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Please tell me! What time is TEA, exactly?

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Old 08-15-2010, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Please tell me! What time is TEA, exactly?

Any Brits, Aussies, Kiwis or smarty-pants Americans or Canadians. . .

What time is "tea" time? Is it dinner? Is it a real meal or a snack?

I don't mean "high tea", just "hey, what's for tea?"

I Googled it but I really want a REAL PERSON to answer my question (or a real CHICK!)

Thanks y'all!
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Old 08-15-2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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Tea time is your evening meal.

We always had tea at 5pm.

I'm born and bred in Scotland.

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Old 08-16-2010, 05:15 AM   #3
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or smarty-pants Americans or Canadians. . .
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Old 08-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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Tea time is your evening meal.

We always had tea at 5pm.

I'm born and bred in Scotland.
^^ Agree. Raised in Scotland here, we always had tea around 6 pm.

ETA: And now I'm a smarty-pants Canadian!!
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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^^ Agree. Raised in Scotland here, we always had tea around 6 pm.

ETA: And now I'm a smarty-pants Canadian!!
I have cousins that were born and raised in the UK and it's always 'tea' set for 6 when we have dinner there.

They are now smarty-pants Canadians too . . . I've just always been a smart a** Canadian
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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. . . I've just always been a smart a** Canadian
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I have never, ever, not even one time regretted not eating something. Never. Not once. Turns out telling yourself no feels marvelous. No deprivation passing up on *those foods*. The deprivation is EATING them and remaining overweight. You've got to raise your standards; requiring more from yourself. Challenge yourself. Push yourself. Work past the discomfort. Every time you do it, it gets easier and easier - Rockinrobin

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Old 08-16-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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These answers from real people are much more fun! My English aunt used to have what we call supper around 5 or so too. (I'm also a smart-ish-***) Canadian!)
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:17 PM   #8
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Wait a minute... so 'tea' is the same as supper/dinner/evening meal?
I always imagined it as a formal snacky-type event.

Huh.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:23 PM   #9
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Wait a minute... so 'tea' is the same as supper/dinner/evening meal?
I always imagined it as a formal snacky-type event.

Huh.
Yes, tea is supper. The formal snacky-type event is "afternoon tea", the kind with an assortment of tiny, crustless sandwiches and yummy baked things, like scones with jam and clotted cream.
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I have never, ever, not even one time regretted not eating something. Never. Not once. Turns out telling yourself no feels marvelous. No deprivation passing up on *those foods*. The deprivation is EATING them and remaining overweight. You've got to raise your standards; requiring more from yourself. Challenge yourself. Push yourself. Work past the discomfort. Every time you do it, it gets easier and easier - Rockinrobin

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Old 08-18-2010, 12:47 PM   #10
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Smarty-pants American here....I think tea is around 5-6.
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Old 08-19-2010, 01:02 PM   #11
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fressca's right. Americans tend to use "high tea" as if it meant "afternoon tea", i.e., a formal tea party, but in British usage "high tea" = "supper around 5 pm" and is more of a working-class term. "Dinner" is what the upper classes have at 8
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Old 08-19-2010, 02:48 PM   #12
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fressca's right. Americans tend to use "high tea" as if it meant "afternoon tea", i.e., a formal tea party, but in British usage "high tea" = "supper around 5 pm" and is more of a working-class term. "Dinner" is what the upper classes have at 8
So...you have breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner? Wow, 4 fully authorized times to eat? Cool! So is tea time just tea or is it food too? Do average people do tea time?

Sorry, just curious. I always thought it was the fancy-dancy crustless sandwiches and tiny pretty cookies. or what little girls do when they dress up all their stuffed animals and play tea party.
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:12 PM   #13
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Oh, MissKoo, you have asked a highly charged, technical question! There are class differences at work, and regional ones and also age ones

I'm 54, from the SW of England and have tea about 6. It's the main meal of my day. When I was growing up, my dinner (midday meal) was our family's main meal.

My partner, 43, from the NE of England (steel town) calls this 6 pm meal 'dinner'.

My upper middle class friends, 53, from the SE of England call this meal 'supper'.

You've had info from Scotland above.

Afternoon tea is the scones, sandwiches, cake and tea (drink) event which happens rarely now, in my experience, but is fun when it does.

I have never heard anyone use the term 'high tea' except N Americans. But I did read it in books set in Northern England when I was a child. I got the impression it involved drop scones (griddle cakes), jam, ham, fruit cake and a lot of other yummy things. We used to have this kind of 'tea' when I was a child but it was never 'high'. Someone may be able to shed more light.

For tea tonight (just finished), my mother, son and partner all had fish and chips from the chippy. Most unusual for us but it's been an odd day. I had raw baby spinach, tomatoes, a tin of mackerel and a few cubes of feta. But we're at Mum's where we still have the main meal in the middle of the day. .

Great question!
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by silverbirch View Post
Oh, MissKoo, you have asked a highly charged, technical question! There are class differences at work, and regional ones and also age ones

I'm 54, from the SW of England and have tea about 6. It's the main meal of my day. When I was growing up, my dinner (midday meal) was our family's main meal.

My partner, 43, from the NE of England (steel town) calls this 6 pm meal 'dinner'.

My upper middle class friends, 53, from the SE of England call this meal 'supper'.

You've had info from Scotland above.

Afternoon tea is the scones, sandwiches, cake and tea (drink) event which happens rarely now, in my experience, but is fun when it does.

I have never heard anyone use the term 'high tea' except N Americans. But I did read it in books set in Northern England when I was a child. I got the impression it involved drop scones (griddle cakes), jam, ham, fruit cake and a lot of other yummy things. We used to have this kind of 'tea' when I was a child but it was never 'high'. Someone may be able to shed more light.

For tea tonight (just finished), my mother, son and partner all had fish and chips from the chippy. Most unusual for us but it's been an odd day. I had raw baby spinach, tomatoes, a tin of mackerel and a few cubes of feta. But we're at Mum's where we still have the main meal in the middle of the day. .

Great question!
I'm at uni in England. We have this discussion A LOT.

My Northern friends (Northern England) call their evening meal (about 6pm-ish) TEA.

My Southern friends (Southern England) call this meal dinner (I do too!)

My posh aunt and uncle call this meal supper.

Afternoon tea is, as Silverbirch says, eaten mid-afternoon about 4pm and includes cakes, biscuits, scones, mini-sandwiches and (duh) TEA. Not many people do this anymore. It's a very cliche English thing that tourists like to do, but actually has little relevance to most actual English peoples lives. A bit like Full English Breakfasts.

It's kind of complicated I think!! Haha
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:15 PM   #15
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A bit like Full English Breakfasts
Ummm....what's a Full English Breakfast? Well, I guess I could google it but you guys have such better explanations.
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