Thursday, June 05, 2003
I just finished watching an interesting program on KET, our local public TV station. The program was called Manor House, and it’s sort of a British reality show where regular 21st-century folks role-play at being either the master and his family or the servants of the house. It was intriguing to see the people struggling to fit into their roles and rely only on what would have been available in 1905. It was the 1st episode, and already one of the “servants” has decided she’s not cut out for it and just left, without taking her belongings or anything. I did learn one very interesting etymological fact that answered a question that I’ve had for many years. They said that the time of your main meal of the day depended on whether you were “upstairs” or “downstairs”. The family of the house usually had their main meal of the day in the evening, so the staff had to eat their main meal at mid-day, and that that was why some working-class people still called the mid-day meal “dinner”. I made the mental leap and figured that this is why people in America call their meals either breakfast/lunch/dinner or breakfast/dinner/supper, depending on who they were descended from. Makes sense, eh? Anyway, I got my dose of “edumacation” today.