nap/snooze/doze/slumber ...

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Senior Member
Dear friends
There are several words in English for describing a light sleep especially during the daytime. These are including:
nap (catnap) // snooze // doze (off) // drowse // zizz // slumber // siesta //

I know some of these are only noun and some are both noun and verb.
But I wanna know the difference in meaning between them. Are they totally the same?
Thanks in advance
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    No, they are not the same. Have you checked our dictionary here? :)

    (Except for "zizz," which is not an English word.)

    Neither, by the way, is "wanna." It's an incorrect way of writing "want to," and is used properly only when indicating a person's lack of enunciation.


    Senior Member
    Dear sdgraham
    I've checked dictionaries, in here and other web-based ones, especially
    But, I couldn't realize a clear difference between all of them. Of course, I guess the word "drowse" can be in different meaning, but the others seems to be interchangeable.
    In case of word "zizz" that you expressed it isn't an English word, it is explained in dictionaries and web-sites, like aforementioned dic. and
    Can you explain more?
    Thanks a lot


    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me:

    nap (catnap) is intentional (see also the British kip
    snooze - probably intentional and colloquial
    doze (off) - unintentional, such as one might do in a boring class or while driving at night
    drowse - appears in a dictionary, but I've only encountered it as a adjective, i.e. drowsy, which is not quite asleep.
    slumber - real sleep
    siesta - a programmed, i.e. intentional, short sleep after lunch.
    Forget "zizz" as it seems to be mostly in dictionaries that deal with modern slang. You won't find it in standard English.

    There are many words that appear in dictionaries that are not used.

    You will find an expression such as "I'm gong to catch some 'Z's which is based upon cartoonists writing "zzzzzz" in the balloon above a sleeping cat, for example, perhaps to suggest snorting. See this photo.
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