summer house / cabin /cottage (AE)

takiakos76

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hi!

In American English, what do you call a small house with a garden (possibly by a big lake or other body of water) that a family owns and that they go to a few weeks every summer to spend (at least part of) their summer vacation there?
- summer house?
- cabin? (also if it's not made from wooden logs, but e.g., bricks and mortar and stuff?)
- cottage?
If more than one of the above: any difference between them?
Any other words / expressions you would use?


Thanks!
 
  • joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Hi takiakos76 - it depends a lot on the size and construction of the house. All of these are used:
    summer house
    summer cottage
    lake house

    The word "cabin" makes me think of some kind of camp community, with small wooden structures.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In general, "a summer residence". In specific, I'd need to see the actual building to assign a title.

    "Summer house" might be fine, but I usually hear "residence".
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Out West here, "cabin" is a very common term for all kinds of structures and situations, but not for, typically, the equivalent of a two-bedroom home complete with two car garage. "Summer house" suggests something like that. "Vacation home" has a nice ring to it.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    You will note from the above that we don't not have a single catch-all expression.

    You should also note that only a minuscule percentage of Americans have such things reserved for their own use, rather than renting out, etc.
     

    Minnesota Guy

    Senior Member
    American English - USA
    There may be regional differences, within the US. In Minnesota, the kind of building you describe is a "cabin." They can range from the primitive to the luxurious.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    You will note from the above that we don't not have a single catch-all expression.

    You should also note that only a minuscule percentage of Americans have such things reserved for their own use, rather than renting out, etc.
    And those that do may not wish to display their possession ostentatiously, so both cottage and cabin can be "euphemisms" ranging from humble/literal to luxurious.
     
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