English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In the United States, is firehouse used specifically to refer to the fire station in small town?

share|improve this question

I don't think many people would say there's a formal distinction between a firehouse and a fire station, but you're probably more likely to see "firehouse" used to refer to a station in a small town. The word firehouse has an old-fashioned feel to it, and evokes images of Dalmatians and brass firepoles--both of which are probably present in small town fire stations to a greater degree than big ones these days.

That said, I've been known to say things like "turn left at the intersection after the firehouse" even in a big city, so it's probably as much a matter of affectation or personal preference as anything else.

share|improve this answer
AFAIK, "firehouse" is unheard of in Canada, but you might hear "fire hall". – Karl Knechtel Sep 1 '11 at 0:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.