This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Thing To Do Today: lunch.

The great thing about lunch is that, unlike dinner, at least everyone knows when to eat it.

Er...unless you're from the Caribbean, when lunch may well be what I'd call afternoon tea.

Lunch in England probably started off as nuncheon, from noneschench, which means noon drink. (See? The time to consume it was built in from the start.) The word had been shortened to lunch by the early 19th century.

In England it was normal for the main meal to be eaten at midday until just a few decades ago, but a light portable lunch was a necessity at harvest time when people were in the fields from dawn until dusk.

Where I live in Hertfordshire this meal traditionally consisted of a Tring Dumpling. This was a suet roll stuffed with meat at one end and jam at the other - and, the saying went, with a cup of tea in the middle.

The thing to eat for lunch nowdays is, obviously, luncheon meat...

...but only if you're desperate.

While I'm here, Ladies Who Lunch, the pastime of women with nothing better to do, was dreamed up by the marvellous Stephen Sondheim for the musical Company.

Thing To Do Today: lunch. I've already written about the derivation of this word, which is good, because I'm absolutely starving.

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