Help me Brit pick my English

This is a question for UK English speakers and Canadian English speakers.

What do you call that channel that hangs along the edge of the roof that collects the rainwater and directs it down to the ground?

I’m trying to figure out a) if there’s full overlap between Canadian English and UK English here, and b) if there’s a distinction between usage in Northern England and elsewhere in England (particularly London usage).


I’m not Native British speaker but I have lived in England for around 8 years and I’ve always called it Gutter? I’ve heard British people call it the same…? I think. I was unfortunate enough to also live in London for most of the years and I don’t think that source of topic has ever come across, but I could guess that they also call it Gutter.

I could obviously be ENTIRELY WRONG and I apologise but I hope you find the answer you’re looking for.

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Rain gutter, says my (southern but not London) English wife.

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My Canadian friends say “rain gutter” as well. They live in British Columbia and outside of Ontario.


Hmmm…my limited searching led me to believe that Canadian English uses “eavestrough” while most UK English uses “rain gutter” (whereas I, using US English, always say “gutter” and never “rain gutter.”)

That’s interesting, @Eiwynn.


That probably explains why I usually only use gutter as well. I learnt English the American way, and having friends who are also not Native British does not help to “unamericanise” myself :sweat_smile:

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Not often I hear a completely new word in non-slang modern use!


I haven’t heard “rain gutter”, and would say “gutter” (am from southeast England).


British guy here. (Born in England, West Midlands)

We call it a gutter here.


So far, so good! I’m just hoping some people who use Canadian English assure me that “eavestrough” is reasonable Canadian usage.

And in the end, all I want is to make a pun on the word “eavesdrop.” My deepest research and hours spent is usually in service of a single sentence with a particular word I want to use to make a single throwaway joke. I stand by my process.


You’re an inspiration.


Up Yorkshire way we say gutter, never rain gutter, despite all the rain we get.


It’s a gutter! (Or occasionally spouting. At least here in Aus it is and we tend to follow a lot of UK conventions). The pipe that goes from the gutter to the ground is usually referred to as a down pipe. I’ve never heard of an eavestrough. (Eaves yes, eavestrough no.) Rain gutter just seems like too many words for Aus English and you almost never hear it (but I can’t speak for the UK.)

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Come on, guys, get your minds out of the gutter!

(had to do it :laughing:)


I’m from North-east England. Here to add yet another confirmation for “Gutter”.

Tbh calling it rain gutter seems to be like saying Rain umbrella :laughing:

Here what Google say:

What is difference between eavestrough and gutter?

Most people use the term eavestrough while referring to the metal attachments on the sides of the roof. They use the term gutter while referring to drainage systems that run along the side of the road.

What do Canadians call a gutter?

Eavestrough. Photo by Lester Balajadia/Shutterstock. Yup, this is a Canadian word, albeit of American origin. But where Americans now use the term “gutter” or “rain gutter,” we’ve hung onto eavestrough to describe the troughs under a roof for draining rain.

It’s there, so…you can use it with your pun :stuck_out_tongue:

Leave it to Gower to come up with a word that hurt my brain lol

As a Frenchie Canadian, it sounds way better in french ‘Gouttiére’

Hey @Gower does this count as doing homework? :grin:

Maybe you should bring your red pen and start giving A+, B and C :rofl:

I am a South Londerner that works North of the Thames in London and I can confirm everywhere it is called the “Gutter”, but it can also be called “the Guttering”

18 posts in and only now did I realise the title is a pun on nitpick. :rofl:

I’m not Canadian, nor did I grow up speaking Canadian English, but as someone who is currently in Canada it would appear that gutter and eavestrough have a roughly 50/50 usage; some companies use both in their names, such as Edmonton’s Gutter Dunn Eavestroughing.

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