From my understanding, a lunch box is food packed from home to eaten during lunch time either in school or the office.

Is there such a term as dinner box? If there is no such term, how can I describe food that is packed from home and is to be eaten during dinner time in school or at the office?

2 Answers 2


The nearest I can think of would be "packed dinner". Also "packed lunch" would be the more generic term. A lunch box is, to me, a fairly specific container for a packed lunch.

  • 4
    The reason we don't say "dinner box" is exactly that it isn't at all common to pack a dinner, as compared to packing a lunch. Nov 24, 2011 at 11:33
  • 3
    In the area of the North of England that I live in, your midday meal is called dinner and your evening meal is tea. It's still called a lunch box though.
    – user15183
    Nov 24, 2011 at 12:31
  • @Scott: Further south in la-la / lah-de-dah land the adults have lunch in the day and dinner in the evening - but same as yours, our kids get school dinners, not school lunches Nov 24, 2011 at 14:08
  • In the UK, at least, "lunch box" can be used for both cases.
    – Polynomial
    Nov 24, 2011 at 14:13
  • @FumbleFingers I'm lah-de-dah myself, a Kentish native now in Yorkshire! That's what's fuelled my interest in the English language. I think the box has its own name, no matter when the food is consumed, you know what I mean?
    – user15183
    Nov 24, 2011 at 14:15

The terms dinner pail, dinner bucket, lunch box, lunch pail, and lunch bucket all have some currency, per ngrams,, but dinner box much less so.ngram for 6 lunch/dinner box/pail/bucket

Dinner pail is found in euphemism for death "To hand in one's dinner pail", and in the 1900 campaign slogan of William McKinley, "Four more years of the full dinner pail".

  • +1 for the statistics information about the terms dinner pail, dinner bucket, lunch box, lunch pail, and lunch bucket. Nov 25, 2011 at 1:09

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