graveyard / cemetery

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Gunche, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Gunche Member

    Hello to everyone.

    I would like to know if is there any difference between cemetery and graveyard. I'm a little confused, please help me. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2015
  2. Archilochus Senior Member

    New Mexico
    American English
    They mean the same if they are referring to a place where folks are buried. But 'graveyard' has a wider use than 'cemetery'. For instance, an airplane graveyard is a place where obsolete aircraft are parked, perhaps prior to being broken up for their parts (sometimes this kind of a graveyard is called a 'boneyard'). There are also boat graveyards.
  3. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I think you would be advised to say "cemetery" to the family of the deceased who is about to be buried there.
    It has that polite sound that people use with regard to death. "Graveyard" does not.
  4. Biffo Senior Member

    English - England
  5. Chris K Senior Member

    Tacoma WA, US
    English / US
    Yes, by and large. "Cemetery" also has a more official, modern tone to it, and often forms part of the name of specific active burial grounds. But the more down-to-earth (no pun intended) "graveyard" is often more natural when referring to a older, disused site. It's also probably the more common term when referring to a small burial site adjacent to a church.
  6. juan082937 Banned

    Cemetery= cementerio.
    Graveyard= camposanto, cementerio de (vehículos).
    Boneyard= osario, deshuesadero (carros, aviones,etc.).
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2015
  7. leode80 New Member

    Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
    English - England (UK)
    Yes, it basically comes down to the fact that words of Latin/Greek origin are always given more prestige over Anglo-Saxon/English words in modern English, for unfortunate historic reasons, so therefore Cemetery is used in more official/respectful tones. Graveyard is a true English word; it just says the truth..., a bit too stark for some folk.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2015
  8. SkintheGoat

    SkintheGoat Senior Member

    English (Hibernian)
    I agree. I would always use 'graveyard' when referring to a burial ground attached to a church, and 'cemetery' to indicate a larger, municipal, facility.

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