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I was watching a movie in which the hero expressed his feelings to the lady he loved. Signaling towards his chest he used the word 'area'. His words were something like this:


I feel something for you right in this area.


It was the first time I heard this word for some body part. We use the word 'area' in math or for locations on maps. Though it is understandable yet I need a consent over this from some natives. Is this a right use? Actually the point that has made me raise this question is that movies often have informal speech and I am a writer thus I have to establish my writings on the basis of some formal grounds.

  • It's generally advisable to provide specific context. If you could provide the name of the movie you are watching it may improve the answers you get. – laugh Mar 13 at 4:56
  • Hitch... of Will Smith. – Zeeshan Siddiqii Mar 13 at 5:11
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"Area" can be used generally to refer to a spatial region of any size.

So for instance, all of these are common uses of the word area:

  • "the area behind the building",
  • "the area surrounding Denver, Colorado"
  • "the area between the two galaxies",
  • "this area of the chest (or any other body part)"

In the case of your example, it sounds when the speaker said "area" he was referring to the region of his chest where he feels emotions. An alternative way of saying this that might be more familiar to you is "I'm feeling something in this part of my chest".

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Yes, the context is correct. Meanings in English can be deduced and for conversational English can be relaxed as in the context in question. Metaphors and similes can be used in conversational English. Some languages do not use such devices so it may take time to get use to.

For further usage of area one can think:

If he was pointing to a general chest area mainly where his heart is then it communicates loving emotion. Contrast this to if he pointed at his head then it would be about intellect. If he pointed towards his genitals then it would be more about sex.

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"Area" means more or less the same as "region" and can be used for any general location. However, the reason it sounds odd in this context is because you would expect the person to know the name for that body part, i.e. "chest" or "heart".

The fact therefore that the character said "in this area" suggests additional nuance. The person is either

  1. stupid (he really doesn't know the word)
  2. coy (he is pretending not to know the word)
  3. silly (he knows the word, but is making a joke)
  4. vulnerable (he is suggesting it's an unfamiliar sensation)

plus various others. You have to decide which from the context.

  • In addition to these- maybe related to both coy and vulnerable- I would suggest embarrassed or shy- he knows the word for heart but doesn’t want to say it directly because it would make his feelings too clear and he fears the result of admitting them. – Mixolydian Mar 13 at 12:05
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Several dictionaries confirm that "area" can refer to the body.

  1. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/area (1.2)
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/area (4)
  3. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/area#area__12
  4. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/area (4)

In the example you gave, referring to the area of the cutest seems to point metaphorically to the heart, which is in turn a metaphor for love (although all feelings are mental processes and occur in the brain...)

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