Power outage / blackout, black-out

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Diardo, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Diardo Member

    Spanish
    Hi to all you:

    I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TO WORDS IS IT THE SAME TO SAY A BLACKOUT AND POWER OUTAGE? DO THEY MEAN THE SAME?

    I WILL THAN YOUR HELP


    I have a question about these two words. Is it the same to say, "A blackout" and "Power outage?" Do they mean the same?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2010
  2. WyomingSue

    WyomingSue Senior Member

    Cheyenne, WY
    English--USA
    Usually blackout and power outage mean the same thing. However, you can also have a voluntary blackout, for example in London during World War II the people covered all their windows and lights so the German bombers couldn't see them. Then the power is still on, just not showing.
     
  3. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    Actually it was almost all of Europe that was blacked out... for five years.

    "power outage" is not common in BrE, we call them "power cuts".

    syd
     
  4. WyomingSue

    WyomingSue Senior Member

    Cheyenne, WY
    English--USA
    Was the rest blacked-out out for lack of fuel or from fear of bombing?
     
  5. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
  6. traducecy New Member

    Los Andes, Chile
    Chilean Spanish
    I think that blackout is used when a large area of country or region have a power outage...
    At least, as a spanish speaking country, here is frequently used like that.
     
  7. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    As WyomingSue points out, they are often synonyms.

    There was a power outage last night. = There was a blackout last night.

    Power outage is more formal, and blackout is more colloquial.
     
  8. CarolinaGuy

    CarolinaGuy Senior Member

    U.S. - North Carolina
    U. S. English
    I agree with Traducecy. To me a power failure can be localized or widespread, but a blackout implies an event covering a wide area.
     
  9. divina Senior Member

    Austin, TX
    English, U.S.
    Is apagón used for both blackout and power outage though?
     
  10. ptak30

    ptak30 Senior Member

    According to Diccionario Santillana "apagón" is an accidental cut of electricity while Collins Spanish Dictionary allows both blackout and power cut or power failure with no mention of accidental. Few people in GB use the term blackout. It seems to be a term used entirely by the newspapers for widespread power failures. It makes better headlines. Most people would just say " we had a power failure" or "we had a power cut". Perhaps the word blackout still evokes memories for the British people which are unwelcome.
     

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