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Dear Matt:

Where did the term Continental breakfast come from? It sure sounds big for something so small.

-- Keith, the Net

The name comes from the us-and-them distinction that Brits love make. There's Us (Mother England), then there's all of Them, the Continentals, the hordes kept out by just a flimsy trickle of water. While England has traditionally started its day with bacon, eggs, fried potatoes, oatmeal, tomatoes, grilled ham slabs, pork chops-- something substantial-- the strangely abstemious and generally suspect French are over there on the Continent, in their jammies, nibbling at croissants and sipping juice. Voil, the Continental breakfast.

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