Today I stumbled on the term "Lumber mill". I immediately associated it with wood, but then I thought "wasn't that called timber?".
Maybe I was unconsciously remembering the brand Lumberjack.
Turns out there are a gazillion of wood-related terms that I was using rather interchangeably, but there is a whole art with wood.
Not to mention the usual UK vs. UK usage.
Quote from https://www.dictionary.com/e/timber-vs-lumber/#:~:text=In%20the%20US%20and%20Canada,material%20(boards%20and%20planks).Display More
Timber and lumber sound a lot alike, and they both generally refer to the same thing: wood. But when exactly is wood considered timber and when is it considered lumber?
What is timber?
Timber most commonly refers to the wood of trees that can or will be used for building material. The word can refer to living, standing trees themselves or to trees that have been cut down but not yet processed (meaning they have not yet been milled or cut into planks).
More generally, timber can refer collectively to living trees or to a wooded area, regardless of whether the trees will be harvested for wood. When such land is used for logging, it’s sometimes called timberland.
In some places, such as the UK, the word timber can be used in these ways, but it’s also used to mean the same thing as lumber.
What is lumber?
Lumber typically refers collectively to wood that’s been processed for use as a building material—wood that has been milled and cut into boards or planks. This cutting happens in a lumbermill, and the finished product is sold at a lumberyard.
Lumber and these other related words are primarily used in the US and Canada. In the UK, prepared wood for building is called timber (and it’s sold at what’s known as a timberyard).
Where do timber and lumber come from?
Etymologically, it’s just a coincidence that timber and lumber both end with -mber. Timber comes from an Old English word that was originally used to mean “house, building material, wood, trees.” The noun lumber comes from the verb lumber, meaning “to move clumsily or awkwardly,” such as due to carrying something heavy (like planks of wood).
What’s the difference between timber vs. lumber?
In the US and Canada, timber workers have historically been called lumberjacks even though their job is to harvest what’s known in these places as timber.
In these places, timber refers to standing trees or to the wood from these trees before it’s been processed into lumber—building materials. The cutting of the timber into lumber is done at the lumbermill (or sawmill) and you buy the boards and planks at a lumberyard.
A good way to remember that timber refers to trees or wood before they’re processed into lumber is to remember that lumberjacks in the US and Canada are known for yelling “Timber!” when a tree is about to fall. (Maybe we should call them timberjacks instead.)
Remember, this distinction between timber and lumber is mainly used in the US and Canada. Elsewhere, especially the UK, the word timber is used to refer to the processed wood as a building material.