Community Web Version Now Available
Lily
Are holiday and vacation synonyms in English? Or is there a difference in meaning and use? Thanks :)
Feb 23, 2014 1:48 PM
9
0
Answers · 9
In the US to go on vacation means to take a trip or have a break from work. In the UK to go on holiday means the same thing. Holiday also has another meaning: a day or days you don't have to work e.g. Labor Day, Martin Luther King Day. In the US these would be called National Holidays, and in the UK they would be called Bank Holidays. The Holidays are essentially the time from Thanksgiving to New Years in the US. Many people have switched to saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" to be more politically correct. Examples. I've been working so much that I need a break. I'm going to take a long vacation in the Bahamas this summer! I've got two weeks off work, so I'm going on holiday to Greece. Monday will be a holiday, and we won't have classes then. My favorite holiday is Christmas, because I get presents and eat a lot of good food! I hate the holiday season, because everyone is so happy, and it just seems so fake.
February 23, 2014
In US English, there is a difference. In the UK, it is used in the same way. In the UK, to go on vacation is to go "on holiday", but in the US holidays are government-sanctioned days off from work.
February 23, 2014
Hello again, Hamsa. In the U.S. holiday usually refers to a designated national holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year's Day are the 3 of them. Vacation refers to the time we take off work or school and usually means going somewhere, perhaps to the beach. But many people vacation on the holiday times. In Europe, however, I have heard many people say, "We are on holiday." So I believe they use holiday when we use vacation.
February 23, 2014
Thank you very much Jim :) !
February 24, 2014
The answers regarding holiday/vacation usage in the USA vs. UK are correct. However, I would clarify that not all holidays are defined by the US government. Federal government workers tend to have the most holidays and companies in private industry might only offer some subset of those holidays. And individuals might choose to designate specific days off as holidays because of religious reasons. In any event, in the USA a holiday tends to be a very specific SINGLE day off from work or school that is determined by some group convention rather than someone saying "I don't feel like going to work tomorrow!" A vacation tends to be a block of time off CHOSEN by the employee, which may happen to include some official holidays that he/she gets off for free.
February 24, 2014
Lily
Language Skills
Arabic, English, French
Learning Language
English, French