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A person from England said to me that Canada (where I live) is one of his favourite locals.

From my understanding, local means a local person or thing, so a person or thing that belongs to or connected with the place where you live. However, he lives in England, so what does his usage of local mean here?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

Your friend probably meant locale:

a place or locality especially when viewed in relation to a particular event or characteristic

It sounds similar but distinctly different. Maybe your friend got confused, or you heard it wrong.

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It certainly is a possibility that the person from England said or meant to say locale, in the sense of a scene or place (1, 2), although it is somewhat odd, clumsy, and unusual to refer to a large country like Canada as a locale. Perhaps the person was attempting to make a joke, using local in the UK sense of “One's nearest or regularly frequented public house or bar” and implying that all of Canada is a bar or saloon. (That usage also would be odd, clumsy, and unusual.)

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Mmm ... my son and his friends are planning to do their Spring break in Toronto because a)they don't want to work on their beachbodies all winter and b)they figure the bars will be less crowded. – StoneyB Dec 23 '12 at 1:39

I would think he meant to say 'locale'.

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