Are there true synonyms? “Shore” and “coast”

Huh, never thought about this before – but the difference between the words “shore” and “coast” is pretty cool. Both have to do with the strip of land closest to the sea. You can say:

I can see the shore from here!

I can see the coast from here!

Evans (2009) claims that the former has a predominantly sea-to-land based perspective. You’re likely to say it if you’re on a boat look towards land. The latter has a land-to-sea based perspective. You’re more likely to say it if you’re on land, looking towards the sea.

And – consider that “coast-to-coast trip” means a trip over land, while “shore-to-shore trip” means a trip over water.


Evans, Vyvyan. 2009. How words mean lexical concepts, cognitive models, and meaning construction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.