Dinner or Supper?

What are the origins of these words? Which is correct? Is it a class thing or a City Mouse vs Country Mouse thing?

In our part of the South, we used to eat dinner at noon and supper in the evening. (Or, as we said, of a evenin’.) Alas, that seems to be fading away now.

Historically, hard-working farming-type folk ate the main meal of the day at noon. Office-bound city types would eat lightly at noon, and eat the main meal in the evening.

Again historically, the main meal of the day was called “dinner.” If dinner was at noon, then the evening meal was called “supper.” If dinner was in the evening, the noon meal was called “nuncheon,” then “luncheon,” and then just "lunch.

I think in might be an ethnic thing…not to sure. My ex-mom-in-law (very english) calls it dinner…my parents (slavic background) call it supper and depending on where i am and who i talk to it is either one…I tell the kids to come in for supper, but I go out for dinner.

Pretty odd really.

There was never a hard and fast rule, but generally in my family, it was suppertime at home, but we went out for dinner.

Dinner started life in English as diner which meant “midday meal.” It came from Old French before that.

Supper , in English, appears about 1250, meaning “the evening meal.” Again, borrowed from Old French.

More anecdotal evidence: My mom, from Pennsylvania, called the evening meal dinner. My dad, from Georgia, called it supper. The noon meal was always lunch.

To me, they’re dinner and supper are pretty much synonyms.

My WAG sounds like it might have something of a truth but don’t quote me.

Dinner and Supper might be derivatives of French words for Lunch and the Evening meal. Dinner (pronounced Din-eh) and Soupé (soup-eh). Just my wag.

Well, as a West Aussie, I say tea. Whether that’s really a WA thing, or just a Tsubaki family thing I don’t know. But our three meals per day are brekky, lunch and tea.

In my family, supper is the same as dinner. The only exception is on Sunday, when the noon-ish meal is ALWAYS referred to as “Sunday dinner.” Then the evening meal on that day is supper just to differentiate. However, if you follow up Sunday dinner with a game of cards, you may indeed be asked to “stay for dinner” a few hours after you’ve eaten dinner.