Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Lunch at 9:00 PM, and Bubblers

When I first moved to this corner of Iowa, I was blown away to discover that when people around here say "lunch," they mean a snack or light meal served at any hour of the day. Yes, in these parts you can eat lunch at 10:00 in the morning, or at 3:00 in the afternoon, or even at 9:00 in the evening.

This just blew me away. I mean, where I came from in southern Wisconsin, "lunch" was always the noon meal, eaten more or less during the noon hour. You know, three meals a day, breakfast, lunch, and supper? Or (slight variability here) some people might say breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or even breakfast, dinner, and supper. There was some wiggle room there, from one person to the next, on the meaning of the word "dinner."

But "lunch" was always the midday meal.

Until I came here to Iowa, and found that "lunch" was not tethered to any specific time of day. Is it just Iowa? Or is this use of the word "lunch" more widespread?

I mean, I know where I grew up over in Wisconsin, what you'd call a "drinking fountain," we always called a "bubbler." You know, get a drink of water from the bubbler? But over here in Iowa, when I call a drinking fountain a "bubbler," people look at me like I'm demented.

"Lunch." "Bubbler." I'd love to see a geographic atlas for the use of such words.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here, I drive the locals nuts by calling the cart at Walmart a "buggy". Because thats what it is.

They just look at me, then comprehension sinks in. "Oh, you must be from the South!"

Lol, like the accent didn't give me away!

Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:58:00 AM  

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