I know that this is a simple question, but it does made me wonder. This is what I found after reading quite a lot of novels and often happened:
Why does City of something was sometimes called town when other people speak? Why they not just stay on saying a city, a "city" and instead often change it to "town" as they see fit.
Does town here specified something in particular and that's why they were used instead of city like how it should be?

  • 1
    Growing up in the suburbs of Melbourne, going to town meant going to the Melbourne CBD. We didn't speak of going to the "city".
    – Peter
    Jan 23, 2021 at 7:23
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    Even central London is (or used to be) traditionally referred to as 'town'. There was a famous BBC radio programme of the mid-20th century called "In Town Tonight". Jan 23, 2021 at 9:08
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    In the UK at least, city status is a formal designation granted by the Queen. Cities are a subset of towns and a city can correctly be called a town, just as a car can be correctly called a vehicle.
    – pbasdf
    Jan 23, 2021 at 12:09
  • I see... my native language doesn't have a different word for town and city. No wonder I'm confuse. So, it wouldn't be incorrect to call a city a town. Jan 24, 2021 at 12:43
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    But in informal contexts we're not strict about the distinction. New York is a city, but they still use idioms like "downtown" and "doing the town".
    – Barmar
    Jan 25, 2021 at 19:49


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