off topic, bloom / flower / back yard

Sat, 08 Feb 2014 09:59:22 PST
I would like to know the American English
term for a  utilitarian space such as the British 'back yard'.

A back yard. In America (or at least in my part of it), a back yard is an 
area, usually enclosed by a fence, behind the house. The opposite is the 
front yard. "I really like this house, but there's no back yard." "You left 
the pruners out in the back yard, and now they're all rusted."
Yard and garden (or lawn) are generally synonymous. "I hate yard work."
People who have cars in their yard, front or back, are thought to conform to 
a certain stereotype, particularly if the cars have not been in running 
condition for several years.

My yard and my garden are definitely synonymous, since there is almost no 
space anywhere surrounding the house which is not garden. "Rabbits ate the 
calochortus in the front yard, so I started planting them in the back yard, 
thinking there were no rabbits there."

Bloom, blossom, and flower are synonymous, depending on usage. I prefer the 
word "flower", but other people use the words interchangeably. "Iris lycotis 
was blooming yesterday, but a rabbit bit off all the blossoms, and so now 
there are no flowers."

Bob Nold
Denver, Colorado, USA 

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