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Jan 31 '13 at 19:12 comment added Ken Bellows I've actually never heard that term; only "lower 48", "continental states", etc. This could certainly just be my perception, but I have never before today heard the term contiguous used in conjunction with geography.
Jan 31 '13 at 16:02 comment added J.R. @KenB: You may be right about that – or may be wrong. I was under the impression that the word was fairly well-known, at least in the context of the "contiguous 48 states" – but my hunch could well be erroneous. (Sometimes, if you've known something long enough, you start to assume it's widely known, even if that's inaccurate.) I have several friends from Alaska and Hawaii, too, which could also skew my perception.
Jan 31 '13 at 14:07 comment added Ken Bellows Just a note: while contiguous is definitely a correct term, and a very good answer, it would not be familiar to the majority of the population. If you mentioned "contiguous states" in a casual conversation with an American on the street, you would be likely to receive a blank stare in return.
Jan 31 '13 at 13:56 history edited J.R. CC BY-SA 3.0
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Jan 31 '13 at 13:53 comment added StoneyB on hiatus @kiamlaluno Then contiguous is the word you want, by etymology "touching each other". Conterminous technically works too, but it's very rare; I don't recall seeing it more than two or three times in my life, and usually mis-spelled.
Jan 31 '13 at 13:48 comment added apaderno I would use confinante when speaking of Italy and France, or Italy and Austria; I would not use it for Italy and Germany, for example. The full border of a state doesn't need to be the full border of another state.
Jan 31 '13 at 13:42 history answered J.R. CC BY-SA 3.0