanan = food
    pagi = morning
    tengah hari = midday
    siang = daytime
    malam = night

    I'm not sure how strictly the boundaries between makan as a verb and makanan as a noun are kept.
    This is from the closed thread in the Etymology forum, but I thought I'd reply anyway because there's a lot of confusion about verbs like makan, even among Indonesians.

    There's a strict boundary between the verb makan and the derivative noun makanan, and makan siangmakanan siang. Makan siang is lunch, makanan siang would refer to food typically served in the early afternoon, a lunch dish.

    So if makan is strictly a verb, how can makan siang be a noun meaning lunch? All Indonesian verbs can act as verbal nouns in unchanged form:

    Dia berenang setiap pagi. He swims every morning.
    Berenang sangat baik untuk kesehatan. Swimming is very good for your health.

    Dia makan siang bersama keluarganya. He eats lunch with his family.
    Makan siang membuat saya mengantuk. Eating lunch makes me sleepy.

    Note that although dia makan siang looks like a transitive verb "he eats lunch", it's actually an intransitive verb with a complement, "he eats in the early afernoon" = he lunches.

    Makan siang as a verbal noun therefore literally means "Eating in the early afternoon" = lunch. In contrast, makanan siang consists of two nouns, the 2nd modifying the 1st: "food of/for the early afternoon" = food typically served in the afernoon, a lunch dish. Cf. English "late-night snack".

    Indonesians get confused because makan is a base verb (like pergi, datang, masuk, tinggal, bangun, etc.) which doesn't require any prefixes or suffixes. Strictly speaking, all verbs of this type are intransitive, and we must add affixes to make them transitive active or passive:

    dia masuk he enters
    dia memasuki rumah he enters the house
    rumah dimasuki pencuri the house was entered by thieves

    harimau makan the tiger eats
    harimau memakan kancil the tiger eats the deer
    kancil dimakan harimau the deer is eaten by the tiger

    In colloquial Indonesian, however, we use the intransitive base as active transitive verbs: dia masuk rumah he enters the house, dia makan nasi he eats rice. Memakan sounds like an intensive "to eat up, completely consume", rather than simply the official transitive active form. So we tend to think of makan as a transitive verb, yet in a phrase like makan siang, siang is clearly not the object: we don't eat the early afternoon. Unconsciously we may therefore think of makan siang as a compound noun, like buku sekola schoolbook, rather than as a nominalized verb phrase, and some people explain it to foreigners as if makan is used in the place of makanan.

    As for the names of the meals, we mostly say:

    breakfast = sarapan (pagi)
    lunch = makan siang (makan tengahari is Malaysian)
    dinner = makan malam
     

    bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    I'd say, these usages (both in English and in Russian) are quite outdated. Who eats a second breakfast nowadays? 
    ...
    I don't even remember when I last had an "official" afternoon snack. At kindergarten may be.
    Haha, this turns into a history of civilisation! I think people working on the field got up very early, had some breakfast, worked hard, had some more to eat (I believe this is where the Germans had Imbiß (which also has the bite word), and those were the ones who got hungry halfway the afternoon...
    When I was in the army, we were building underground concrete shelters for the anti-aircraft missiles around Prague as some murderers from the Wall Street allegedly wanted to kill us with N-bombs (I don't mean the psychedelic drug). We worked hard 12 hours a day, so we had 5 meals a day. (Btw, it was a senseless work, now we have the most expensive storehouses for potatoes in the world).

    We had the following meals:
    snídaně - before 6am (eggs, sausages, cheese, salami, butter - not all at once, of course);
    (dopolední) svačina - 9am (a thick soup, bread);
    oběd - at noon (a light soup, main dish e.g. goulash+knödel, chicken+pasta, schnitzel+potatoes);
    (odpolední) svačina - 3pm (salami, liver pâté, cheese or something sweet);
    večeře - after 6pm (like oběd without soup; packed food on Sunday);

    Usually the main meals are: snídaně (6-8am), oběd (11am-1pm), večeře (6-8pm).

    Related verbs:
    impf. snídati, svačiti, obědvati, večeřeti;
    perf. posnídati, posvačiti, poobědvati, povečeřeti;
    perf. nasnídati se, nasvačiti se, naobědvati se, navečeřeti se;

    Etymology:
    snídaně < *sъn- (prefix, cf. Gr. syn-) + *jědanьje (= eating) < jědati (= to eat, cf. Lat. edere);
    oběd < ob- (prefix, cf. Lat. ob-) + *jěd(anьje), see above;
    svačina < *svatčina (= feast meal) < svátek (= feast) < svatý (= holly, saint);
    večeře < večer (= evening, cf. Lat vesper);

    dopolední = adj. of dopoledne (= "beforenoon");
    odpolední = adj. of odpoledne (= afternoon);
     
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    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Thank you, asanga (#24), for your informative explanation of Indonesian meal-names, with the bonus of transitive and intransitive verbs, etc.
    My small dictionary has some strange gaps: it doesn't include "sarapan" (breakfast), only "sarap" (rubbish). Could they be related?;)
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    In Arabic it is فطور, (fuTuur) which comes from the root meaning to break the fast (the meal to break the fast during Ramadan, for example, is called افطار, "ifTaar")

    I had a question about this before because I used to think it was because you cannot eat an hour before church in Catholic tradition (or an hour before communion, at any rate) and so if you'd go to church in the morning you'd essentially fast until you got home. Which is why it surprised me to see the same root in Arabic, which obviously did not have this same tradition. It was explained to me as being related to the idea of there having been a natural fast during the night, since you have not eaten since dinner the night before. That makes sense to me, at least.
    In hebrew theres a name for the meal before the fast: סעודה מפסקת se'uda mafseket lit. stop/breaking meal.
    The eating after the fast is called שבירת צום shvirat tzom lit. breaking fast.
    The first meal on shabbat is called סעודת ערב שבת se'udat erev shabbat meal of the evening of saturday, the second סעודת יום שבת se'udat yom shabbat meal of the dayof saturday, and the third is called סעודה שלישית se'uda shlishit third meal.
     

    asanga

    Member
    Indonesian
    Thank you, asanga (#24), for your informative explanation of Indonesian meal-names, with the bonus of transitive and intransitive verbs, etc.
    My small dictionary has some strange gaps: it doesn't include "sarapan" (breakfast), only "sarap" (rubbish). Could they be related?;)
    Sarapan is from the verb sarap, meaning "to eat a little to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling of an empty stomach", i.e. "to break fast". For the end of a religious fast we use the term buka puasa "opening the fast".

    If your Indonesian is already good enough to read a monolingual dictionary, the official dictionary of the Indonesian Language Centre can be found here:

    http://bahasa.kemdiknas.go.id/kbbi/index.php
     

    jana.bo99

    Senior Member
    Cro, Slo
    Meals.
    breakfast, lunch, dinner

    In Croatian: doručak, ručak, večera

    In Slovenian: zajtrk, kosilo, večerja

    In German: Frühstück, Mittagessen, Abendessen
     

    Favara

    Senior Member
    Catalan - Southern Val.
    Catalan (at least Valencian, I'm not sure about the rest):

    Desdejuni (breakfast): Prefix des- (negation/inversion) + dejuni ("fast", Latin ieiunium)
    Esmorzar (mid-morning): Latin admordere ("to bite")
    Dinar (noon, or a bit later): Same origin as desdejuni (dis + ieiunare)
    Berenar (evening): Latin merenda
    Sopar (night): From sopa ("soup")

    5 meals a day!
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    In Chinese:

    早饭 / 午饭 / 晚饭 (morning meal / noon meal / evening meal)
    早餐 / 午餐 / 晚餐 (more formal words: morning meal / noon meal / evening meal)

    Sometimes, in some regions, 早点 (morning dim-sum), 早茶 (morning tea) would be used, but "morning / noon / evening" will always be kept.
     

    Chrzaszcz Saproksyliczny

    Senior Member
    Polish - Prussia
    I'd like to revive this thread, as I think meals in different languages are a fascinating subject, and often a puzzle for translators where eating cultures differ.
    Who eats a second breakfast nowadays?
    Well, I do.

    Of course, a culture is never homogenic, but generally in Polish there is supposed to be:
    śniadanie (eaten as soon as the members of the household are all up)
    drugie śniadanie (lit. second breakfast, about 10-11)
    (in some homes, also a midday kawa, coffee time)
    obiad (the largest meal, often more than single-course, eaten anywhere between 12 and 5pm)
    (in some homes, deser after obiad - a dessert)
    (in some homes, also podwieczorek, akin to English teatime or French goûter)
    kolacja (an evening dinner, or supper)

    It is interesting how we dropped the Slavic wieczerza for a word which in Italian means a meal in a completely different part of the day. Anyway, that can be a lot of eating!
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    The funny thing is: here in Flanders none will know second breakfasts, but while consulting a dialect dictionary I bumped into an imbijt, a breakfast at 9 am (copied from German, I guess), whereas country people had breakfast (ontbijt) at 6 or something.

    When we were kids, we used to have a vieruurtje (a little four-o'clock, le goûter in French, not really afternoon tea)...
     
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    Dymn

    Senior Member
    Catalan (at least Valencian, I'm not sure about the rest):

    Desdejuni (breakfast): Prefix des- (negation/inversion) + dejuni ("fast", Latin ieiunium)
    Esmorzar (mid-morning): Latin admordere ("to bite")
    Dinar (noon, or a bit later): Same origin as desdejuni (dis + ieiunare)
    Berenar (evening): Latin merenda
    Sopar (night): From sopa ("soup")
    In Catalonia there is no desdejuni, "breakfast" is esmorzar and if you have a light meal at mid morning you would say esmorzar de mig matí or segon esmorzar or something like that.

    Also I would say berenar is in the afternoon and sopar in the evening (dinner). A light meal before going to bed if dinner is early (admittedly not common in Spain) is a ressopó.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Cymraeg/Welsh

    brecwast
    < Eng. 'breakfast' < break + fast
    cinio < Lat. 'cena'
    (swper chwarel) '(slate) quarry supper' (now defunct, only a folk memory, taken about 5pm. Replaced by te (q.v.))
    panad dri < Wel. cwpan + -aid +3 'a cup of coffee/tea at 3pm and a biscuit/piece of cake
    te < Eng 'tea'
    swper < Eng. 'supper' (usually some toast, a biscuit, a drink)

    English

    breakfast
    < break + fast
    elevenses 'a little snack and cup of tea/coffee at 11 am'
    lunch (Southern English), dinner (Northern English)
    (high) tea
    (taken around 4 pm. Cakes, cream, jam, tea, biscuits.)
    dinner/supper (Southern English), tea (Northern English) 'main meal of the day taken between 7 and 8pm'
     
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