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According to Wikipedia, Changing Table refers a special table for a changing baby's nappy, and I have no problem with that.

However, I recently realized it is also called "Baby Changing Table", and I have a HUGE problem with that since I think it will sound better with "Nappy Changing Table" rather than baby changing table.

When I searched Google I can find those terms:

  • "Baby Diaper Changing Tables"
  • "Nappy Changing Tables"
  • "Diaper Changing Tables"
  • "Baby Changing Tables"

The first three mean: a changing table to change diapers. However, the last one does not follow the same logic of the first three since "baby" is not equal to "diaper", "baby diaper" or "nappy".

I wonder if anyone also felt like I did, or anyone let me know how does it really sound.

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  • Why is nappy changing table (and by implication, baby changing table) grammatically wrong, and why should anyone care if it is? Will everyone know what a nappy is, since some people call them diapers? How are you going to get your idea implemented if sufficient people agree that it is better? Finally, some people might prefer the term baby changing table, since it may give them some hope that they can exchange theirs for a less noisy model. The term baby changing facilities sounds almost ideal.
    – Mick
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 7:36
  • sigh there there. I deleted the sentence since that is not what I want to discuss.
    – Kim
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 7:42
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    It depends on where you are, I suppose. In the UK, "change the baby" is a well-understood idiom, and "baby-changing table" is unlikely to cause confusion, so I don't see any need for improvement.
    – Mick
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 7:55
  • If you learned that clothing stores have "changing rooms" for trying on clothes, would you likewise also have a huge problem with a store having a "customer changing room" and an "employee changing room"? The clothes are changed; the person is changing. The diaper is changed; the baby is changing (or being changed). Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 8:17
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    When language isn't logical, we call that "idiomatic". Change the baby is a good example; we don't really swap children, but it's a shortened form of change the baby's diaper.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 11:49

1 Answer 1

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It's a place where babies could get their diapers changed. It's the same as a "changing place" - but for babies. It's not like it could be used for changing babies themselves. Read it as "Baby Changing Tables" (changing tables for babies) instead of "Baby Changing Tables" and you should be fine.

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  • If you check the third comment on the question, @Mick states that Baby-Changing Table is unlikely to cause confusion. Then do you think Mick is wrong?
    – Kim
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 9:19
  • @Kim the question is more whether you think anyone would reasonably assume the table is meant to change one baby for another baby. Since that would be silly, even though the expression seems wrong, it's still clearly a "diaper-changing" table no matter what it's called. (FYI in AmE they're "diapers" and not "nappies".)
    – Andrew
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 18:51

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