Elevenses (pronunciation: ) is a short break taken at around 11 A.M. to consume a drink and/or snack of some sort. The name and details vary between countries.


  • Regional variations 1
    • United Kingdom 1.1
    • The Netherlands 1.2
    • United States 1.3
    • Spanish-speaking countries 1.4
    • Basque Country 1.5
  • In literature 2
  • Other uses 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Regional variations

United Kingdom

Elevenses typically consists of tea or coffee, often with a biscuit or cake.[1]

The Netherlands

In West Friesland country people had a similar meal called "konkelstik" (served at "konkeltoid", the proper time for "konkelen", a verb denoting "making a visit").[2][3]

United States

During the first decades of the 19th century, elevenses consisted of drinking whiskey.[4]

Spanish-speaking countries

In many Spanish-speaking cultures, elevenses is observed under the name la once (the eleven in Spanish). However, in some places the time at which it occurs has changed from 11am: in Colombia las onces can be taken at any time of day, and in Chile it has shifted to the afternoon, akin to British "tea time".[5]

Basque Country

Called amaiketako (at eleven in Euskera), it’s also a snack, or pintxo (the Basque version of the Spanish tapa), to be taken at around 11 A.M.

In literature

For elevenses, Winnie-the-Pooh preferred honey on bread with condensed milk. Paddington Bear often took elevenses at the antique shop on Portobello Road run by his friend Mr Gruber,[6] for which Paddington would buy buns and Mr Gruber would make cocoa.

In the Middle-earth stories by J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), it is a meal eaten by Hobbits between second breakfast and luncheon.[7]

Other uses

Elevenses is the name of a brand of clothing sold by Anthropologie.

See also


  1. ^ Harper, Timothy (1997). Passport United Kingdom: Your Pocket Guide to British Business, Customs and Etiquette. World Trade Press.  
  2. ^ Thijs, J. G. A. (1984). Taal ter sprake. Nijgh & Van Ditmar. p. 40.  
  3. ^ Hoekstra, A. C. ter Horst- (1953). t Pistoal: Een Westfriese historie (1870-1878)"'". De Speelwagen 8 (10): 303–12. 
  4. ^ Pollan, Michael (October 12, 2003). "THE WAY WE LIVE NOW: 10-12-03; The (Agri)Cultural Contradictions Of Obesity". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Collier, Simon (2004). A History of Chile, 1808-2002. Cambridge University Press.  
  6. ^ Bond, Michael (1997). Paddington abroad. London: Collins. p. 14.  
  7. ^  

External links

  • The dictionary definition of elevensies at Wiktionary