graveyard/cemetery/burial ground

Discussion in 'English Only' started by quietdandelion, Oct 18, 2007.

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  1. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    If I were alone in a graveyard/cemetary/burial ground at night, I would be scared to death.



    Are the three terms in bold mean the same to you? My dictionary states they are synonyms, but I suspect there are slight diferences in meanings. Your comments, please.
     
  2. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English
    The meanings are the same, but graveyard has more ghoulish connotations. A graveyard can be dark and spooky. A cemetary can also be these things, but can also be peaceful and serene. Burial grounds is often used more to describe areas more ancient than cemeteries. We talk a lot about the sacred burial grounds of our aboriginals around here.
     
  3. quietdandelion

    quietdandelion Banned

    Homesweethome
    Formosa/Chinese
    Thanks, tepatria, for your clear explanation.
     
  4. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    It should be noted the word is spelled "cemetery", not "cemetary".
     
  5. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    graveyard has more ghoulish connotations.

    I must politely disagree, tepatria. "Grave yard" has no negative connotation to me, and it has the virtue of coming from pure old English, not the effete French<Latin<Greek of "cemetery."
     
  6. tepatria Senior Member

    Onondaga, Ontario
    Canadian English

    I guess my interpretation is coloured by the proximity of Hallowe'en! I agree that not everyone would think a graveyard is spooky, but that is my way of thinking. I can visit a cemetery with flowers to honor a loved one, but the word graveyard conjours up an image of bats and vampires for me.
     
  7. Elwintee Senior Member

    London England
    England English
    For me cemetery and burial ground differ from a graveyard. I think of a graveyard as always next to a church, just as a "yard" is next to a house. Am I right?
     
  8. Porteño Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    British English
    Interesting, Elwintee, I guess you're right. However, I have to agree with tepatris that 'graveyard' to me always conjours up spooky feelings.
     
  9. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    cemetery/grave-yard

    It's sometimes useful to hone a question based on prior discussions here.
     
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