Dinner, Tea or Supper? What Do You Call The Last Meal Of The Day?

Who thought the last meal of the day could be so controversial?

It seems nothing divides opinion like what we call the last meal of the day. Most people seem to put it down to the class system whilst this may have been true in the 20th century, it seems that is no longer the case.

Last year YouGov carried out a survey of 42,000 people up and down the country and decided that ‘dinner’ is the most popular word with 57% of people opting for this above all others. Does this mean that 57% of the participants assume ‘tea’ is simply a cup of Earl Grey and a cucumber sandwich?

What are the factors involved? Is it a geographical thing? A generational thing or just simply tradition? Is there actually a right and a wrong option?

According to the survey, geography was a bigger factor than generational or even class. With tea preferred to dinner in the North and vice versa in the South.

If dinner is the last meal of the day then when do you have your supper? It seems that only 5% of participants referred to the meal as supper!

Is it all academic well according to English novelist and screenwriter Helen Fielding is can cause real problems;

‘When I descended to the south and Oxford, in the first week my tutor invited me and my tutorial partner, who was also from the north to dinner. We duly turned up in the middle of the day to be greeted by kindly astonishment and a gracious attempt to explain how things worked in the sophisticated world we were about to enter.’

What term do you use? Does your partner say the same? Is it the same as your parents and siblings? Let us know in the comments below.

Meanwhile, we’re off for our tea, err dinner, err supper!

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