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Notes from the Sofa

Regulars | By Raymond Briggs


It’s always intriguing, the names people use for the daily meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea and supper. There’s almost no other word for breakfast, but my two Yorkshire friends always pronounce it ‘brake-fast’. But then they are Northerners – so one has to make allowances. Though, in this case, they are more correct than us sophisticated Southerners, as we are all breaking our overnight fast. I’ve just been told some very young children call it ‘breckies’. Then there is ‘brekker’. Not sure where that comes from? Public school? Next comes ‘elevenses’. Definitely lower-class. We’re back to Nancy Mitford’s U and non-U here. The posher term is simply ‘coffee’ or ‘coffee break’. It gets more complicated with ‘lunch’. If it is a formal table, knife and fork affair, it’s ‘luncheon’. Then there are ‘lunch boxes’, ‘lunch vouchers’, ‘packed lunches’ and ‘no such thing as a free lunch’. A further complication is...


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