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big lunch

noun 1. the mid-day break at school.
2. the meal eaten then. Compare little lunch.

Contributor's comments: "Big Lunch" (meaning lunch) was commonly used when I was in primary school (1982-1988) in Tasmania. "Little Lunch" was morning tea.

Contributor's comments: I attended primary school in the Upper Hunter valley of NSW. Big Lunch was often used for lunch as opposed to little lunch that was what might elsewhere be called recess. When I started primary school (1978) I think play lunch rather than little lunch was more common but by the time I left (1984) little lunch and big lunch were firmly entrenched. At the time I resented the change thinking the new expressions were childish.

Contributor's comments: [Inversness, Qld] Of course there was "little lunch" as well. This was naturally, the small break, usually before big lunch.

Contributor's comments: [Glen Innes, NSW] Little lunch was the early morning break.

Contributor's comments: In West Ryde, Sydney, we used little lunch and big lunch in infants and primary school, but in high school it was definitely recess and lunch (much more mature sounding).

Contributor's comments: 'Big lunch' is so called to distinguish it from the shorter mid-morning break called (in 1960s central and north Queensland, at least) 'little lunch.' (Is that what's called 'play lunch' in southern states?)

Contributor's comments: [Qld informant] Big lunch as compared to little lunch which is the morning tea break.

Contributor's comments: When I was a student at Breakfast Creek in Brisbane we had two breaks, little lunch, mid morning and big lunch at midday.

Contributor's comments: At school in Sydney (1930s - 1940s) Big lunch was just "lunch" but the "little" lunch was "play lunch."

Contributor's comments: When I was in Grades 1 and 2 in Mt. Isa (Nth. Qld.) it was quite common to hear 'Big Lunch' and 'Little Lunch' used to describe breaks. However when we moved down to Brisbane while I was still in Primary School, the only other students using these words were students who had come up from NSW. Although again, I think they used 'Play Lunch' for morning tea, which I found quite humorous.

Contributor's comments: I went to school at Trundle Central Western NSW in the infants years we called it Big Lunch and the earlier shorter break was "play lunch" once reaching primary and onto secondary classes it was called "play lunch" and "lunch".

Contributor's comments: I went to school in the South West Slopes in the 1960s and 70s and to University in Sydney in the late 1970s. It was only when I moved to Brisbane in 1982 that I heard the expression big lunch and little lunch. I discussed it with my sister who teaches in the Riverina and she feels it could be a modernism. Could it also be that rare phoneomena something migrating south rather than the other way around?

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] When I was at school in the 1950s big lunch and little lunch were used at the state school I attended but when I moved to a private school they were known as recess and lunch.

Contributor's comments: In the mid 70ies my children started school in Brisbane where it was known as big lunch and little lunch but a year later at school in Sydney it was lunch and play lunch.

Contributor's comments: From kindergarten to B Class (year 10) on King Island it was lunch or lunchtime and "little lunch" was most definitely recess.

Contributor's comments: [Melbourne informant] I was at primary school from late 1950's until early 1960's and clearly remember the use of the words 'big lunch' for main lunch and play lunch for morning tea play time break.

Contributor's comments: I'm a proud Queenslander and we always have 'Big Lunch' and 'Littlt Lunch' in our house even though we are both in our fifties!!

Contributor's comments: [Brisbane informant] Big Lunch has always been a part of my old school's day, at my new school it's only called lunch and it honestly isn't anywhere near as fun.

Contributor's comments: I know that when I started primary school in Rockhampton in 1973, the fifteen minute morning break (which started at 11am) was difinitely "Little Lunch", and the one-hour lunch break at 1pm was "Big Lunch". Teachers and all students at all grade levels used the terms, so it must have been pretty entrenched.

Contributor's comments: [Hunter region informant] lunch/lunchtime at school (usually primary), in contrast to "little lunch" (recess): "We played soccer at big lunch today." "I had an apple at big lunch."

Contributor's comments: I left Tasmania in 1987, 21 years old; big lunch referred to midday meal at school; playlunch referred to morning tea.

Contributor's comments: Going to primary school in Sydney in the late 1950s the mid-morning break was playlunch. Didn't hear little lunch till many years later.