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tea

When growing up on a sugar cane farm west of Mackay, North Qld in the sixties, dinner was the meal eaten in the middle of the day (now, years later in Brisbane, dinner refers to the evening meal) At the time we used the terms tea or supper interchangeably for the evening meal: What's for tea/supper?

Contributor's comments: Baby boomer child in mid 60's NSW, tea was the evening meal with dinner as mid day meal. My memories are that the usage changed early 70's to lunch and dinner as evening meal. I still get corrected by my kids when I refer to lunch as dinner.

Contributor's comments: Growing up around Mendooran NSW I have been raised to refer to the three daily meals as Breakfast, Dinner and Tea. This has caused some confusion and heated discussion now that I've moved to the western suburbs of Sydney where dinner is the evening meal and not the midday meal. So I need to be able to use the right term in the right context depending on which part of NSW I'm in.

Contributor's comments: In the 1930s and 1940s I grew up in the Parramatta, NSW area. 'Lunch' referred to the midday meal except on Sunday when there was always a roast dinner; the evening meal was either 'dinner' or 'tea', although Friday (snack night) and Sunday (light meal after the midday roast) were always 'tea'.

Contributor's comments: The evening meal was always tea in our house, the midday meal was always dinner. My mother was Irish, my father was English. I'm not sure of the origin.

Contributor's comments: Same in north of South Australia - breakfast, dinner, tea.

Contributor's comments: Still common in Queensland. "What's for tea love?"

Contributor's comments: [Tasmanian informant] The main meal at the end of the day: "For tea we will have meat and vegetables."

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] night-time meal: "Come in now your tea is ready."

Contributor's comments: Tea always referred to the evening meal, when I was growing up in brisbane in the 60s. Even my Engllish born mother used this saying.

Contributor's comments: From my earliest years in a private school, we had "Little Dinner and Big Dinner". These were the two meals at school and we went home and asked "What's for Tea?" after eating our afternoon tea. I have always thought "Dinner" for "Tea" was an Americanism and we were told not to use them along with chewing gum, or suffer the consequences.

Contributor's comments: In my family (Brisbane) the midday meal has always been "lunch" and the evening meal, "tea". But all my friends seem to say "dinner", so now I've changed to saying "tea" at home, and "dinner" to my friends.