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Tiffin time

May 11, 2009 - Rob Weaver
Anyone who has paid attention in a civics class in our county seat should be familiar with the name Edward Tiffin. But have you heard of the word, “tiffin.”

I hadn't, until recently -- when I heard of it twice in a week.

Sunday before last, at a meeting I Columbus, I chatted with Edie Lederer, chief U.N. correspondent for The Associated Press, before she gave a speech about her years working as a foreign correspondent for the wire service. When I told her I was from Tiffin, she immediately recalled afternoon tea  in India being served in “tiffin” boxes.

Turns out the word “tiffin” means a light lunch or afternoon between-meal bite. I learned this from an e-mail sent by a reader, Ed Mathias, who had seen the word in a story by Emily Wax, of the Washington Post foreign service. The story is about people who provide a delivery service involving “foot-tall lunch pails known as tiffins."

The name apparently never caught on in this former British colony.


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