Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dinner vs Supper vs Pickup Trucks

Last night, toward the end of my show here in Crookston, MN (just east
of Grand Forks, ND if you must know) I used the term "pickup truck" and
brought the show to a screeching halt. Apparently people round these
parts don't like it when you say "pickup" and "truck" because,
according to them it's either apickuup or a truck, never both. The
person who brought this to my attention went so far as to say a pickup
is not a truck at all, it's simply a pickup, 'truck' being reserved for
larger, heavier vehicles.

I was fascinated, as I always am, by
regional semantics, so I asked if I was in a pop or a soda region (pop)
and then a dinner or supper part of the country. "Supper" is a very
upper Midwest thing, and when you drive through northern Wisconsin you'll still pass places that call themselves "Supper Clubs" without the least bit of kitsch or irony.

of course I'm in a supper region, and after the show a student told me
she had an entire discussion in one of her classes on the very subject
and they concluded supper was the largest meal of the day while dinner
was a lighter affair. I contended that supper was a later, lighter meal
when one eats diner earlier in the day, but she was adamant and I quit
the discussion.

Well, according to the American Heritage Dictionary:

Supper n.

1. A light evening meal when dinner is taken at midday.
2. A light meal eaten before going to bed.

In your face! I can now drive to Fargo (in my pickup truck, drinking a soda) knowing I was right.

Now, on to more important matters, like what happens in Bemidji, MN on a Tuesday...


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Jude said...

In Colorado, we say pickup truck. After all, a pickup could be a line you say at a bar or a person you pick up at a bar. It feels incomplete without the truck attached. My grandma, from Missouri, said 'crick' 'Missoura' and 'supper.'" I say 'creek' 'Missouri' and 'dinner' although it confuses the heck out of me because I always wonder what I really mean. I grew up saying 'pop' and now say 'soft drink' but my children say 'soda' which sounds like their New York dad talking. Apparently, by switching to 'soft drink' I didn't give them a short term to hang on to, so they became occasional 'soda' drinkers without the 'pop.' The dictionary says it's okay to pronounce almond as 'aaaa-mond' so you can't always trust it, you know.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Victorria said...

coming from upper midwest...supper is definitely the larger meal. :P I still get confused when my relatives say they are coming over for dinner and show up at noon.

At 7:34 PM, Blogger tiger_princess32 said...

I am Lost in Lolo MT, therefor I have my own language. Here in Montana they say pop but after a few bruised arms I say sodapop. Still get hit though. If your back in MN get em with the good ol' pickemup truck. Thats long for pickup truck here in Montana. And as far as I am concerned Dinner is Supper and supper is dinner. And a davenport maybe a couch but also can be a mudroom, just depends on where you prefer to sleep...if in trouble may as well be a doghouse??
Anyhow I was hoping you could come to Missoula (Mizoola) Montana and perform at the University. Although we have the Adams Center, a much nicer place to "pair" your comedy with, lol. We've even had Godsmack come and play there. I hope you will look into it.



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