Friday, May 11, 2012

What is dinner, supper, drink and tea?

When I started learning English in school, I was taught, lunch is afternoon food, supper is night food, and dinner is also night food. For us 'tea' means 'drinking tea'. When we were in college, 'drink' meant 'alcohol'.

I got confused, when I was new to England when these incidents happened.

At about 10 AM, my consultant asked me, 'do you want to have a drink?'. I was shocked, but told, 'no, thanks'. When he got up with his empty mug, I realized, he meant 'tea or coffee?'.

I was staying as a paying guest. It was about 5 PM when my landlady told me, 'Keshav, I will have my tea, will you join?'. I was having my tea with mug still in my hand; I thought this old lady was getting blind, so I told, 'no, thanks', and continued to sip my tea. She went to kitchen and came with a plate full of food. She was having her meal! I asked her, 'is it your dinner?'. She smiled and told, 'no, it is my tea, but you can call it supper'.  It took time for me to undertsand these 'English' terms. 'Tea' is 'supper'; 'dinner' is a 'grand supper'.

I am still unlearning my Indian English, and learning 'English' English. ;)


  1. English is a funny language, It gets even more funnier when u go to a different nation.
    Enjoy the best online internt tv today.

  2. ಇಷ್ಟು ದಿನ ನಮ್ಮ ಇಂಗ್ಲೀಷನ್ನೇ ನಂಬಿಕೊಂಡು ಬದುಕ್ತಾ ಇದ್ವಿ. ಈಗ ಅದನ್ನೂ ಕನ್ ಫ್ಯೂಸ್ ಮಾಡಿಸಿಹಾಕಿದಿರಿ ನೀವು :(

    1. I am unlearning and learning English :)

  3. The English people do not speak correct English!

  4. Small suggestion/comment: Supper actually means late evening meal. "tea" is taken usually at around 6pm-7pm. Invariably many people eat something at 9-10pm and call this as supper. So many names to keep eating all day!