kitchen supper

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kitchen +‎ supper. Original use from kitchen as a synecdoche for a household's servants. Later from the idea that the hosts forgo the dining room for the more private and relaxed kitchen.


  • (US) IPA: /ˈkɪtʃən ˈsʌpɚ/
  • (file)


kitchen supper (plural kitchen suppers)

  1. (dated) The evening meal for servants, separate from the family's meal.
    The cook prided herself on making the kitchen supper as delicious as the family's dinner.
  2. An informal or semiformal meal served for guests, not necessarily one served in the kitchen.
    The couple threw an impromptu kitchen supper when the dinner reservations fell through.

For quotations of use of this term, see Citations:kitchen supper.

Usage notes[edit]

In contemporary British use, the phrase is seen as snobbish and very U. Charles Moore in The Daily Telegraph describes it as "disclosing an assumption – we have a nice dining room but we’ll be all relaxed with our pals and won’t use it – which is perplexingly, excludingly foreign to [a general] audience",[1] while Harry Mount says that "[although] the ingredients of a kitchen supper are universally recognisable [...] the actual expression is confined to the upper-middle classes".[2]


  1. ^ Moore, Charles (2012-03-30), “Even I’m starting to wonder: what do this lot know about anything?”, in The Daily Telegraph[1]
  2. ^ Mount, Harry (2012-03-29), “The class war is still raging across the dining table”, in The Daily Telegraph[2]