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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is offline Key Member
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    underworld vs netherworld

    I was taught that "underworld" has the same meaning as "netherworld".

    Do native speakers use "underworld" to mean "netherworld"?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Tan Elaine; 11-Aug-2017 at 18:27.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: underworld vs netherworld

    I'm aware of the word "netherworld" from horror/fantasy stories but it's not commonly used in BrE. The "underworld" is understood to mean hell (sometimes called Hades and probably multiple other terms).
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: underworld vs netherworld

    The underworld also means 'the criminal elements of a civilised society' (Collins). The same dictionary gives the same meaning for 'netherworld', but the latter is much less common.

    Have we never recommended Ngrams to you? Everybody should bookmark the site.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: underworld vs netherworld

    I haven't heard netherworld used for criminal elements. I associate it with horror and fantasy writing like Emsr2d2.

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