In this topic, there seems to be some confusion regarding the term "compost", which seems to have different meaning in AE and BE. Is there any resource on how to deal with such problems?

E.g. something like a list of terms that might have different meaning, which could be consulted by non-native speakers or other people that are not sure what term to use?

Edit: Is this actually much of a problem, or was the compost thing one really rare case?

  • As a follow up to the question in question. I asked this. While it has been answered nothing directly challenged the American vs British usage of the word.
    – Morgan
    Sep 9, 2015 at 9:46
  • 1
    This makes me wonder: Would posting a question like "What are important differences between AE/BE in the gardening world?", potentially with a CW answer, on the main site be an option?
    – anderas
    Sep 9, 2015 at 10:06
  • CW (Community Wiki?), I think that could be a good solution. I like SE sites being the overall reference for there given topic (Gardening here) but the QA structure does not always make them a good match for general reference information. Which is where a wiki excels IMHO.
    – Morgan
    Sep 9, 2015 at 10:21
  • I don't think there is a difference in the use of the word compost. I am from the US and never noticed one. Maybe people in the US or UK have a confined use of the word I'm not aware of. Now leaf mould... Nov 26, 2015 at 15:56
  • @anderas So, what exactly is the difference between AE compost and BE compost? The question and its answers/comments hint at it, but they don't seem to all out actually say. Knowing that would give us some perspective on your question. There is one part where Bamboo speaks of multiple kinds of BE compost, I should note. Nov 27, 2015 at 9:07
  • @Shule From a quick look at the question, I couldn't find a definite answer. I think the difference was somewhat along the lines of "compost = the stuff you get from your compost heap" vs "compost = (potting) soil" (see Megan's comment: "Most composts here are part Peat moss so thought it would have been ok."). Don't know which one was AE/BE, or if that is even a difference between AE/BE or just a general problem with that term, though.
    – anderas
    Nov 27, 2015 at 9:15
  • Well, I can tell you what AE is: Usually it's fruit/vegetable waste, manure, and stuff that have been thrown in a compost bin and composted in some fashion. I don't mean to say you should throw manure in with your vegetable waste, but I mean to say manure is composted (some how; some way), and so is vegetable waste. I'm not sure about BE, though. Nov 27, 2015 at 9:24
  • If you make such a community wiki question/answer as you said, I might also recommend mentioning that courgette (BE) and zucchini (AE) are the same thing, as I understand it. 'Courgette' may sound utterly exotic to an American. I'm not sure if they use zucchini in BE, too. I think there are at least a few other terms like that. I actually recommend doing the q/a on cross-culture terms generally. For instance, Cantaloupe in America isn't the same things as Cantaloupe in France (which I hear is Charentais melon). There's also confusion (perhaps non-geographic) regarding what cinnamon refers to. Nov 27, 2015 at 9:31
  • @Shule See here: gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/22489/… Feel free to improve the CW answer (or the question), for example by adding examples!
    – anderas
    Nov 27, 2015 at 10:17


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .