[DWJ] nursing

Elizabeth Parks henx19 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 10:53:33 EDT 2011

In the US, we mostly use nursing as an adjective, as in "nursing mother" or
"nursing bra," but nursing still has the meaning of breastfeeding.  People,
especially younger people, say "breastfeeding," but I think there are still
circles in which that's not considered quite polite, and so you see "nursing
station" on signs because some people freak out about the word breast.

I remember that my first trip to the UK, I was on a little bus driving from
Edinburgh airport up to St.Andrews for my junior year abroad, and I asked
what something growing in a field was, and was really shocked to hear it
called "rapeseed," which I'd never heard of.  I figured out later it was
what I knew of as canola.  "Rapeseed" sounded really strange
and aggressive to me the first time I heard it. . . I guess that's how some
people feel about "breastfeeding."

"She's going nursing" is not something you would hear in America.  "She's a
nurse."  We do use nursing as in "nursing back to health," but it's fairly
rare and probably dying out, to be honest, in favor of "taking care of," or
other non specific phrases along those lines.  If I heard a new mother ask
someone if they would like a nurse, I would probably be scandalized.


On Sun, Sep 11, 2011 at 6:39 AM, Sally Odgers <sally at sallyodgers.com> wrote:

> breastfeeding my kids - we tend to call it 'breastfeeding' more often than
>> 'nursing' here), which is fairly active and influential. I don't know if
>> we have La Leche here. My sister-in-law is an ABA counsellor, and pretty
>> active in the organisation though her kids are grown up.
>> Ros
>  Yes, we do, don't we? We use "nursing" as a career term ("She's going
> nursing") or as an activity (nursing my sick sister). When we talk about
> "nursing a baby" we usually mean holding/cuddling it. "Would you like a
> nurse?" is frequently heard from mums to hovering female rellies of friends.
>  Sally O
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