meadow vs glade vs gap

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Tohdom

Senior Member
Russian
Hello,
For a long time i can not figure out the difference between meadow, glade and gap.
And how americans call a small open area in the middle of forest (less than a 5 m in diameter)? (where people make camps)
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please give us the complete sentence in which you would use this word, Tohdom, so we have a specific example to discuss.
     

    Tohdom

    Senior Member
    Russian
    "We were going through the forest until we saw a small open area, that was suitable for making a camp."
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    For less than five meters, I'd just call it an "open spot."

    Edit: "Clearing" is OK, too, but a bit stiff for my camping habits. :)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hello,
    For a long time i can not figure out the difference between meadow, glade and gap.
    And how americans call a small open area in the middle of forest (less than a 5 m in diameter)? (where people make camps)
    A "meadow" is not something in a forest. It is a "grassy field" and is open (no trees). It may be very large (more than a kilometer) or smaller, but is not as small as 5m.

    A "glade" is an open space in a forest. But I have no idea how large it is. I had to look up the word to know it was an "open space" -- I just knew it was some part of a forest.

    The word "gap" does not fit well with "forest". It refers to an empty portion of something one-directional, like a row of things, or a wall, or a fence, or a sidewalk. I would not understand the meaning of "gap" applied to a 2-dimensional thing (an area) like a forest.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    A "glade" is an open space in a forest. But I have no idea how large it is. I had to look up the word to know it was an "open space" -- I just knew it was some part of a forest.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Interesting word. We don't use "glade" in AE (at least not in the forested area where I live) to refer to an open space in the forest, but we do have the Florida "Everglades" and "Glade" air fresheners, presumably because the advertising people think real glades smell pretty -- or at least convince potential customers that they do.:rolleyes:
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Gaps are, or more accurately 'the gap' is, something we are constantly told, verbally or in writing, to mind when travelling on the London Underground:

     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    In my own experience of the northeastern US, and particularly the ridge-and-valley province of Pennsylvania, a "gap" has nothing to do with a clearing in a forest, and is instead a break in a mountain wall, usually related to the flow of a watercourse. Examples include the gaps found at Wind Gap, Fort Indiantown Gap, Rausch Gap, and plain old Gap, which is familiar to anyone who has ever taken the train from New York or Philadelphia to Harrisburg. By far the best-known gap of this kind, however, is the Delaware Water Gap, on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
     
    Last edited:

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In my own experience of the northeastern US, and particularly ridge-and-valley province of Pennsylvania, a "gap" has nothing to do with a clearing in a forest, and is instead a break in a mountain wall, usually related to the flow of a watercourse. Examples include the gaps found at Wind Gap, Fort Indiantown Gap, Rausch Gap, and plain old Gap, which is familiar to anyone who has ever taken the train from New York or Philadelphia to Harrisburg. By far the best-known gap of this kind, however, is the Delaware Water Gap, on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
    That is my experience as well. Breaks in mountains often have regional names that are not familiar to people from other areas unless they have read a lot about hiking in mountains. In Vermont, gap is common (see this list), but in nearby New Hampshire, it is a notch (see this list). It can also be a col (especially in Europe), a pass (generally used in the Western U.S.) and a few other things. I agree with GWB that this is the only meaning that applies in the context of a forest.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I think of a mountain gap too. Meadow is definitely out for the reason given by doji above. Glade is, I think, possible, but it is not a common word. (I think of the lines from the hymn 'How Great Thou Art': when through the woods and forest glades I wander ....) I'd go for 'clearing' too.
     
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