What do you call it when you share a meal with your friends?

This turns out to be a significant issue nowadays.

Once upon a time, the term “dinner party” was used to describe almost any type of occasion where a group of people gathered together to share companionship, conversation, good food and wine.

However, in many places nowadays a “dinner party” is thought to be a much more formal affair, where everybody is likely to dress up in semi-formal or formal clothes, and the atmosphere is less casual than usual.

Friends having dinner togetherI decided to use the internet to look for up-to-date words to overcome this problem, but this wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

Amongst the words that showed up in some of the online thesaurus sites were: luncheon, feast, banquet, shindig and beanfest.

None of these really seem to represent what it is that we’re trying to describe, so I decided that the time had come to look at equivalent terms in other languages.

Some of the terms that can be found are:

  • diner de fête” French
  • soiree” French
  • degustation” French
  • pranzo Italian
  • banquete” Spanish
  • jantar festivo” Portuguese
  • Abendessen” German

However, we’ve been reliably informed that the term “dinner party” is on its way back into more common usage, so we’ll stick to this term for most of our discussions of food and wine 

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