Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English nonshench, noneschench, nonechenche (slight refreshment, usually taken in the afternoon), from none (noon) + shench, schenche (draught, cup), equivalent to noon +‎ shink (to pour out, serve). More at shink, skink.


nuncheon (plural nuncheons)

  1. (now dialectal, archaic) A drink or light snack taken in the afternoon; a refreshment between meals.
    • They used to break their fast, and nonchion [transl. collation] between meals, and all summer-time had men that sold snowe up and down the streets, wherewith they refreshed their wines, of whom some were so daintie that all winter long they used to put snow into their wine, not deeming it cold enough. (I.49)
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility:
      "Yes,—I left London this morning at eight o'clock, and the only ten minutes I have spent out of my chaise since that time procured me a nuncheon at Marlborough."
    • 1901, George Douglas Brown, The House with the Green Shutters:
      She gave him a hunk of nuncheon and a bundle of her novelettes, and he stole up to an empty garret and squatted on the bare boards.
    • 1921, E.V. Lucas, Highways & Byways in Sussex:
      Lurgashall, on the road to Northchapel, is a pleasant village, with a green, and a church unique among Sussex churches by virtue of a curious wooden gallery or cloister, said to have been built as a shelter for parishioners from a distance, who would eat their nuncheon there.

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