[Sca-cooks] A short note about medieval meals & breakfast

Gretchen Beck grm at andrew.cmu.edu
Wed May 13 11:23:26 PDT 2009

--On Wednesday, May 13, 2009 2:06 PM -0400 Nancy Kiel
<nancy_kiel at hotmail.com> wrote:

> Could it also be referring to the canonical hour of nones?  I'm not sure
> exactly what time of day that is, though.
> Nancy Kiel

The two have a common derivation. From the etymology section of the OED
s.v. noon:

  N.E.D. (1907) suggests that the change in the time denoted by noon, from
about 3 o'clock to about 12 o'clock, probably resulted from anticipation of
the ecclesiastical office or of a meal hour. In continental French this
change appears to be first recorded in the second half of the 14th cent.
(Froissart), but already in the second half of the 13th cent. in
Anglo-Norman (see further W. Rothwell 'The Missing Link in English
Etymology' in Medium Ævum 60 (1991) 188). Compare further French nouene
midday meal (in regional use). The shift is also seen in Dutch noen midday
(16th cent.). By the 14th cent. midday appears to have been the ordinary
sense of the word in English, although in many examples there is no clear
indication of the time intended. The sense 'afternoon', attested from the
17th cent. (chiefly in the phrase morning, noon, and evening: see sense 5),
does not represent a continuation of the earlier sense, except in Shetland
use where it probably represents an independent borrowing from Norn (see

toodles, margaret

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