An eavestrough is a trough for catching rainwater at the edge of a building. The term is easier to understand by breaking it down into separate words.
An Eave is a section of roof that extends over a wall to create a clear drip line that protects the wall from rainwater damaging the wall. An eavestrough is mounted to the outer edge of the eave to collect rain water. Hence the name, eavestrough.
The term gutter is more generic and is essentially any repository for runoff. In current times, gutter is more of a common term for the eavestrough. It is probably more common because it’s shorter and easier to say. In reality, eavestroughs and gutters are virtually the same thing.
Gutter has more meaning to it and can even be referred to as the gutter along the street. It can be referred to as just an area where something is stored and that a resource flows into.
Eavestroughs are specifically built at the edge of a roof for collecting and re-directing rain water.
There are certain regions of countries, areas that are strictly referring to residential and commercial buildings. When they refer to those buildings, the gutters they use the term eavestrough is very regional. So from one region to another yield here, either gutter or eavestrough as the identifying term for that section that catches rain water on an eaves of a home or a business.
The main reason is that people are unfamiliar and just don’t understand the fundamental definition of the two terms. When one person refers to an eavestrough, and the other refers to a gutter, there could be a difference. If you go to different regions and you’re not using the correct phrase you could be misunderstood. That confusion is because an eavestrough is very specific to the side of a structure at the edge of a roof. One is mounted to the eaves of a home and the other has multiple meanings referring to a repository.
Eavestroughs and gutters are universal terms. When using them, just like if you were in the sales of one or the other, you would want to be sure to know what the most common term is in that region. I’ve done sales in several different regions in the United States and the northern United States tends to use the term eavestrough. In the southern United States tends to use the term gutter. Of course, you can be in the southern states and meet a northerner and vice versa. Make sure you are doing your best to use the correct term is you are in the eavestrough or gutter business and you will be fine.