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Word of the Day
Thursday, January 03, 2019

Definitions for elevenses

  1. British. (usually used with a plural verb) a midmorning break for refreshments.
  2. British. the refreshments taken.

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Citations for elevenses
At other times there were merely lots of people eating and drinking -- continuously from elevenses until six-thirty, when the fireworks started. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954
The other meals during harvest were breakfast, elevenses, dinner and fourses--in some places elevenses was called 'beaver' or 'cheesing'--but there was a good deal of difference in the local significations of these terms and the times at which the meals were eaten. Thomas Hennell, Change in the Farm, 1934
Origin of elevenses
1860-1865
Elevenses is a British colloquialism, familiar to Americans most likely through reading Tolkien (Bilbo Baggins was keen on elevenses) and P.G. Wodehouse. Elevenses was originally a British dialect word, a double plural of eleven (o’clock); it referred to snacks or light refreshments taken at eleven in the morning (as fourses taken about four in the afternoon.) Elevenses entered English in the 19th century.