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Tiffin is an Indian English word for a light meal generally in the midday (luncheon) in most regions of the peninsular India. When used in place of the word "lunch", it does not necessarily mean a light meal. In Telugu usage tiffin is mostly synonymous with light breakfast in the morning.
History and etymology
In the British Raj, where the British custom of afternoon tea was supplanted by the local Indian practice of taking a light meal at that hour, it came to be called tiffin. It is derived from English colloquial or slang tiffing meaning to take a little drink, and had by 1867 become naturalised among Anglo-Indians in the north of British India to mean luncheon.
In South India and in Nepal, tiffin is generally a snack between meals: dosas, idlis, vadas etc. In other parts of India, such as Mumbai, the word mostly refers to a packed lunch of some sort. In Mumbai, it is often forwarded to them by dabbawalas, sometimes known as tiffin wallahs, who use a complex system to get thousands of tiffin-boxes to their destinations. In Mumbai, a school going child's lunch box is fondly called a Tiffin box.
- OED staff 2013, "tiffin, n.".
- Murray 2008, p. 88.
- Purnachand, G V. "History of Traditional Telugu Food Culture: A new interpretation". Dr. G. V. Purnachand, B.A.M.S. Dr. G V Purnachand, B.A.M.S. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Quinion 2006, Tiffin.
- OED staff 2013, "tiffin, n."cites H. Wedgwood (1862) "Tiffin, now naturalised among Anglo-Indians in the sense of luncheon, is the North country tiffing (properly sipping)". See also Wedgwood 1872, p. 682.
- Hughes, Mookherjee & Delacy 2001, p. 25.
- Harding 2002.
- Thakker 2005.
- Murray 2008, pp. 85–108.
- Harding, Luke (29 October 2002), "A Bombay lunchbox", The Guardian
- Hughes, Martin; Mookherjee, Sheema; Delacy, Richard (2001), India (illustrated ed.), Lonely Planet, p. 25, ISBN 978-1-86450-328-9
- Murray, Sarah (2008), Moveable Feasts: From Ancient Rome to the 21st Century, the Incredible Journeys of the Food We Eat (illustrated ed.), Macmillan, pp. 85–108, ISBN 978-0-312-42814-3
- OED staff (2013), "tiffin, n.", Oxford English Dictionary (online ed.), Oxford University
- Quinion, [Michael (2 September 2006) , World Wide Words: Tiffin, worldwidewords.org, retrieved March 2015 Check date values in:
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- Thakker, Pradip (11 November 2005), Bombay's amazing dabbawalas, archived from the original on 9 February 2008
- Wedgwood, H. (1872), A Dictionary of English Etymology (second ed.), p. 682
|Look up tiffin in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|