, Advice by Ann Landers - []
Section: manners

Dear Margo,
What's the difference between Supper and Dinner? - Star555

Dear Star555,
I always assumed it was a regional or family thing, but I figured the difference had to be more than that. And it is. I looked on Google so you don't have to!
- Margo "The terms "supper" and "dinner" can be used pretty interchangeably, but "dinner" is typically used more often. Regardless, if someone says one, or the other, most people will know they're referring to the last meal of the day. But we came across some shocking news: they're not the same thing after all--and if your grandparents or parents used the term "supper," there's a good chance your ancestors were farmers."[In the 18th and early 19th centuries,] Americans regularly ate a light supper as their evening meal because they were eating dinner--the biggest meal of the day--around noon," food historian Helen Zoe Veit told NPR. The purpose of eating their biggest meal at noontime was so farmers would have more strength and energy to get through the rest of their workday, according to the English Language & Usage Stack Exchange. confirms, "dinner" doesn't necessarily refer to a specific time of day. It simply means the main meal of the day. "Supper," however, stems from the Old French word "souper," meaning "evening meal."

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Concerned Friend's Comment
My friend was married to a man for 10 years then they were divorced. Both are in their 60's. My friend still acts like his children (from previous marriage) are 'her' children and their children are 'her' grandchildren. The exhusband has remarried; it was not an amiable divorce. Should I just ignore when she talks about 'her' children and 'her' grandchildren. She has biological children but no grandchildren.

Deming NM's Comment
Her family is not yours, and they can call each other what they want.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers