Berm/embankment/mound

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Ah_poix_e

Senior Member
Portuguese
Hi all,

Could you, by any means, also call to a berm (not the shoulder, as I reckon in British English, you also refer to the latter as a berm), running along the side of the roadway, an embankment? And what about calling it a mound? Could you also call it simply a slope?


NOTE: A berm being an elevated pile of soil, much longer in lenght than in height - as it runs besides the road.

Thank you so much.
 
  • Ann O'Rack

    Senior Member
    UK
    UK English
    I've never heard the term "berm", I suspect it's a technical term. I have, however, heard the term "embankment" used for the bit beside a road or railway track.
     

    Ah_poix_e

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    I've never heard the term "berm", I suspect it's a technical term. I have, however, heard the term "embankment" used for the bit beside a road or railway track.
    Hi Ann,

    Thank you so much.
    Have you heard those as being referred to the soil (or other material, such as rocks, etc) elevations beside the roads and railroads? Sometimes I reckon they (barriers or whatever they are called :)) are used as noise barriers and also as sight lines barriers, though not really sure on this.
    In other usages, their purposes might be different, of course.

    Best regards.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Could you, by any means, also call to a berm (not the shoulder, as I reckon in British English, you also refer to the latter as a berm), running along the side of the roadway, an embankment? And what about calling it a mound? Could you also call it simply a slope?
    Embankment is a good synonym for berm. I wouldn't call it a mound. It could be called a slope, but that term would be better suited to a hillside.
     

    Ah_poix_e

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    Embankment is a good synonym for berm. I wouldn't call it a mound. It could be called a slope, but that term would be better suited to a hillside.
    Hi RM1(SS),

    THank you.
    I would imagine you can also refer to the sides of the embankment (which lies on and along the side of the road) as side slopes, can't you?
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    According to the WR dictionary, "berm" is used in various ways, some quite different from each other, but I have not come across it at all in British English general use.

    I saw it today in a CNN online report from Syria, referring to mounds of earth that defending soldiers had put there as protection against enemy fire, presumably alongside the trenches they had dug.
     

    glamorgan

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Hi all,

    Could you, by any means, also call to a berm (not the shoulder, as I reckon in British English, you also refer to the latter as a berm), running along the side of the roadway, an embankment? And what about calling it a mound? Could you also call it simply a slope?


    NOTE: A berm being an elevated pile of soil, much longer in lenght than in height - as it runs besides the road.

    Thank you so much.
    A “cutting” is where earth and rock have been removed to allow the construction of a roadway through some natural obstacle.
    An “embankment” is where earth and rock have been used to raise the level of the roadway.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's used in American English but the opportunities for use are limited in most people's lives, I think.

    If there was an oil spill they might build a berm around it to contain it. I haven't heard it used in relation to roads, even though the dictionary definition talks about that.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've only ever seen "berm" used in technical discussions, never in everyday English. For example, aviation fuel pillow tanks for field deployments were always laid within a berm in case of a leak.
     

    glamorgan

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    It's used in American English but the opportunities for use are limited in most people's lives, I think.

    If there was an oil spill they might build a berm around it to contain it. I haven't heard it used in relation to roads, even though the dictionary definition talks about that.
    The first time I came across the word “berm” was before and during the Gulf War of 1991. The Iraqis had fortified their positions with “berms” and British journalists described them in great detail. I don’t think the word has migrated from its industrial and military uses.
     
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