Thursday, May 3, 2012


Tea Time by George Tsui
Plural noun
Definition: a drink and a small amount to eat between breakfast and lunch
(Definition of elevenses plural noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

British informal
a short break for light refreshments, usually with tea or coffee, taken at about eleven o’clock in the morning.
(Definition from Oxford Dictionary)

In the United Kingdom and what is now the Commonwealth of Nations (former British Empire) tea has been referred to as several different mealtimes. It can proportionally be small or large and the phrase ‘to take tea’ means a tea meal.
This is broken down to Elevenses, Afternoon Tea and High Tea.
Elevenses are usually a sweet mid-morning snack. Consists of a slice of cake or biscuit with a cup of tea or even coffee. The precise time is usually 11.00 AM – hence Elevenses. This midmorning ritual was a punctuation in the day that lasted for about 15 to 30 mins – about the time it takes to make a cup of tea.

Tea Time by Wai Ming
Historically, the terms were first seen recorded in 1849 as – Elevens in East Anglia and then in 1889 recorded as Elevenses.
Here in the US the custom of Elevenses refers to the antiquated custom of a late morning whiskey break. The practice never took on but was also known as Elevener. It is also known as “smoko” in Australia and New Zealand, “morno’s” in the Royal Australian Navy, in Sweden it is called “elva – kaffe” meaning eleven coffee and in Spain “las onces” meaning the elevens. In the Mediterranean parts it is called ‘merenda’ or ‘merienda.’  The German practice of second breakfast – zweite Fruhstuck is considered the counterpart of Elevenses.

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