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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. 13th, 2012 12:14 am (UTC)
That's what I'd been vaguely assuming too. But a website I ran across today distinguished based on countries, and then when I checked indices of books I had at home, it was clear that it was right in terms of each country's focus on opposite ends of the same process: the American book I checked had under weaning "from breastmilk" or "from bottle". "Solids, introducing" was located separately. (Among other confirming evidence.)