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This page can be read by itself, or as part of a group of pages about words for meals in the UK.

The labels for meals can be awkward. For people who dine in the evening, words for two other meals are needed. First, for a meal taken around mid-day, the name used is lunch. (This is both a noun and a verb. For very formal and old-fashioned speakers, the noun is luncheon - but this is rarely heard nowadays.) The second new word that is needed is a name for a light meal eaten around four or five o'clock in the afternoon, to help the rich bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. This is called tea, and usually consists of delicate small sandwiches, biscuits and cakes. (Amongst those who call their main evening meal 'tea', this lighter meal is sometimes called 'afternoon tea', to distinguish it from 'high tea', which is more substantial, if less elegant.)

See also Dinner - lunch - tea, and meals.