As we English learners do, I fed words to google to find the most popular variation. This is what I ended up with:
Word: Result count: A "smuggle boat" 56 B "smuggle ship" 94 C "smuggler boat" 35,500 D "smuggler ship" 40,900 E "smuggler's boat" 31,900 F "smuggler's ship" 11,800 G "smugglers boat" 16,200 H "smugglers ship" 34,400 I "smuggling boat" 28,500 J "smuggling ship" 27,000
After that my reasoning is as such:
- A and B is out. I'm guessing it's because here "smuggle" is in verb-form. I rack my brain for other "verb compound words" (or whatever you want to call them!) but I can't come up with anything good.
- I think either of the other variations (C-J) would be fine? I found the result dip in F peculiar, but I figure that "smugglers" and "smuggler's" is actually the same thing and if you add those results together it evens out.
- Are there any better words to describe a smuggler's ship? All of those results seems low to me.
- The nuance between ship and boat is almost synonymous here, correct? The impressions I get is that "ship" might hint of something larger? (sorry if this is a different question!)
Please correct any of my faulty reasoning above! Which one sounds most normal, or is it all the same?
I think my native language "bleeds in", and smuggle ship feels natural to me, even though I now believe it to be wrong. Perhaps I've just read too much Harry Potter - Muggle this, smuggle that!
Thanks for your time!