Other Words To Use In Place Of A Lot

The phrase “A Lot” has been used… well, a lot. We tend to throw it in when we are talking about a large number of something.

It’s easy to say and familiar so we bring it in often when we can’t think of other words or phrases that might work just as well.


There is even a grocery store with that name in the title: Save A Lot.

I am just as guilty if not more so than the average English speaking person. This phrase is relatively new and several decades a go people didn’t even use the word “lot” in this way. We tend to choose a few words and overwork the poor things and this one is a prime example.

Don’t worry; this won’t be a dull English lesson. I’ll try to make it as interesting as possible for those with a short attention span.



What is the definition of “Lot”?

First we must look at the true definition of the main word.

In the old days drawing lots, meant to throw a dice or straws to see who won. This was called "casting lots."

It was a game played mostly by men and money or property was usually the winnings.

They might say, “He has a bad “lot” in life,” meaning his luck was bad. Fate wasn’t kind to the fellow.

It can also refer to good luck. “He has a lucky lot in life.”

Of course it also can be used to describe a plot of land. “We are building a new house on that lot.”


Any parcel of land is a lot. It’s often used on Hollywood sets; you’ll go to lot number something or other.

And of course, last but not least, one of the definitions is: group.

This is how you see it used in most conversation today.

If you have “a lot” of something you have a group of things: time, M&M’s, shoes, puppies… I’m sure this one is very familiar to you.



Other words we could use instead of “lot”

It’s not that we use it incorrectly but rather we get carried away and overwork the poor word.

Let’s give the guy a break and try using some of his cohorts for a change.

So if we don’t say, “a lot,” what exactly do we use in his place?



What words are suitable replacements for “a lot”?

I “often” go to that restaurant.

We buy strawberries “quite a bit” from that market.

Brad “frequently” watches baseball.

Connie “constantly” shops for shoes.

Belinda eats chocolate “all of the time.” (Be careful, though, as this phrase is almost as overused as “a lot.”)

“I have a “tremendous amount” of time on my hands and don’t know what to do with it.” (Don’t we wish.)

“Greg goes to Kansas as “much” as he can.”

“We “habitually” attend poetry readings.”

“Susan has been to Paris “many times’.”

“It’s “common” for us to be at the park.”

Some of these may be a bit awkward at first and we’ll have to think before resorting to our old stand by but eventually we’ll get used to broadening our horizons and give ol’ “A Lot” a rest.


Improper use of the phrase, "a lot."


Misspelling “a lot” by putting the two together: “alot”

Microsoft Word was not happy with me and tried to correct my above faux pas but I wanted to point out this often-made error.

I’m sure you’ve seen it and the trouble is when words are written wrong often enough people start to see it as normal.

Memes often have errors and eventually people who aren’t terribly good spellers to begin with start to believe it is the right way.

Before you know it we have an epidemic of “alots” all over the World Wide Web upsetting the grammar police and English teachers, not to mention irritating we writers who try to keep the dictionary holy.

Phew, that was a long sentence.



Not to be confused with “Allot”

The closest thing to “alot” (settle down spell check I haven’t gone off the deep end) is “allot” which has an entirely different meaning.

Allot means to assign or give a portion or share of something. If you were to get money or property during the reading of a will you would have an allotment.

“I allotted a quarter acre to each of my sons.”

“We will allot an oak tree to each new lot owner.”

Please don’t add another “L” trying to appease spell check; it won’t work--- unless of course you are giving or getting property in which case, carry on.


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Comments 26 comments

Attikos profile image

Attikos 4 years ago from East Cackalacky

We do use it a lot. A lot of annoyance could be spared were a lot of us to use it a lot less. I hope a lot of people read a lot of your article and take a lot of it to heart, sharing it with a lot of their friends.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

You get a true hatred for the word when you teach middle school..I swear I heard that word 100 times a day. LOL Great hub Pam!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

PamALOT.....A lot of what you say here has a lot of truth to it. I remember when I first learned that a lot should NOT be spelled as the ONE word, "alot"......

I suppose a lot of hubbers would expect a lot of their fellow-hubbers to be annoying and write a comment using the word, "a lot," a lot......like I see that Attikos used "a lot," an awful LOT!!

A lot of times, I like to go the wise-ass route, but a lot of hubbers can't stand that. I sure hope you are not one of them.....If you are....I apologize, a lot and all that....... I really like this hub, a lot. UP++ Please ask bill to stop whining.....he does that....well, you know, a lot.

Those puppies are so precious, I want them!!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

lol Thanks guys. I was hoping you would see the humor in this. Like I say somedays I look at my writing and see too many of these littered across the page. Then I read other articles or watch videos and see the same thing. It's an epidemic.


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

This is a very great hub to help all of us, great work and thank you.

Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Pam......you forgot to say, "Thanks a lot.".....but I, for one, am glad you have a sense of humor!! I mean it, a lot. OMG!!!!! I hear 16 year olds in my head!!


kj force profile image

kj force 4 years ago from Florida

Pamela N Red...I really liked your hub.." a lot"...it was" quite a bit" long..however..I " frequently" read your hubs and love your attitude...

could not resist back atcha...kudos and thumbs up !!!!!


leroy64 profile image

leroy64 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

I will be more careful when I write.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks a lot, y'all. Was that better, fpherj48? :o)


Parks McCants profile image

Parks McCants 4 years ago from Eugene Oregon U.S.A.

Thank you Pamela. I really appreciate this well written piece " a lot!"


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is so true and I love your alternative suggestions for this phrase. Now, if we could just help people with the phrase "Ahm". I heard a speaker the other day mention it 15 times in one minute.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

This hub makes a very good point as it is so true. I think there are several short phrases that are overused. I enjoyed your hub and rated it up and awesome.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Okay, I'll stop!


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Teaches, speakers that say, "ahm" or "um" every other word drives me nuts. I'm sure it is because they are nervous and trying to remember their words. Practicing it out loud several times before going in front of an audience will help this.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

This certainly wasn't a dull English lesson...I smiled "a lot". I don't know if it's just an American thing but we tend to pick a word or a phrase for the decade and use it "a lot". I mean, look at "Dude", people use that a lot too!

You could follow lots of words or phrases through history.

This is an enjoyable hub and from the comments it looks like everyone liked it a lot!

Voted up, useful, and funny.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Tillsontitan, we do pick a phrase or word and wear them out. I don't think it has anything to do with having a limited vocabulary either we just seem to be comfortable with certain words kind of like our favorite blanket or cup.


Gerg profile image

Gerg 4 years ago from California

Great reminder, Pamela. I've often used this shortcut as well. A good use of a writing group can help bring awareness to whichever word habits we overuse - and nearly all of us do. Oh, and I appreciate your helpful tone (a nice way of saying thanks for not making us feel like idiots!) ;-)

G


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Gerg, we all do it and having a critique group is a big help. We don't always see an overused word. The "Find" tool on Word can help with this too because it picks them out for you.


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Perhaps the word "lot" is being abused, but wouldn't you say that its use as "alot" is part of the natural evolution of language?

I got a good laugh from that video at the end, I especially love the reasoning for getting a cat instead of a dog.

Going back to the subject, I am very glad you explained "allot" because I used to spell "a lot" as one word with two "L's".

Thanks for keeping the dictionary holy.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Alexander, I've seen it misspelled quite a bit so I thought I'd throw that in. It is part of our language to reuse and overuse words.


nancynurse profile image

nancynurse 4 years ago from Southeast USA

I do use A lot a lot thank for your hub


Cristale profile image

Cristale 4 years ago from Florida

I really like this hub, as I do use that word habitually. Thank you for the insightful information and tips on how to change. It's working already.


eddy4me profile image

eddy4me 4 years ago from Wales.

A great hub and thanks for sharing.

Eddy.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Oh this is a wonderful hub. I love your other examples of words to use such as a good or bad lot in life, such an amazing little phrase that we tend to describe...nope, not going to say it. I am forever berating myself for not putting a space in between the two words. Fantastic!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

Good stuff to highlight on HP and important to keep in mind. Thanks for a neat look at using "a lot" infrequently, and focusing on spelling it correctly when it is used.


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 3 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading. Many of us are guilty of overusing it. We get in the habit of using a word or phrase and sometimes forget there are so many others we could be using.

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