The answer has changed over time as the ways people earn their living have changed. Dinner holds the top spot on the lexical food chain as the most widely used term of the three. In 1828, Noah Webster’s Dictionary stated, “The dinner of fashionable people would be the supper of rustics,” reflecting the prominence of dinner as the term for a midday meal in some rural parts of the country. “They couldn’t readily return home to cook and eat in the middle of the day,” says Veti.
'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'.

Supper is at half-past seven. The answer is waiting for you and it is still hot. If you interpret supper as "dinner," you might be left with the impression that Max has been cruelly left to go hungry, but in all likelihood he had already eaten his day’s main meal. Anything eaten in the evening was typically just a snack. Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? — Agatha Christie, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, 1920. Learn a new word every day. The settlers who arrived in the US brought their customs, including a noontime dinner. In parts of the US, supper and dinner are used interchangeably to refer to the evening meal, but they’re not exactly synonyms. But the use of dinner to refer to the main meal of the day, eaten as the last meal of the day, is a relatively recent phenomenon. — Daniel Defoe, The Fortunate Mistress, 1724, It is somewhere about five or six o'clock in the afternoon, and a balmy fragrance of warm tea hovers in Cook's Court. A dinner can also mean a formal gathering around food. We have given up late dinner for some time now.” This distinction was used in the United States as well, particular among farming communities in the Midwest and South, and the terms dinner and supper were treated distinctly in works by American writers into the 20th century: After the ceremony at the church, the party went to a dinner given by the parents of the bride. Enter your email for word fun in your inbox every day. We most likely get the word lunch as a short form of luncheon, and luncheon as an alteration of nuncheon, referring to a light snack. The dinner lasted all afternoon; then it became a supper and continued far into the night. She was previously an editorial intern for and Westchester Magazine. — Willa Cather, My Antonia, 1918, Breakfast was our principal meal; midday dinner, except on Sundays, and supper were casual menus, often composed of leftovers from the morning. A clue to the historical role of supper is given in its etymology. The hours are early there: dinner at half-past one and supper at half-past nine. What do you call the meal that you eat at the end of the day? One of the most intriguing differences between dinner and supper is the time of day they imply for guests when you are having a gathering. “[In the 18th and early 19th centuries,] Americans regularly ate a light supper as their evening meal because they were eating dinner—the biggest meal of the day—around noon,” food historian Helen Zoe Veit told NPR. For a long time, that main meal was held during the middle part of the day, around or slightly after the time we would nowadays allot for lunch.