We are searching for a word that would mean place/site. The word spot sounds nice to us, as in

Let's go to that spot.

However looking at the definition, it is also used to mean a stain. So we wonder if it has a negative connotation to it.

  • 1
    As long as you're not talking about fabric or decoration, spot is just a description or identification. Let's have lunch at that spot under the tree. It's also used to refer to distinctive details, like a spotted skirt. Jun 26, 2022 at 17:13
  • @JohnLawler - That hits the spot!
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 26, 2022 at 17:14
  • 1
    @JohnLawler This worthy question here is longing for your attention. It's at risk of being closed. Jun 26, 2022 at 17:55
  • Context is everything! Jun 27, 2022 at 1:55

3 Answers 3


Cambridge has

a particular place

In the case where we say "let's go to that spot", we clearly have a choice. It is a matter of volition, so we would not choose an unpleasant place; this implies that in this usage the spot is at least acceptable, probably pleasant, and thus does not have a negative connotation.

Some support for this view may be found in google ngram. Here are five sorts of spot. In contemporary usage, these negatives weigh less than these positives .

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No, it doesn't. Britannica dictionary gives a definition of noun that fits both meanings:

A small area of a surface that is different from other areas

It may imply a particular small place or area.

That would fit both a secluded cozy spot at riverside and leopard's spots. It's likely derived from Middle English or Dutch verb for leaving a mark (if I'm not mistaken), thus also may mean an area affected by blemish, etc. Other meanings of noun and verb had complex and convoluted history and British have several unique uses of word in phrases.


The term "spot" when referring to a geographic location is not negative. It is value- or judgement-free. It is an acceptable choice. I personally like the term "location," but the term "place" also works, among many others.

  • But if you're having a picnic, don't you need a good spot for a picnic? At any rate, I agree with your answer to OP's question. Jun 27, 2022 at 1:55

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