Better “nude” or “naked”? Essential: No clothes at all!
Better “nude” or “naked”? More important: No clothes at all!

Preferences might be personal or perhaps depend on whether a person speaks British or American English. In the USA, naturists speak of “nude beaches”, seldom of “naturist beaches”, but not of “naked beaches”, to explain that you may be in the buff there without legal consequences (have a try to put a beach into clothes … ;-). On the contrary, they say “I am naked” to express, that they are currently voluntarily unclothed without missing any clothes, but seldom “I am nude”.

Comment by native speaker Richard: "naktiv"

“I'd be inclined to stick with ‘naktiv’ because ‘naked’ and ‘active’ is the English equivalent of the German ‘nacktiv’. It all means the same thing, and you'll find most people will probably understand both. It's a bit like ‘nudist’ and ‘naturist’, at first it's a little confusing for textiles, after a while they get the idea that it's basically the same thing.

Historically it was the Gramers, with their excellent nacktiv*) site who steered me into ‘naktiv’. I just anglicised it because it was more intuitive for the native English speaker to use ‘naked’ and ‘activ’ as the keyword.

In terms of ‘nudevent’ I think there's a hundred and one ways to mix these related words together. Whatever works is ok!”

 – Richard, UK, author of books about naktiv lifestyles


*) Comment by the editor of this article: The bilingual (DE, EN) website by Germans Anita and Wolfgang Gramer remained since Wolfgang's death online with no update for years. Meanwhile, it's no longer online. The name of Richard's website reflects his preference.

Comment by native speaker Bernard: "naked" vs "nude"

“In English ‘naked’ has the negative connotation of lacking something (usually clothes), and can be applied to anything that is devoid of something expected.

‘Nude’, by contrast and used often in reference to painting and sculpture, has the more positive connotation of simplicity, lack of unnecessary clutter or adornment.”

 – Bernard, UK


We prefer the terms “nudity”, “nude”, “in the nude”, and “in the buff”. In contrast, we use “naked” and “nakedness” to express something negative. In order to emphasise being active without clothes, we choose Richard's “naktiv”. Also, this choice fits pretty well to the coinaged noun “naktivity”.

Please take into account, that these principles may not be applied in some cases, e.g. for cited English text, translations to English by native speakers, who follow their style, or with titles of exhibitions, plays etc.