Meals in Switzerland

In Switzerland, unlike in France, we say: "déjeuner" instead of "petit déjeuner" (breakfast), "diner" instead of "déjeuner" (lunch) and "souper" instead of "diner" (dinner)

June 8, 2012


Also true in Quebec. Déjeuner, diner, souper.

August 7, 2012

Actually "déjeuner" literally means "breakfast" i.e. the breaking of a fast. One friend of mine suggested that the reason it became used for the midday meal was that louche Parisians would rise so late that they would ordinarily breakfast at midday. The "little breakfast" was how they then described an earlier meal.

I have no idea if this is true, but its an amusing thought :-).

In English "dinner" almost always means some kind of substantial meal, "lunch" is always a midday meal and "supper" always an evening meal". Depending on local tradition "dinner" might replace either or both meals.

Eg my mother's family would eat: breakfast, lunch, tea and supper (in that order). Only lunch being a large meal, but sometimes tea and supper would be amalgamated into a dinner.

March 19, 2013

Dinner meant something similar originally. According to wiktionary: From Old French disner ("lunch”, but originally “breakfast"), from Latin dis- + iēiūnō ("to break the fast").

March 19, 2013

Wow. So, there's been a sort of "hour inflation" process for breaktasts over the years.

March 19, 2013

Actually, iēiūnō -> jeûnes ->

In Catalan we have "desdejuni" (first thing you have in the morning), "esmorzar" (eating before lunch), "dinar" (lunch), and "sopar" (dinner).

April 15, 2013

In Northern England (probably more of a working class thing) we have Breakfast, Dinner and Tea.

December 26, 2013

I wonder if that version for souper is where in English we get Supper from?

October 23, 2012

At least according to wikipedia, yes =D:

December 2, 2012

actually even in France there's a large variety of noun for that according to wich part of the country you're staying in : petit déjeuner - déjeuner, déjeuner - diner diner - souper

June 8, 2012

Magyar, this is interesting to note. Thanks for sharing!

September 3, 2012

M., E. - thank you both for your notes!

July 6, 2012

And of course in England there are regional/class differences where dinner is the mid-day meal and the evening meal is called tea.

July 17, 2012

Yes, I've answered alternately dinner/lunch/tea for déjeuner without thinking.

February 4, 2013

That's absolutely mental, mate!

March 20, 2013

I love Switzerland! So nice! All the food is sooooo good!

January 16, 2014

This is interesting to hear of these variations. Does one find similar variations in Belgium?
(petit déjeuner versus déjeuner, for example)

November 29, 2013
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