"Patch of land" <vs> "plot of land"

panzerfaust0

Senior Member
mandarin
I know that both are ok but I am just wondering how each of these, "patch of land" and "plot of land", makes you feel.

I personally feel that "patch of land" is smaller than "plot of land". It's also a more colloquial term. Am I correct?

Context: In China, the harshness of the struggle for survival was made no easier by Chinese inheritance practices, which left an estate to be divided equally between the owner's sons. A slightly wealthy peasant family might revert to poverty because each son had to start with a much smaller plot of land. From Nicholas Wade's A troublesome inheritance.

Thanks.
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Slight difference in nuance. To me a plot of land could be any size, but a patch of land implies that it's on the small side.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Patch" does imply a small amount of land, panzerfaust. "Plot of land" is neutral to me although it also refers to a small amount of land. "Patch" could easily be used in insulting language about some piece of property: She inherited a miserable patch of land that wasn't fit for anything.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    MerriamWebster has the following
    1: an area of land that has been measured and is considered as a unit
    2: a usually small piece of land that is used for a particular purpose
    3: ...
    I may have absorbed the first meaning since moving to the US and it is used for pieces of land of various sizes, not necessarily small - the key being that has a defined outline. For me a patch is small but also undefined.
    #2 can refer to any small piece of land, and gardens and graves are both common uses of that.
     
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