What is "New Year's"?

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Senior Member
  1. Our parents allow us to stay up late on New Year's.
  2. We promised Aunt Samantha to be there for New Year's.

Does the "New Year's" in the above sentences refer to New Years DAY, or New Year's EVE?
Which is meant when someone just says "New Year's"?
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    This is an AmE expression; in BrE we'd say 'the New Year', which is equally ambiguous. It doesn't specifically mean the Eve or the Day, but presumably they would stay the night and 'see the new year in'.
    Last edited:

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Thanks, Entangledbank, that must be why I've not come across these. I would have assumed New Year's Eve, since on a matter of logic that that's when you stay up late. You're too hungover to want to travel on January 1st and anyway there are no trains.:)


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I would say that both were for New Years eve. New Year's day is a day of recuperation and rest, not so much for visiting. But it remains ambiguous without more context.

    New Year's Eve
    , n. a night that restaurants over-book, over-charge and provide lousy service; patrons over-drink and behave badly, and thus a very popular night to celebrate.


    Senior Member
    English - US
    The second may depend on whether Aunt Samantha lives nearby or not (or some other context information).
    If she lives nearby, you might be there for the New Year's Eve party and then go home when the party ends.
    If she lives faraway, you might spend the night thus being there for New Year's Day as well. Perhaps you might arrive a few days earlier and remain a few days afterward and still refer to that as New Year's (your New Year's vacation/holiday).


    Senior Member
    This discussion has been added to a previous thread. Cagey, moderator


    Does "New Year's" refer to New Year's holiday, which consists of December 31 and January 1?

    I'd appreciate your help.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    Technically New Year's Eve is Dec. 31 and New Year's Day is Jan. 1--but if I ask someone if they have plans for "New Year's", I'm asking about New Year's Eve. Because generally no one really plans anything special for New Year's Day.


    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Does "New Year's" refer to New Year's holiday, which consists of December 31 and January 1?
    "New Years's" refers to the end of the year. It does not mean those 2 days.

    In most places in the US, Jan 1 is a holiday. But Dec 31 often is not a holiday.

    "New Year's Eve" refers to the evening and night of Dec 31, when many people celebrate.
    "New Year's Day" refers to Jan 1, the holiday.


    Senior Member
    I think it's fair to say that "New Year" refers to the beginning of a year :)
    December 31 is when people go out. The point of the revelry is to stay up until the clock rolls over to January 1.
    January 1 is the Federal/bank holiday. Which is a good thing, because everyone stayed up late the night before.
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