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Thread: whereabouts?

 
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    Default whereabouts?

    I'm curious as to who uses the word "whereabouts" in a question, as in "Whereabouts?" to ask "Where?" and where you people are from. Such usage has always bothered me. And while we're on the subject, can anyone explain how "Whereabouts?" can mean both "Where more or less?" and "Where exactly?"?

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    Moderator SandraT's Avatar
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    I listened to "whereabouts?" in Canada all the time to ask "where exactly?" also in Europe, some non-English speakers, (speaking English, of course) but in a very informal context.
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    Senior Member Hebe's Avatar
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    hummm . I might be wrong but I've always thought of "whereabouts" as a general (not specific) location.

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    Hi elmeromero,
    I have always thought as whereabouts as a synonym to where. It could be used in general, or you can answer with a specific location. You could ask, "Oh, you are from the states? whereabouts?" and the answer could be general (new york) or specific (Brooklyn), just as if you asked, "where?"
    I have also heard people of my mom’s generation say things like, "I’m curious to your whereabouts" instead of a simple “where are you” when looking for a specific answer. I think it is the same.

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    Default that explains it!

    The fact that you heard it a lot in Canada does not surprise me one bit, given that the phrase has always bothered me!

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