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This week's transatlantic vocabulary lesson

I was always a bit hazy on the circumstances under which "to wean" meant what. It's a good thing I've figured this out early and avoided confusing too many people as a result.

In Britain, one weans on to solids by introducing them.
In the US, one weans from any residual breastmilk or formula consumption, eliminating them from diet.

Two very different ends of the same spectrum.

P.S. Here's a headline from the BBC that only makes sense if one is focusing on the introduction of solids end of the spectrum: Weaning before six months 'may help breastfed babies'


Nov. 12th, 2012 11:05 pm (UTC)
That really surprises me - I've only ever known the British meaning. Though in the sense of stopping milk as the primary source of nourishment, my children effectively weaned themselves by gradually losing interest in what I had to offer.

I wonder which one Freud was talking about?

Edited at 2012-11-12 11:06 pm (UTC)