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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 08:13 am (UTC)
UK: what I've mostly found it meaning is "to carry out the transition from milk to solids" - one weans babies onto solids and weans them off milk, and these events happen at different times.
Nov. 13th, 2012 11:36 am (UTC)
I've several times heard parents ask other parents "Have you weaned your baby?" There can be quite a big difference in answers depending on if the expectation of the asker is "from" or "to". Hmm.