Nuncheon, anyone?

It’s barely 10 a.m.,

but you feel like munchin’ …

You’re craving some crunchin’ …

Can’t wait for a luncheon!

No worries, my dear.

Let’s do a nuncheon.

I didn’t make this one up,


“Nuncheon” is every bit as real a word as luncheon,

and both were invented in the 19th century

(by Mother Necessity, of course).

After all, a gal can get mighty hungry come mid-morning.


At the beginning of the nineteenth century, breakfast often occurred well after sunup, and dinner came along in mid-afternoon, so lunch as we know it wasn’t really an issue.

But as time went by, dinner got pushed back hour-by-hour, and, well, you can see the obvious problem.

“Luncheon” began to light upon the tongues of the hungry, but some cynical soul deemed it a vulgar term.

Somehow, nuncheon (which may have been pronounced noon-shine) was easier on the ears.

Go figure.

According to period author Regina Scott of Nineteen Teen, nuncheon food “was laid out on a sideboard in the dining room, and you could pick from cold meats like ham and roast beef, pickles, fruit preserves, and dessert-type items like cakes, buns, and tarts, all washed down with ale or tea. You might even grab up a sandwich of bread, meat, and cheese.”

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