I thought tea was a drink not a meal?


is getting better at it
S: 17st10lb C: 15st3lb G: 9st0lb BMI: 41.6 Loss: 2st7lb(14.11%)
well i dont know if this would make any sense to you :) but in my mind it goes like this

Breakfast = self explanitary

Lunch/dinner = ( lunch is a light meal in the middle of the day or dinner is your main meal in the day instead of the evening)

Tea/dinner = is as above but in the evening

just having coffee/tea and cakes i think can be called afternoon tea
does this make any sense:)


Gone fishing
Yeah, confusing isn't it. It really is a regional thing

Meals at set times in the day
Breakfast = first meal on waking
Lunch = always taken sometime in the middle(ish) of the day
Supper = usually mid evening or before bed
Tea = (apart from the drink :D) early/later evening.

All the above are meals that are pretty much static. If you decided to have a breakfast type meal before bed, you would probably still call is supper.

Dinner/Tea. These are the confusing ones. Dinner is the main meal of the day. Could be taken at lunchtime or evening after work but it's still usually the main meal.

Tea. For me, tea is when you have buffet type foods..ie cakes, sandwiches etc, but for my husband, it's the evening meal whether it's sandwiches and cakes, or a full on hot meal. Go figure.

27 years of marriage and it still confuses me.:D
What you have here is a whole complicated combination of cultural and age differences - quite a minefield!!

I grew up in the south east, but my dad was from the north east. My mum was from London. When I was a child (in the 50s), the midday meal was dinner and the evening meal was tea. It didn't matter what the meals consisted of.

I can't remember when we started to use the words lunch and dinner instead, probably some time in the 60s.

So some older people, wherever they are from, will be using dinner/tea.

That's the age difference - then there is the question of where in the UK you live. I think it might be a north/south divide thing, but where the dividing line is I have no idea!

But then - I think most people, wherever they are in the country, still refer to "school dinners".

Afternoon tea is the tea, sandwiches, cakes type of thing (tea at the Ritz!!).

Told you it was complicated!! :D


Mad old Bat with Attitude
S: 14st5lb
Where I was dragged up we had "dinner" at lunchtime and tea :p and the drink was called "Rosy Lee".


Gold Member
S: 14st13lb C: 14st13lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 38.2 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
for me dinner is midday, lunch and dinner is the same thing to me. midday, food is food. Usually a main meal for me lol.. i dont do these 'light lunches' some of you speak of lol!

and tea is my evening meal.. i can see how thats confusing, especially if people are having supper also, i wasn't bought up with 'supper' .. i just had a munch of cereal before bed if i wanted as a child.

so breakfast..
dinner/lunch = midday
tea= evening meal

for me..

deffinatly a combo of age and culteral differences! lol xxxx


I will succeed!!!
S: 13st3lb C: 12st8.5lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 29.4 Loss: 0st8.5lb(4.59%)
I'm a breakfast, lunch and dinner girl and got called posh when I started at work for not saying breakfast, dinner and tea. I said the same thing...you drink tea ;)

It's definately regional as my folks say tea (not dinner) but somehow I don't...weird!


Slow but sure....
S: 22st0lb C: 19st7lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 55.1 Loss: 2st7lb(11.36%)
I was born and bred in the West Midlands - The Black Country to be exact, and dinner was lunch, tea was dinner......

But since I moved to Norfolk 6 years ago where they are a bit posher than me, it's lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.....

It's so funny when we are in the supermarket sometimes and I ask my DH what shall we have for tea and some snooty Norfolk 'Country Tweeds and Brogues' type woman looks down her nose at us as if her 'gast has never been flabbered' before....after all we do live quite close to Sandringham and Holt where the Royals live and shop, LOL......


Full Member
S: 11st10lb C: 10st8lb G: 10st0lb Loss: 1st2lb(9.76%)
Coming from the North East its :-


Its just the way i have been brought up on, if you want a drink, you would ask or be asked if you would like a "cup of tea"



Pesky pescetarian from Australia!
S: 91.6kg C: 80kg G: 75kg BMI: 27 Loss: 11.6kg(12.63%)
We have


I'm in Liverpool xx


Silver Member
G: 10st7lb
im from cornwall and we have breakfast dinner and tea. unles your posh

Snap - don't think I have ever called tea dinner, seems to be always called tea down here in 'sunny' cornwall. I remember in the village where I used to live as a child if you referred to tea as dinner you were considered really posh.


Gold Member
The above replies answer the question - it's both regional and cultural.

I was brought up on breakfast, dinner, tea and supper (always cereal) tea was at tea time (5pm) hence the supper later on.

These days I have breakfast, lunch and dinner (7pm). However, my daughter comes home and asks "what's for tea" every day!!

And I agree, they still call it school dinners, yet they also have packed lunch!!!

What's in a name anyway!!!!


Gold Member
yes when i was at school (many moons ago) i had dinner tickets....if they had called them lunch tickets i would have wondered!!!

mmmm school dinners - chocolate concrete! lol! xxx


I am one of the 63336
S: 20st3lb C: 20st3lb G: 12st7lb BMI: 44.3 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I grew up (East London/Essex borders) having breakfast, dinner and tea.

Nowadays I usually talk about breakfast, lunch and dinner but still quite frequently ask what the others want for 'tea'.


Gold Member
S: 16st6lb C: 9st6lb G: 9st6lb BMI: 24.1 Loss: 7st0lb(42.61%)
We have breakfast, lunch and dinner except on a Sunday when we have breakfast, dinner and tea (because our main meal is earlier in the day.

I was brought up with breakfast, dinner and tea whilst my Oh was brought up with breakfast, lunch and dinner.