Discussion in 'English Only' started by lovelyrita, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. lovelyrita New Member

    Spain, spanish
    Hi! Which is the difference, if there's any, among naked, bare and nude? Thank you!
  2. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    Dear Lovelyrita,

    Welcome to the forum! Nice to have you here. I hope you'll enjoy it.

    Please don't forget to read the sticky before posting :)

    The difference is in the context. If you try to make some sample sentences, we can help you better.

    Normally, they mean more or less the same thing. But there are some expressions that can't use them all: for example, you can't say "That's visible to the bare eye (but you can say naked eye)"

    To see the differences, it would be a good idea to look them up in the WordReference dictionary: naked, bare, nude
  3. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Hi Rita and welcome to the forum.

    You should say What is the difference between naked, bare, and nude?

    All three mean unclothed, but they aren't used in quite the same way. The question is difficult because the differences are subtle.

    Nude is the more sexually alive of the three terms, though the Nude is a category of painting and sculpture. I think one point about a nude is that he or she intends to be nude, and is happy to be seen like that. Nude is used commonly as a noun, a nude, which isn't true of the others.

    Naked carries overtones of vulnerability, as does bare. Adam and Eve knew that they were naked. They didn't want to be naked. They suddenly felt naked.

    Bare isn't used often for a whole person, but is applied more often to parts of the body.

    That's a start.
  4. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    The Venus de Milo is nude. Michelangelo's David is nude. An artist's model in a life drawing class is nude. However, when overweight, middle-aged GreenWhiteBlue has to dash out of the shower in his house to answer the ringing telephone, he is not only irritated and dripping wet, but also naked.
  5. SwissPete

    SwissPete Senior Member

    94044 USA
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    The naked truth, the bare facts. Right?
  6. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    These are specific idioms, so the "rightness" or "wrongness" of the use of the words is a question of custom rather than of precise definition or common use of the words.
  7. lovelyrita New Member

    Spain, spanish
    Thank you everyone for the answers and corrections, really useful
  8. mally pense

    mally pense Senior Member

    Cheshire, England
    England, UK English
    If you're using all three (for emphasis), you should say "nude bare naked" as in:

    "There he was, nude bare naked!"

    This a stock phrase used for emphasis, and in itself indicates that the meanings are broadly synonymous, notwithstanding the subtle differences in individual usage described in the various replies above. The word order is important: "naked bare nude" would not be recognised as the stock phrase for example.
  9. Ms Missy Senior Member

    U.S. Virgin Islands
    USA English
    I like the explanation where the overall meaning was given as 'without clothing." That's because in the final analysis, all three words really connote the same thing, although used in different contexts. 'Nude' seems to be nicer and more formal. The other day there was a news report about a man who was arrested for jogging 'in the nude.'
    with 'bare' it usually connotes a certain part of the body rather than the entire body. (bare legged = no stockings. bare chested = no shirt). Naked is more of a household word. "My little brother likes to run around naked!"
  10. linlon Senior Member


    1.'There are nude children swimming in the lake.'
    Is the 'nude' correct to be used here?

    2. 'She works as a naked model.'
    Is the 'naked' correct to be used here?

    Thank you very much.
  11. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    No to both. I think we'd say:

    1. there are naked children swimming in the lake.


    There are children swimming naked in the lake.

    2. She works as a nude model.


    She models in a life class.


    She models in the nude.
  12. linlon Senior Member

    Hi Thomas Tompion,

    I see! Thank you very much.
  13. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    It may be a stock phrase in the UK, but it is unknown in the US. If I ever heard anyone saying this (and I never have) I would think the phrase strange and redundant.
  14. tonguingaround Senior Member

    Spanish Argentina
    “To be naked is to be oneself.
    To be nude is to be seen naked by others and yet not recognised for oneself.”
    ― John Berger, Ways of Seeing
  15. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Nude is often used in an artistic or aesthetic context. I think that is what the quotation emphasises.

    To talk about the fact of being without clothes, we have a whole lot of words in English - starkers, in the buff, in the altogether - but naked is the neutral term.

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