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Pedants' corner

Christmas 'lunch'

(88 Posts)
Witzend Thu 14-Dec-17 12:52:23

Yes, I know this is uber-pedant, real grumpy old bag territory, but it really grates on me to hear or read the traditional Christmas meal referred to as 'lunch'.
To me, the main meal of the day is dinner, no matter when you have it, and if the tradional turkey blow-out isn't a main meal, I don't know what is.

On a lighter note, I have finally made my Christmas puds and they are boiling away merrily with Classic FM carols in the background. 😀

lemongrove Thu 14-Dec-17 13:10:47

Yes, Christmas dinner, even if eaten at lunchtime.

Jalima1108 Thu 14-Dec-17 13:26:39

We're going to one a bit later today and it will probably be served at about 4pm
So Christmas tea? With, I hope roast potatoes, sprouts and goodness knows what else!

Jane10 Thu 14-Dec-17 13:27:50

Nah! Lunch is lunch. Christmas lunch is at lunch time.
In some parts of the country 'dinner' is what some people call the midday meal. In other areas dinner is the evening meal.
Trying to impose your personal opinion on others as being the absolutely correct one is more self opionated than pedantic. Fair enough it's your opinion. Just not mine.

Jalima1108 Thu 14-Dec-17 13:30:03

I don't care as long as someone else cooks it wink

lemongrove Thu 14-Dec-17 14:41:10

Jane10....unusually punchy post from you tchgrin have you been at the punch?

Teetime Thu 14-Dec-17 14:46:30

Ah but Sunday lunch is just a roast dinner not unlike the main Christmas Roast Turkey meal. I have to say we call it Christmas Dinner but it lasts all day with us from about 2pm for nibbles break for the main event, break for pudding taken at about 6ish, horses doovers about 8.

CherryHatrick Thu 14-Dec-17 15:10:02

I agree with Witzend. Breakfast is the first meal of the day; dinner is the main meal of the day at whatever time you take it, and the other meals are either lunch, tea or supper.

BlueBelle Thu 14-Dec-17 15:15:18

Well for me growing up (not very posh) we had dinner at dinner time, which was anything from midday to one o clock We never had dinner at night that was supper we had breakfast dinner tea and if wanted a very light supper ( for me it used to be a packet of smiths crisps and a cup of milk )
We had dinner time at school and a Sunday roast dinner at onish
In later years people have called dinner, lunch and cut tea out altogether so it’s become breakfast, light lunch and evening meal ( which isn’t called dinner by us even now) I can only ever see dinner as a midday thingy hence school dinners, dinner ladies etc However I do go out ‘to lunch’ (which is lighter than dinner) with my friends

Jane10 Fri 15-Dec-17 07:28:56

lemongrove no, not been at the punch just irritated at personal opinion being expressed as the 'correct' one!
Interesting that all restaurants and other eating establishments have a lunch menu for midday meal and a dinner menu for evening meal. Just saying...

BlueBelle Fri 15-Dec-17 07:53:59

Because they have moved to a modern trend Jane doesn’t make it right or wrong just movement Maybe in the cities and richer circles than mine it’s always been dinner at night but personally I think it’s a generational thing We had school dinners my kids had school dinners my grandkids have lunch in the canteen

ninathenana Fri 15-Dec-17 07:57:13

Evening meal is dinner in our house which is when we have our cooked meal. Lunch is a sandwich or soup. That's how it was growing up too.
We eat Christmas "dinner" despite the fact it's usually on the table about 2 pm.
There is no right or wrong, it's up to you.

MawBroon Fri 15-Dec-17 08:01:27

I am entirely with the “main meal” school of thought. Lunch is, or always was, a “light meal” (“luncheon” or even further back “nuncheon”)
The reference to Christmas Lunch is like a sort of inverse snobbery or reaction to the (shock , horror,) old”working class” reference to dinner as a daytime meal.
I know we are all different and it doesn’t matter what you call it, but a Christmas Lunch sounds a lot lighter than a Christmas Dinner and a bit precious when it’s a restaurant.

NfkDumpling Fri 15-Dec-17 08:06:03


Our family has always had breakfast, dinner and tea. Even when, during the week, the main meal was in the evening as they took sandwiches for midday. My DH is from a better class (they thought) and had breakfast, lunch and tea. With the main meal at one o'clock prompt.

We've now settled on dinner being the main meal and a moveable feast. So sometimes we have breakfast, dinner and tea and sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner. So Christmas dinner is Dinner!

MawBroon Fri 15-Dec-17 08:18:14

Some things retain their traditional name though, regardless of the time of day, like Wedding Breakfast - eyebrows would be raised if you brought out the Coco Pops or toast and marmalade.

Lynnebo Fri 15-Dec-17 08:26:33

Following a majority (I was the minority!) family vote, our party of 12 is having our Christmas Day meal at the local 'pub' this year - at £75 a head it should be a 'Christmas Banquet' even though it's at lunchtime!!!

BlueBelle Fri 15-Dec-17 08:49:37

Whhhooo £75 a head can any food be worth that price I ve just had a lovely two course Christmas dinner with friends for £12 75 and that came with a card a small box of chocs and a cracker
Each to his own but I can’t pay into this inflated greed, I feel for you lynnbo as you didn’t really want to pay that price but had to go along with it but honestly what a waste of money
People will pay this sort of silly money for a big meal then pay to lose weight after Christmas
Mad sad world

phoenix Fri 15-Dec-17 08:58:03

I would think that the high cost of eating out on Christmas day might be partly due to how much extra the staff will need to be paid.

Teetime Fri 15-Dec-17 09:16:39

I don't mean horses doovers at 8 do I- I mean petits fours- must be this cold making me potty.

GrandmaMoira Fri 15-Dec-17 09:28:47

I've never thought about what the main Christmas meal is called but dinner has always been in the evening for me except at school.
I thought people who call the mid day meal dinner were those whose father/husband came home on their break for a main meal(I call it lunchtime - what do you call it if dinner is middday?) I grew up in London and men worked too far away to come home so dinner/main meal was in the evening.

HannahLoisLuke Fri 15-Dec-17 10:00:04

Lunch in the middle of the day, dinner in the evening for me, whatever the meal consists of.
Breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, supper though that would be too much eating for most people, oops, forgot elevenses!

Harrydog50 Fri 15-Dec-17 10:00:13

Breakfast dinner tea and supper is a cup of tea and toast before bed what's the problem sorted

merlotgran Fri 15-Dec-17 10:15:18

Christmas Day is the only day of the year when we refer to lunch as dinner.

lemongrove Fri 15-Dec-17 10:19:40

There is no really ‘correct’ thing to say, but as Mawbroon comments, Christmas Dinner is a bit like Wedding Breakfast, ie. a special meal that traditionally is called Christmas Dinner.
And I will see you in the back yard of The Argy Jane10 and we can settle this in the time honoured way tchgrin
( who can drink the most Baileys without falling over.)

vampirequeen Fri 15-Dec-17 10:21:05

I tried to explain UK meals to a friend in South Africa but she didn't understand it. Now I realise we don't all agree either grin

Breakfast is always the first meal of the day no matter what time it's eaten. Unless the American brunch is adopted which is eaten closer to lunch time but is often a full English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish breakfast

Lunch is in the middle of the day except if that's when the main meal is served which makes it dinner. Lunch is only lunch if it's a light meal.

A cream tea is sandwiches and cakes and is usually eaten between 3pm and 5pm but can be eaten at any time of day so you could have a cream tea at 11am if you want to.

Tea is a light meal eaten around 5pm unless it's the main meal of the day in which case it's dinner for tea.

Supper is a snack before bed.

When you have a roast on a Sunday then it's Sunday dinner which would make lunch dinner unless it's served later as dinner for tea.

If you have a roast mid week then you have a Sunday dinner even though it's not Sunday.

A roast dinner is not a Sunday dinner if it's Christmas day. Then it's Christmas dinner regardless of what time it's served.

Morning coffee could be elevenses and is taken around 11am but you might have a cup of tea instead. This isn't the same as afternoon tea which could be a cup of coffee and taken about 3pm.