Maybe not a "great debate".... (Jars v Bottles)

But certainly a discussion my husband and I have had fun with. And we haven’t come to a conclusion yet.

What’s the difference between a bottle and a jar? What are the defining characteristics of a bottle and those of a jar?

I think you’ll find this more challenging than you think.

A bottle has a neck: a jar doesn’t.

A bottle is used for liquids. A jar is used for solids and liquids that don’t easily pour from a bottle i.e. honey.

Exactly this. And a bottles opening is considerably smaller than a jar.

Adding to this, the bottle has a neck leading to an opening narrower than the body of the bottle, for controlled pouring of liquid. The jar’s opening is about the same size as the body of the jar, to allow solid contents (or a mix of solid and liquid contents) to be spooned out.

No doubt there are many many ambiguous examples, though.

Neither one is a sandwich, and the dress is white and blue.

So this isn’t a bottle?

Why do we call it a bottle of aspirin and a jar of peanut butter when the containers have basically the same shape?

That’s a bear. Different thing entirely.

Aspirin has traditionally been sold in containers with an opening smaller than the body of the container, so it’s a bottle. With peanut butter, the opening is about the same size as the container, so it’s a jar.

English is highly idiomatic, but these two examples actually fit the usual pattern of usage.

Yes. Why wouldn’t it be? (It has a spout, which makes it even MORE bottle-y.)

Gotta agree with the title.

Off to IMHO.

Awwww. The “maybe not” was more about the “great” rather than the “debate”.

The terms overlap. The quintessential jar is a mason jar. The quintessential bottle is a longneck beer bottle. But some items like pill bottles are more like small jars even though they’re called bottles. And then there are jugs, pots, flasks, beakers, vats, flagons, vessels, basins, tubs, urns, buckets and amphorae.

I don’t envy English language learners. Native speakers can’t even sort this out. Wait until you find out what “inflammable” means.

And vials, pails, and barrels.

You win the thread! :slight_smile:

You pour aspirin out of the bottle. You stick a knife into the jar to get the peanut butter out.

Do a Google image search for “aspirin bottle” - pretty much every aspirin container has a neck significantly narrower than the body.

I stick a knife into the aspirin bottle to get the cotton out of the top of it.

Bottle definition: a container, typically made of glass or plastic and with a narrow neck, used for storing drinks or other liquids.
Source: Google

Jar definition: a broad-mouthed container, usually cylindrical and of glass or earthenware
Source: Jar Definition & Meaning |

Look at images of each. The commonly understood difference is bloody obvious.

I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a jar in front of me.