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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breakfast for Dinner

Did you know that the English word "dinner" comes from the French word "disnar" which means "to break the fast" (aka "breakfast")?

"Is this some entirely not funny joke our linguistic ancestors played on us?", you may ask, to which I will now respond "no, it is not".

In fact, dinner used to be eaten at around noon, as the first meal of the day and also the largest. A lighter meal came later in the afternoon, appropriately called supper for reasons I'll share in another post if you're lucky.

Eventually, more meals were added earlier in the day, but as opposed to switching the name, they left it as is. To this day, this little known fact (or at least little known to me) frustrates French-speaking English learners and may, or may not, add to their overall frustration with the Brits and Yanks.

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