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Is there one? Because this question can pretty obviously be answered by the two Wikipedia pages.

Difference between 'stomach' and 'uterus'

Or is it necessary to use the word womb or uterus?

Thanks

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  • Just because an answer can be found by looking multiple places on the Internet doesn’t mean there’s no benefit to it being answered here, where people can explain the usage in context and it can be voted on. There are some posts that explain the “general reference” close reason - I’ll dig them up when I get a chance. – ColleenV Mar 5 '19 at 19:20
  • You are making the fundamental error of assuming that Wikipaedia is a reliable source of information. – Chenmunka Mar 12 '19 at 9:18
  • @Chenmunka what makes ell.SE so much more reliable? – RonJohn Mar 12 '19 at 13:30
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I don't believe the Wikipedia page really answers this question. Concerning the stomach, Wikipedia says:

The stomach is a muscular, hollow organ in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and many other animals, including several invertebrates. The stomach has a dilated structure and functions as a vital digestive organ. In the digestive system the stomach is involved in the second phase of digestion, following mastication (chewing).

In humans and many other animals, the stomach is located between the oesophagus and the small intestine. It secretes digestive enzymes and gastric acid to aid in food digestion. The pyloric sphincter controls the passage of partially digested food (chyme) from the stomach into the duodenum where peristalsis takes over to move this through the rest of the intestines.

The stomach page also disambiguates to abdomen, but I don't think that's much more helpful:

The abdomen (less formally called the belly, stomach, tummy or midriff) constitutes the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the frontal part of the abdominal segment of the trunk, the dorsal part of this segment being the back of the abdomen. The region occupied by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the posterior tagma of the body; it follows the thorax or cephalothorax. The abdomen stretches from the thorax at the thoracic diaphragm to the pelvis at the pelvic brim. The pelvic brim stretches from the lumbosacral joint to the pubic symphysis and is the edge of the pelvic inlet. The space above this inlet and under the thoracic diaphragm is termed the abdominal cavity. The boundary of the abdominal cavity is the abdominal wall in the front and the peritoneal surface at the rear.

I don't think either of those pages will be of much help to an English novice who is trying to learn if, when a woman is pregnant, it's okay to say: She has a baby in her stomach.

I've seen a lot of questions on ELL that were general reference, and I've even voted to close some of them, but I don't think this one is a very good example. This question touches on many subtle nuances of politeness, etiquette, vernacular, and context. A doctor might talk about the baby in the uterus, but the baby's mother is more likely to use tummy when talking to the 3-year-old, soon-to-be big sister. I think it's a great ELL question, in that it would be hard to get the skinny on proper usage from dictionaries and encyclopedias alone.

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  • Even the questioner has a strong sense that (quoting from the Wikipedia article on the stomach) "vital digestive organ" is the wrong word to use. That's why also asked about "womb or uterus". (If the questioner had asked if "She had a baby in her abdomen." is correct phrasing, I wouldn't have asked this.) – RonJohn Mar 5 '19 at 22:53
  • @RonJohn Our purpose here is to build a library of all the questions (that fit into our scope) about English that learners have and answer them. Even if the question were answered on Wikipedia (which it's not, because idioms - ever had butterflies in your stomach or a feeling in the pit of your stomach?) if it's on-topic here, it deserves an answer written in language appropriate to a learner and scored by the community so that other learners can know whether it is credible or not. – ColleenV Mar 5 '19 at 23:29
  • @RonJohn - Wrong word to use? Nonsense. We use the word stomach for many things besides that vital digestive organ. Given that I can say, "I can't wear these pants anymore; my stomach is too big,", what could be wrong with: "She has a baby in her stomach" ? Dictionaries acknowledge that stomach can mean "belly", so how would learners instinctively know when stomach can be used in place of belly, and when such a substitution is less appropriate? – J.R. Mar 6 '19 at 15:23
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    "I can't wear these pants anymore; my stomach is too big". I say that my belly is way too big, but have have heard stomach, so I see your point. – RonJohn Mar 6 '19 at 16:03
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It strikes me that this question was actually about the frequent mis-use of stomach by native speakers, and/or the confusion of stomach with tummy. I can imagine an educated non-native speaker being quite thrown by the casual use of terms, especially when speaking to children.

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