Etymology
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lunch (n.)

"mid-day repast, small meal between breakfast and dinner," 1786, a shortened form of luncheon (q.v.) in this sense (1650s), which is of uncertain origin; it appears to be identical with an older word meaning "thick piece, hunk" (1570s), which perhaps evolved from lump (n.) [OED]. There also was a contemporary nuncheon "light mid-day meal," from noon + Middle English schench "drink." Old English had nonmete "afternoon meal," literally "noon-meat" (Middle English non-mete). The verb meaning "to take to lunch" (said to be from the noun) also is attested from 1786:

PRATTLE. I always to be ſure, makes a point to keep up the dignity of the family I lives in. Wou'd you take a more ſolid refreſhment?—Have you lunch'd, Mr. Bribe?
BRIBE. Lunch'd O dear! Permit me, my dear Mrs. Prattle, to refreſh my sponge, upon the honey dew that clings to your raviſhing pouters. O! Mrs. Prattle, this ſhall be my lunch. (kiſſes)
["The Mode," in William Davies' "Plays Written for a Private Theatre," London, 1786]

As late as 1817 the only definition of lunch (n.) in Webster's is "a large piece of food," but this is now obsolete or provincial. OED says in 1820s the word "was regarded either as a vulgarism or as a fashionable affectation." Related: Lunched; lunching.

Lunch money is attested from 1868. Lunch-time is from 1821; lunch hour is from 1840; lunch-break is from 1960. Slang phrase out to lunch "insane, stupid, clueless" first recorded 1955, on notion of being "not there."

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lunch (v.)

"to take a lunch," 1786, from lunch (n.). Related: Lunched; lunching.

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lunch-counter (n.)

"long, elevated table where customers eat standing or sitting on high stools," 1854, American English; see lunch (n.) + counter (n.).

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lunch-pail (n.)
such as working men used to carry their lunches to job sites, 1891, from lunch (n.) + pail (n.). As an adjective, indicating working-class men or values, by 1990s, also lunch-bucket.
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lunchmeat (n.)
also lunch-meat, 1931, from lunch (n.) + meat (n.).
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brunch 

1896, British student slang merger of breakfast and lunch.

ACCORDING to the Lady, to be fashionable nowadays we must "brunch." Truly an excellent portmanteau word, introduced, by the way, last year, by Mr GUY BERINGER, in the now defunct Hunter's Weekly, and indicating a combined breakfast and lunch. At Oxford, however, two years ago, an important distinction was drawn. The combination-meal, when nearer the usual breakfast hour, is "brunch," and, when nearer luncheon, is "blunch." Please don't forget this. [Punch, Aug. 1, 1896]
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luncheon (n.)
"light repast between mealtimes," 1650s (lunching; spelling luncheon by 1706); earlier "thick piece, hunk (of bread)," 1570s (luncheon), which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps it is based on northern English dialectal lunch "hunk of bread or cheese" (1580s; said to be probably from Spanish lonja "a slice," literally "loin"), blended with or influenced by nuncheon (Middle English nonechenche, mid-14c.) "light mid-day meal," from none "noon" (see noon) + schench "drink," from Old English scenc, from scencan "pour out."

Despite the form lunching in the 1650s source OED discounts that it possibly could be from lunch (v.), which is first attested more than a century later. It suggests perhaps an analogy with truncheon, etc., or to simulate a French origin. Especially in reference to an early afternoon meal eaten by those who have a noontime dinner.
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brown-bag (v.)
"to bring lunch or liquor in a brown paper bag," 1970, from brown (adj.) + bag (n.). Related: Brown-bagging.
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taco (n.)
tortilla filled with spiced meat, etc., 1949, from Mexican Spanish, "light lunch," literally "plug, wadding."
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