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What is the etymology of square meal?
This phrase for 'a substantial, hearty and satisfying meal' is said to derive from the use of square platters for meals served on-board ships. However, there is also the theory that square meant 'right' (originally as in the right angles of a square) or 'sturdy, substantial'. Square is also considered a synonym for 'solid' or 'steady', 'fair' or 'complete', as in the phrase fair and square. H.L. Mencken suggested that "Square meal is as distinctively American as jazz or the quick lunch."