aldersprig: (LynBack)
[personal profile] aldersprig
This past weekend was one of those lovely good-friends good-food good-adventures damn-am-I-tired weekends where we drive to Troy (near Albany, about a 3.5-hour drive because, in NY, you can’t go straightanywhere if you’re below the Thruway. It’s more like — go east-southeast to get to Ithaca, travel southerly with east for a while to go below the lakes, travel around some hills for a bit while heading mostly east, and then head north-northeast for a while on a highway (Expressway? Fast multi-lane divided road with limited access but no tolls).)

In the midst of this lovely weekend — a trip to Woodstock (Which is not where the concert was held but likes to pretend it was, a fun little shopping town that would have seemed like it had a lot of head shops, did I not live in Ithaca), a drive through the Catskills, a quest for forks — we ended up discussing the regional variations on some seasonal-access dwellings.

“Oh, it’s all cute little cottages,” I started — in about the center of the Catskills, as far as the map says, not far from where we saw the World’s Biggest Kaleidoscope a few years back — and was told that around here, they’re called bungalows.

Thus began an interesting circle of discussion: T. and I are from the Great Lakes; K is from the Catskills; E is from Maine. To me, a cottage is a generally seasonal-use privately-owned dwelling on the water. To E., it’s a camping feature. (E calls what I call a cottage a summer home). To K, a bungalow is a seasonal-access rented no-foundation building in the mountains — I’d call that a cabin.

(Add to the mess that log cabin is its own thing, and I spent from 5 years old ‘till I moved out living in a log cabin my parents built from a kit.)

The building I’d originally started this conversation with said cottageto me because of its small but sturdy size, small yard, and cute shutters, by the by. Maintained, clearly, but only used once in a while.

So what about where you’re from? If there’s that much variation within the NE of the US, I’m curious about the broad span of the rest of my readership.

What’s a small home you own but live in or visit part of the year?

What’s a building in a campsite you can stay in rather than tent camping?

How about a rental you stay in for a week or two on vacation?

Does the physical location of these (water, woods, camping, mountains) change the term?

Bonus: what does “log cabin” bring to mind?

Date: 2017-06-06 01:53 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Summer home; cabin; rental house or vacation house or (if it's small and doesn't have full facilities) cottage or (if there's no running water) cabin or camp shelter; variations: fishing cabin (on a lake); lodge (in the mountains); beach house, beach cottage (at the sea coast). Log cabin = fully equipped house, built at least in part out of actual logs with chinking.

(Born in NJ to DC-area parents, grew up in KS & MO, came of age in IL, currently in OR.)

Date: 2017-06-07 01:27 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: cartoon fox standing with arms out, eyes crossed, speech bubble: No! There's a crucial semantic difference! (Writing: semantic difference)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly

The first would be a vacation home, I suppose, or maybe summer home (if you visit it in the summer). I don't think it matters whether it's small or large.

The second is definitely a cabin.

The third is... a vacation... house? A rental house? My parents rent a house for a week or two every summer in the Poconos and we just call it "the house in the Poconos" or "the house" while we're up there.

A vacation home/rental house near the beach might be a beach house or a shore house (I'm from Philly, where we say "going down the shore" rather than "traveling to stay near the beach.") Otherwise, no, the location doesn't change anything.

I think of "bungalow" and "cottage" as terms describing architectural styles, though I'm sure I wouldn't know a bungalow to look at one. That might be because there is so much regional variation, apparently! I would expect both to be small, no more than a couple of bedrooms.

"Log cabin" brings to mind first Lincoln Logs, and second camping cabins that are made to look as though they're constructed of logs. If someone told me they were going to spend a weekend at a log cabin, I would assume it was one of those, a one- or two-room structure with running water a possibility but not a guarantee.

Date: 2017-06-07 11:21 am (UTC)
kelkyag: notched triangle signature mark in light blue on yellow (Default)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
Small home you own and live in part-time: vacation home, summer home, winter home, beach house, cabin, cottage, lots of possible terms. The implication of a primary residence elsewhere is in there, but logistically isn't required.

It's not a campsite if there's a *building* you stay in. Maybe if the building is only a lean-to. Now I have to pick apart the distinction in my head between a camp (scout camp, summer camp, larp camp) that may have cabins (smaller, primarily for sleeping) and/or a lodge (bigger, may have gathering space or other special functions) and camping, which does not involve staying in a building. One can camp in a tent at a camp that also has cabins. Poor brain!

A building for short term vacation rental could called lots of things. I'll throw "timeshare" and "beach house" and "A-frame" into the mix already offered.

Physical location matters for some of them. A beach house requires a beach.

A log cabin has to be built out out of logs. (And possibly stone or brick for a fireplace and chimney.) A sufficiently large or well-equipped one might try to grow out of being called a "cabin", but it's still a log cabin anyway. A log room attached as part of a building otherwise constructed is a wacky hybrid.

A cabin is a building for sleeping in, but isn't necessarily a fully-qualified house. It may lack kitchen, bathroom, electricity, light, heat, insulation ... pretty much anything beyond a roof and some walls is optional, and sometimes they go easy on the walls.

A cottage is a small house. To my mind it should have a garden and a peaked roof. I blame my childhood reading habits for this notion. :)

A bungalow is a small, boring, rectangular, single-story, shallow or flat-roofed building, usually a house. Pretty much all the pictures google images turns up for "bungalow" are too interesting. :) I grew up in Los Angeles, and that's definitely where my image comes from. (I currently live in the Boston area; I'm not sure I've seen anything here I'd call a bungalow.)

Date: 2017-06-07 01:04 pm (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
A bungalow is

I hadn't realized until just now that I had no image at all of what a bungalow was. It's not a word I use, and I read it as a complete homonym for "house". Someone calling a house a bungalow just felt like them using a fancier word.

Having looked it up, Wikipedia says the definition varies wildly, but seems to have at least some connotation of kit or prefab house, and in some places, decided connotations of awful cheap architecture. Note to self: calling something a bungalow may be insulting it.

Date: 2017-06-07 07:04 pm (UTC)
kelkyag: eye-shaped patterns on birch trunk (birch eyes)
From: [personal profile] kelkyag
There are also a bunch of named types of bungalow, some of which are much nicer than others. :)

But yeah, I think it's also used in a slang-y way to mean "house", like an apartment is a "pad". And it's a loan word to begin with. Language drifts!

Date: 2017-06-07 12:59 pm (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
What’s a small home you own but live in or visit part of the year?

The first word I'd reach for is "cabin", but "cottage" also works. Big ones — ones you could, or which look like you could, live in all year — I am increasingly reluctant to call cabins.

What’s a building in a campsite you can stay in rather than tent camping?

If you're in a building, you're not camping. *reads [personal profile] kelkyag's exception* Maybe if it's a lean-to. I'd go for "cabin" again unless multiple groups could stay in it. After that, depending on internal facilities, probably "lodge", "hostel", or "hotel". A lodge has a lot fewer internal divisions than a hotel; a hostel involves at least the potential of sharing a room with a stranger.

How about a rental you stay in for a week or two on vacation?

"Cabin" again, assuming it is more-or-less a single-family house. Bigger ones get called houses. Multi-group ones are hotels.

Does the physical location of these (water, woods, camping, mountains) change the term?

No. If someone called a place a campground, I'd expect to see tents in arbitrary terrain. Conversely, a beach house must be on a beach. If you don't have direct water frontage, it ain't a beach house.

Bonus: what does “log cabin” bring to mind?

A small — small is critical here — house built of logs. It may have only one room inside. Once you start getting to multiple rooms, a basement, and the trappings of a modern house, it becomes a log house: cabin (see above) is no longer appropriate.

Date: 2017-06-08 01:58 pm (UTC)
sauergeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sauergeek
Oh right: where I'm from. I grew up in Michigan (which I've found is sometimes different from the rest of the Great Lakes in language...), but have lived mostly around Boston for rather a while now.


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