Lunch has more or less turned into a common name for a "meal" around noon, usually between 11:00 and 13:00. A lot of places, they are serving warm lunch, which is pretty common in Sweden, and it's getting more usual to eat a full meal, altså måltid, at that time of the day :) But others simply having their matpakke, fruit or salad. Or nothing at all :) :) :)
My Grandmother, who is of Norwegian heritage (her father came from Norway to Minnisota) calls those little snacks "lunch". "Come on, let's have a bit of lunch", she'd say. They were farmers too.
This does not shed any light on why Norwegian Americans in rural Minnesota refer to any snack as "lunch" (and it can be a full meal, too). Anyone? Is there something in Norwegian that makes this make sense?
So, both a full meal and just a snack is referred to as "lunch"? Do they still call it "lunch" if the snack is eaten later in the day or evening? That is strange. I would use "lunsj" when describing a regular meal (small-ish or full, but not a small snack) eaten after breakfast and before dinner.
As far as I can tell, they think of it like a snack--just a really big snack. And they call it "lunch".
It sounds like this could be a combination of Norwegian "lunsj" (as you said,, any meal between breakfast and dinner) and farmers. In the old days (before combines and tractors with GPS), farming was hard, physical labor and farmers needed to eat big meals. During the harvest, especially, they might have a very late dinner (so they can get more work done) but several "lunches" during the day.
This is interesting! In Norway, a lot of farmers had dinner mid-day, giving dinner its word: "middag", and then continued working - with another meal later in the evening. Perhaps snacking throughout the day or the big meal at noon turned into this understanding of lunch?
That sounds very likely. (It was usually the big meal at noon AND "snacks".) :) Thanks, this helps a lot. (Not so much with the language as the people!)
Hehe, background information never hurt nobody! :) Good luck learning Norwegian, and congrats on level 25 in French!!
I was totally seduced by middag thinking it must be lunch as the similar word is used in German. However, it makes sense, middag as middle of the day and then it became dinner for the Norwegian. They do have little light and shorter days in winter. That is how I see it.
Similar question I asked earlier in this exercise: It can't mean: Lunch is a meal time?
That would be "Lunsjen er et måltid". In Norwegian we simply put -a,-en,-et after the noun if we want to use the definite article :) You will find tons of these "traps" in the course :)
MeliLau: Lunch is one of the day's 3 traditional meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner/supper. You're probably wondering why not 'middag' since it looks like 'mid-day' hence 'lunch' but 'middag' is any meal.