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Related to dinners: Diners

all duck or no dinner

Of a situation, action, or effort resulting in either total success or total failure; all or nothing. We've got one last chance to secure an investor for the company, so it's all duck or no dinner with this meeting!
See also: all, dinner, duck

make a dog's dinner (of something)

To make a mess of or completely ruin something. I thought I could trust Jim to finish the business proposal, but he made a dog's dinner of the whole thing!
See also: dinner, make

rubber chicken dinner

A dinner served at a large catered event, especially a political or corporate fundraising event, in which many people must be served simultaneously and the quality of food suffers as a result. ("Rubber chicken" is sometimes hyphenated.) I'll tell you, though: more than the long hours on the road, the repetitive speeches, or the manic workload, I cannot stand the rubber chicken dinners when I'm on the campaign trail. We really wanted to throw the whole "rubber-chicken dinner" association out the window for our next charity drive, so we've partnered with a local co-op kitchen to bring fresh, home-cooked meals to the table.
See also: chicken, dinner, rubber

like a dog's dinner

1. Very messy and/or disorganized. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I really need to clean out my closet—it's starting to look like a dog's breakfast in there.
2. Of a person's attire, very showy in a way that attracts negative attention. Look at that fool, all done up like a dog's dinner. Who told him that patterned suit was a good idea?
See also: dinner, like

be done like a (dog's) dinner

To fail or lose. Primarily heard in Australia. Your team will be done like a dog's dinner if they play against the all-star team. I just finished my paper, but class starts in five minutes, and the printer isn't working, so I'm done like a dinner.
See also: dinner, done, like

a dog's breakfast

Very messy and/or disorganized. I really need to clean out my closet—it's starting to look like a dog's breakfast in there.
See also: breakfast

dinner is served

Dinner is ready. A: "All right, everybody, dinner is served." B: "Wow, this all looks delicious!"
See also: dinner, serve

done up like a dog's dinner

Of a person's attire, very showy in a way that attracts negative attention. Look at that fool, all done up like a dog's dinner. Who told him that patterned suit was a good idea?
See also: dinner, done, like, up

have (done) more (something) than (one) has had hot dinners

To have more experience at something than the person one is speaking to. Oh please, I've completed more of these reports than he's had hot dinners, so no, I'm not going to listen to any of his suggestions.
See also: dinner, have, hot, more

Dinner is served.

It is time to eat dinner. Please come to the table. (As if announced by a butler; often jocular.) Sue: Dinner is served. Mary (aside): Aren't we fancy tonight? "Dinner is served," said Bob, rather formally for a barbecue.
See also: dinner, serve

take someone out to dinner

to take someone as one's guest to a meal at a restaurant. Can I take you out to dinner sometime? We will take out the visitors to dinner tonight.
See also: dinner, out, take

done like a dinner

If you are done like a dinner in a competitive situation, your opponents defeat you completely, often in an unfair way. These laws mean that foreign competitors get done like a dinner.
See also: dinner, done, like

more something than someone has had hot dinners

If you have had or done more something than someone has had hot dinners, you have had a very large number of them or done something a very large number of times. His trainer has probably seen more fights than most men of his age have had hot dinners. She's had more boyfriends than I've had hot dinners.
See also: dinner, hot, more, something

a dog's breakfast


a dog's dinner

If you call something a dog's breakfast or a dog's dinner, you mean that it is badly organized or very untidy. He labelled the Government's plans `a complete dog's breakfast'. Now she's having to watch as those whom she grew up with in politics are in Cabinet and making a dog's breakfast of it. The whole place was a bit of a dog's dinner, really.
See also: breakfast

dressed up like a dog's dinner

If someone is dressed up like a dog's dinner, they have taken a lot of trouble to dress in their best clothes. Are you telling me that your mother is going to be dressed up like a dog's dinner tonight and every night? Note: This expression is usually used to show that you think the person looks foolish.
See also: dinner, dress, like, up

done like (a) dinner

utterly defeated or outwitted. Australian & Canadian informal
1978 C. Green The Sun Is Up I had old Splinters Maloney the fishing inspector knocking on me door wanting to see me licence. Of course I was done like a dinner.
See also: dinner, done, like

more — than someone has had hot dinners

someone's experience of a specified activity or phenomenon is vastly greater than someone else's. British informal
1998 Odds On Triplett has been second more times than he's had hot dinners, and there must be a question about his bottle, but he has two qualities that will stand him in good stead at the Olympic Club.
See also: dinner, hot, more

hand in your dinner pail

die. informal
A dinner pail was the bucket in which a workman formerly carried his dinner; compare with kick the bucket (at kick).
See also: dinner, hand

a dog's dinner (or breakfast)

a poor piece of work; a mess. British informal
The image is of a dog's meal of jumbled-up scraps.
2000 Independent He was rightly sacked because he had made such a dog's dinner of an important job.
See also: dinner

dressed (up) like a dog's dinner

wearing ridiculously smart or ostentatious clothes. British informal
See also: dinner, dress, like

a dog’s ˈbreakfast/ˈdinner

(British English, informal) a very untidy piece of work; a mess: Don’t ask Julie to help you with the decorating — she made a complete dog’s breakfast of painting the kitchen!
See also: breakfast, dinner

more .../more often than somebody has had hot ˈdinners

(informal, often humorous) used for emphasizing how much/many or how often somebody has done something: He’s won more medals than you’ve had hot dinners.She’s been to France more often than you’ve had hot dinners.
See also: dinner, hot, more, often, somebody


and dinner basket
n. the belly; the stomach. I hit him, pow, right in the breadbasket. I have a little pain in the dinner basket.

dinner basket

See also: basket, dinner

TV dinner

n. roadkill; a turkey vulture dinner. Whoops. I just made a TV dinner out of a squirrel!
See also: dinner
References in classic literature ?
The old Inspector was incapable of it; and, were he to continue in office to tile end of time, would be just as good as he was then, and sit down to dinner with just as good an appetite.
Yer mind dat ar great chicken pie I made when we guv de dinner to General Knox?
Woodhouse considered eight persons at dinner together as the utmost that his nerves could bear and here would be a ninthand Emma apprehended that it would be a ninth very much out of humour at not being able to come even to Hartfield for fortyeight hours without falling in with a dinnerparty.
Firstly, because, on fine Sundays, he often walked out, before dinner, with the Doctor and Lucie; secondly, because, on unfavourable Sundays, he was accustomed to be with them as the family friend, talking, reading, looking out of window, and generally getting through the day; thirdly, because he happened to have his own little shrewd doubts to solve, and knew how the ways of the Doctor's household pointed to that time as a likely time for solving them.
In time the bells ceased, and the bakers were shut up; and yet there was a genial shadowing forth of all these dinners and the progress of their cooking, in the thawed blotch of wet above each baker's oven; where the pavement smoked as if its stones were cooking too.
As it was a raw evening and I was cold, I thought I would comfort myself with dinner at once; and as I had hours of dejection and solitude before me if I went home to the Temple, I thought I would afterwards go to the play.
And, after all, it is a very poor consolation to be told that the man who has given one a bad dinner, or poor wine, is irreproachable in his private life.
Sancho seeing this was puzzled, and looking from one to another asked if this dinner was to be eaten after the fashion of a jugglery trick.
In the next room two gloomy, angry-looking persons were eating their dinners in silence at two different tables.
The hungry friends, followed by their lackeys, were seen haunting the quays and Guard rooms, picking up among their friends abroad all the dinners they could meet with; for according to the advice of Aramis, it was prudent to sow repasts right and left in prosperity, in order to reap a few in time of need.
de Villefort's, and lawyers always give you very bad dinners.
They brought sheep and wine, while their wives had put up bread for them to take with them; so they were busy cooking their dinners in the courts].
She had high animal spirits, and a sort of natural self-consequence, which the attention of the officers, to whom her uncle's good dinners, and her own easy manners recommended her, had increased into assurance.
Athos, with his superior understanding, wisely deemed that the supper table would be the most complete and satisfactory point of reunion, and at the moment when his friends, in deference to his deportment and sobriety, dared scarcely speak of some of their former good dinners, he was the first to propose that they should all assemble around some well spread table and abandon themselves unreservedly to their own natural character and manners -- a freedom which had formerly contributed so much to that good understanding between them which gave them the name of the inseparables.
If I had a footing of my own, in society, $50,000 MIGHT do; but, when a fellow has to work his way by means of dinners, horses, and et ceteras, it's a small allowance.