Bacchanal Vs. Orgy

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sb70012, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Hello teachers,

    Orgy: a wild gathering marked by promiscuous sexual activity, excessive drinking.
    Bacchanal: a drunken and riotous celebration.

    Source: WR Dictionary

    Are they same at meaning? I think there is no big difference between Orgy and Bacchanal.
    But what's your idea? Is there any difference between them or not?

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    In my experience, :rolleyes: at bacchanals you concentrate on drinking; in orgies, sex
     
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    London
    English - South-East England
    My experience with these is limited, but basically a bacchanal involves drinking and an orgy involves sex, and if they end up so that you can't tell which of them it is any more, hey, it was a successful one.
     
  4. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Thanks so much.
     
  5. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    We would make the same distinction in AE. (Perhaps unfortunately, I have no hands-on experience with either.)
     
  6. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Thanks for answering Egmont.
     
  7. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    Also everyone knows what an orgy is, but not everyone understands "bacchanal". An "orgy" can also be used metaphorically: "an orgy of chocolate-eating", for those sad people who don't get invited to the real thing.
     
  8. sb70012

    sb70012 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Thanks for answering. But I didn't ask (Orgy of something). I know what (Orgy of something) is.
    I just asked Orgy.

    Anyway, thanks for answering.
     
  9. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    That's the big one - "orgy" is more common and "bacchanal" very rare. Nowadays, an "orgy" is understood as necessarily sexual.

    (In older books - say, from the 1930's and before - you may see "orgy" used to describe "a wild party" without any sexual implications.)
     

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