Stop giving Mariah Carey credit for the word "linner." She did not coin it, and she was not the first to use it. It is a real word that has been used many times before Mariah used it. Linner is simply the meal that is eaten when it's too late for lunch and too early for dinner. The meal is usually big enough to last through the evening. In some cases, it is possible to skip dinner altogether because you will still be full from your linner. Therefore, it is unfair to etymologists to say Carey made up the word just as it is unfair to say she coined the word "tea" because she asked for it during her performance at the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve event in New York.


Most of the talk show hosts on Monday, January 8 pointed out what Mariah tweeted when she was invited out to brunch. She said she doesn't do brunch, but she favors linner. A lot of people had never heard the word so they assumed the iconic singer had made up the word. While it is a word that is not used very often, the word has been around for a long time. None of the talk show hosts mentioned that Carey used the wrong definition.

A person on social media admitted she learned it from her grandchildren. When she was babysitting them she wanted to give them dinner after church. They insisted it was not dinner at 2 p.m. because it was too early. They said it was linner. In other words, it was a little late for their lunch and too early for their dinner.

Mariah used the word incorrectly. She said she doesn't do brunch because it's daytime. So is linner. She said it is a late dinner, but it is a late lunch that comes before an early dinner. It is definitely the meal eaten between lunch and dinner, according to the Urban Dictionary, other dictionaries, and the woman's grandchildren.

It would have been better if the singer hadn't put the wrong definition in her tweet that was in parentheses as if her friend didn't know what it meant. Apparently, she doesn't know the right definition herself.

Meals and their times

Breakfast is the first meal of the day.

It is so named because during the night you are fasting while you are sleeping. When you wake up and eat, you break the fast. That's how we get the word breakfast. The times for breakfast vary, but it is usually in the morning before starting your day. Brunch is the combination of a late breakfast and an early lunch.

Lunch is the abbreviation for luncheon. That meal is usually eaten during the middle of the day. Like breakfast, lunch times vary. Lunch doesn't have to be eaten exactly at noon. It could be before or after that time. However, it is the second meal of the day that comes after breakfast. Linner describes a meal that is later than lunch but earlier than dinner. That is the meal Mariah Carey says she favors.

Dinner usually refers to the meal that comes in the evening. Like breakfast and lunch, there is no specific time for dinner. Some people, especially people in the South, use the word supper instead of dinner. Of course, people know a snack can come anytime between those meals.