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Need a little help with your language please

(202 Posts)
giantangryrooster Fri 22-May-20 12:16:37

I'm Scandinavian, I try my best with your language, but am still bewildered about livingrooms/dens, toilets/loos etc grin.

But can any of you enlighten me on two words?

Where I'm from we call it summer house, what do you call it... Cottage, holiday home, second home and what is the difference?

Secondly wood/forrest, is a wood smaller? How small, then? grin
Do you call it wood or woods?

Just confused can you help, please.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 22-May-20 12:18:58

I'm Scottish and we do have variations but I would say 'a wood' and it's much smaller than a forest.

I would say 'holiday cottage' or 'our cottage'. Again, there will be a lot of variation.

The UK is quite riddled with regional variations linguistically.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 22-May-20 12:19:26

I think den is American. I say living room.

totallyyesno Fri 22-May-20 12:19:59

A forest is big, a wood is smaller, but not as small as a copse. wink Normallya wood is singular if you are referring to a particular one e.g The animals of Farthing Wood. I would use "woods" if not referring to the name e.g I'm going into the woods.

totallyyesno Fri 22-May-20 12:22:04

Cottage, holiday home, second home and what is the difference?
Depends on whether you own it or not! Second home is only possible if it's yours. The others can be owned or not. A cottage should be small and/or pretty or at least old.

totallyyesno Fri 22-May-20 12:22:29

"Den" is an American term.

Limpetlike Fri 22-May-20 12:23:12

The toilet/loo/lavatory/bathroom and living room/sitting room/lounge distinction is primarily a class shibboleth, like pardon vs what or sofa/settee/couch.

wowfudge Fri 22-May-20 12:24:55

I'm British and a living room/lounge/sitting room are all the same to me. They can have different class connotations. A drawing room would be found in a stately home. The terms change over time too as the same room might well have been called the parlour in the first half of the 20th century. There might be no TV in this room in some people's houses.

A den/snug/family room is a less formal living room. It might have toys, TV, etc. The term den is from American English.

Toilet/loo/bathroom/cloakroom/washroom all mean pretty much the same, again with different class connotations and ideas about what is polite. Sometimes referred to as the smallest room.

A wood is smaller than a forest, but you'd typically say you were going to the woods, not the wood. You might also say you were going to the woods when you mean forest. I'd say wood or forest depending on what the local name was for the wooded area.

Confused? You will be.

wowfudge Fri 22-May-20 12:27:51

Oh and a summer house is a shed with glass doors. You sit in it in summer rather than storing the gardening tools in it. A holiday cottage is usually a house you rent. A second home is one you own and visit for more than a few weeks' holiday. E.g. you might spend weekends there. A holiday home is a house you own and go on holiday to.

giantangryrooster Fri 22-May-20 12:28:35

Thanks for replying.
Did you have to introduce copse grin. Had to look it up even though google suggested corpse.

So if I want to say 'there is a wood at the back of my garden' with no name reference, it should be woods, right?

Re. Second home, yes we own it, but only use it for holidays, so not really a second home as such.

wowfudge Fri 22-May-20 12:30:08

You could say there is a wood at the back of my garden or there are woods at the back of my garden. People would just picture trees.

giantangryrooster Fri 22-May-20 12:32:44

Thanks again. I got a feeling, I'm going to be even more confused grin.

beebeeduck Fri 22-May-20 12:33:18

A den is something children build in the woods. A Forest is huge, the Uk doesn't have much left in the way of real forest any more, most have been destroyed and left woodland that is bits of forest separated by fields.

ButDoUAvocado Fri 22-May-20 12:33:42

Summer house I think of as a posh shed in your own garden. Holiday home is literally- holiday home.

If I had a tree dense area close to my house I’d say ‘there’s woods at the bottom of my garden’

Pelleas Fri 22-May-20 12:33:53

I'd call your second home a 'holiday home' - or a holiday ..... (depending on what it was) cottage/chalet/caravan/apartment if I wanted to be more specific.

beebeeduck Fri 22-May-20 12:34:47

Also a spinney is another name for a group of trees. A spinney is smaller than a copse.

viques Fri 22-May-20 12:34:53

I think I would say that a "summer house" to most English people would be a small decorative wooden house situated in your garden. It might be used for storage, for a child's playhouse or for a home office but would not generally be used to sleep in or live in. It might have electricity but would be unlikely to have mains water or a toilet.

A small house in the country, or in an area away from your main family house, and used to stay in for weekends or holidays would be a cottage, or second home . It could also be called a holiday home, and this term would also be used to describe a fixed caravan, or a chalet building on a site which serves the same purpose but would not be seen as so desireable as a traditionally built cottage.

Forest and wood are a matter of size. Both could contain ancient indigenous trees , or could have been planted deliberately using either indigenous trees or selected trees, often non native pine or other species.

Scoobygang7 Fri 22-May-20 12:35:12

This is a UK summer house it's a pretty she'd.

Scoobygang7 Fri 22-May-20 12:35:48

Shed* not she'd

beebeeduck Fri 22-May-20 12:36:17

Sparklfairy Fri 22-May-20 12:37:22

I have nothing useful to add, I just want to say I never realised English was such a bitch of a language! grin

beebeeduck Fri 22-May-20 12:38:27

Then there is a grove which is a small area of woodland without undergrowth, an orchard would be a grove

eddiemairswife Fri 22-May-20 12:38:59

You can say, "There is a wood at the back of my house.", "There are woods at the back of my house.", or even, "There is woodland at the back at the back of my house." You can also say, 'behind my house'.

wowfudge Fri 22-May-20 12:39:02

Grammatically "there's woods" doesn't agree as you've got a singular verb with a plural noun. But it's something you hear people say.

SenecaFallsRedux Fri 22-May-20 12:40:46

I'm American. We would usually say "vacation home" or "second home" or if applicable "beach house" or "mountain house" or "lake house." Sometimes "cottage" is used, especially in the Northeast. (I'm in the South.)

A forest is larger than a wood. We would usually say "woods" plural, as in there are woods behind my house.

There are lots of regional variations in the US, but I think "den" is falling out of favor. "Family room" is the most common term for the room used to watch TV and relax. "Living room" often connotes a more formal room in the house.

People in the US avoid the word "toilet" at all costs. The only time we say the word is if we have to refer to the actual fixture as in "DH, can you come in here and bring the plunger, the toilet is stopped up." A room is never called a toilet. It's "bathroom" if in a private house or "restroom" if in a public building.

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