Dinner is a term that has several meanings. In some places, such as North America, the term is considered to be synonimous with the term ”supper” which means the rather large meal that people eat in the evening. The same term used to be associated with lunch in some parts of Canada and the United States and it still is in some rural areas. On the other hand, in Great Britain the term suggested the main meal of the day. There was always a controvercy concerning the time this meal should be taken. It soon changed into an evening meal for the higher social classes and at the same time into a midday meal for the lower social classes who could have described their evening meal as tea. Because of this ambiguity the term “dinner” tends to be less and less used. The only time when there is no need to avoid the word is when you refer to a large formal evening meal.
Otherwise, people tend to use the term “lunch” when talking about midday meal and ”supper” for the evening meal. Another definition of dinner, outside North America, would be any meal consisting several courses like the hors d’oeuvres (also called appetisers or starters), the soup course, the fish course, the salad course, the main course (also called the meat course), the dessert course (also called the sweet or pudding course), and the cheese course. Usually, dinner is followed by tea or coffee, soetimes even brandy. The dinners that consist of more than two courses are usually part of formal events. As a formal event, dinner is generaly served in the evening starting around 7:30. Throughout history the term ”dinner” had a lot of different meanings differing in what the consistency of the food and slso in what the time of eating was concerned.
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