Flatmate / Roommate / Housemate – What’s the Difference?

Houseshare flatmate roommate definition lego dictionaryWhilst planning this blog, we came across a variety of different terminology to define people living within shared accommodation. Arrgghh, so which do we use in our blog posts to engage with the most people!?

First we thought it was a fashion thing, and your chosen term defined just how ‘hip’ you are. After checking dictionary definitions and researching further, we’ve now finally come to realise it’s a mixture between cultural / regional differences and the actual setup of the shared accommodation in question.

Check out our findings below, to get your head round it all:

Flatmates living in a flatshare

Use of the term ‘flat’ is predominantly a British thing, as a flat in American English is in fact an ‘apartment’. And before you ask, the terms ‘apprtmentmate’ or ‘apartment share’ are not in the USA vocabulary (although apparently ‘suitemate’ is sometimes used – a bit snobby if you ask me)!

Roommates or roomies

In America, whether a bedroom is shared or simply a residence with separate rooms – the people you share with are referred to as your roommates. The term ‘roomies’ is popular amongst the younger generation and originates from student dorms (student halls for us Brits). In the UK, the term roommate would normally be associated with those you share a bedroom with.

Housemates living in a house share / share house

The term ‘housemate’ is used throughout the world to describe the people you share residence with. Share housing is Australian in origin, whereas ‘house share’ is a widely used term for shared accommodation used throughout America, Canada, Australia and Europe.

So, in summary it seems we’re best to use ‘housemates’ and ’house share’, or perhaps a mixture of all the above in our blog writing…

(Image courtesy of Kyle Tsui)

5 Awesome Reasons to Live in a Flatshare

benefits of house share living with roommates and flatmates legoLiving within shared accommodation could certainly be described as a roller coaster ride. Fair enough there are plenty of nightmare scenarios, but there are also plenty of upsides! Check out some of the benefits below:

1. Cheaper living costs

First is the obvious one – living with others is certainly a hell of a lot cheaper. Not only is rent split multiple ways, but so are all the other bills: gas, electricity, council tax, water, (tv license if in the UK), broadband and even subscription tv if you fancy it. Stuck trying to find the cheapest deal for your bills? Easily compare the major suppliers to find the best deals, using the links below:

2. Making new friends

Living with others is almost guaranteed to improve your social life. Not only will you be able to hang out with those you live with, but their mates and maybe even family will likely make appearances. This means far more social gatherings, party invites and opportunities to add another notch on your bed post… In case your housemates are social fails, check out Meet Up – a website to help you find and meet up with people nearby who share your interests.

3. Fewer lonely times

If you’ve had a crap day at work and you need a bit of cheering up, gone is the need to try and arrange a few drinks with a mate last minute. Instead you can simply head home, knowing the chances are a flatmate or two may well be about to provide you with a shoulder to cry on. Failing that, perhaps getting yourself a voodoo doll of your boss to stick pins in is a good alternative.

4. Opportunities to borrow stuff

Cooking up a storm in the kitchen only to realise you’re missing one vital ingredient? If you live with others, they might have it, removing the need for a less tasty meal / frantic run down to the supermarket. But borrowing can go even further – Thinking of going camping but don’t have a tent? Heading out and your straighteners have packed in? Think of all the opportunities you’ll get to share your stuff with others in return for borrowing theirs – saving even more money! If you lend a housemate something of value, take a photo of them with it so you don’t forget to retrieve it later on. Clever idea huh!? Check out some more awesome life hacks here.

5. Learning new things

Along with meeting new people, you’ll likely find yourself learning loads of new things too (useful and probably not so useful). From simple facts in passing (a goldfish’s attention span is 1 second longer than a human) to the tastiest recipes on earth (easy chocolate cake) or even full on hobbies and sports (extreme ironing). Very useful for later life e.g. the pub quiz or business networking situations…

(Image courtesy of Kate Mccarthy)