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AmE x BrE - luggage and baggage Options
MiaKnox
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:42:03 PM
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Hello everyone!

I have a question for you people, I found the word "luggage" in a book, the sentence was "The luggage will go in the trunk."

Since it's a book written by an American, and the word "trunk" is also used in the US, I wondered, would an American say "luggage" instead of "baggage"?
Think
thorx89
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:05:55 PM
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The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary suggests quite the opposite--luggage seems to be the word more likely to be used in Britain. From my experience, Americans definitely do say baggage.
MiaKnox
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:16:34 PM
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exactly thorx89 that's what I thought. But "trunk" is also very american, I guess british people would say "boot", so I thought it was weird to have "luggage" and "trunk" in the same sentence.

Unless somewhere in the US people say "luggage"
thorx89
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 1:25:39 PM
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Location: Czech Republic
Trunk is very American if you use it to refer to the trunk (BrE boot) of a car. It could also refer (among other things)to a big rectangular box for carrying clothes.

(You'll see trunks in Harry Potter movies, for example--it's the thing wizards and witches push on carts (BrE=trolleys)(or carry in hand as luggage/baggage) through the wall at King's cross when they're about to leave for Hogwarts :) ).

Then there's of course swimming trunks, elephant trunks, and tree trunks. All these other uses should be pretty much international as far as British/American differences are concerned.


Anyway, I don't think the luggage/baggage dilemma is that much of an issue. IMHO, both words are understandable on either side of the pond.
RuthP
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2:07:39 PM

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thorx has it: trunk is the BE boot of a car.

AE uses both baggage (more common, now) and luggage (more common when I was a kid, and still more-so when one traveled by train, ship, or flying clipper and the porter took care of the luggage).

The common wording, today, in AE would be

"The bags can go in the trunk."
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2:56:33 PM

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I still say suitcases. Does that date me or what?...d'oh!

And, I still prefer luggage to baggage. Go figure....<tottering away now>.

Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:09:48 PM

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Terry Pratchett's Discworld character The Luggage:

The Luggage is a fictional object that appears in several of the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. It is a large chest made of sapient pearwood (a magical, intelligent plant which is nearly extinct, impervious to magic, and only grows in a few places outside the Agatean Empire, generally on sites of very old magic). It can produce hundreds of little legs protruding from its underside and can move very fast if the need arises. It has been described as "half suitcase, half homicidal maniac"
Hope1
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:40:49 PM
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Here in my neck of the woods - we put the bags and the suitcases into the trunk of the car and when we get to the airport the taxi driver takes the luggage out. When it is added to everyone else's luggage in the belly of the plane, it is now baggage.

My personal baggage is all psychological. :-)
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 3:50:52 PM

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I depends what luggage one has, and the size of the car.

You split up your luggage into suitcases, trunks and bags.

The bags and those suitcases that will fit go in the boot. The trunks and bigger suitcases go on the luggage-rack on top of the car.


That is, unless it is The Luggage - in which case, it travels under its own power.


[image not available]
shelf
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:46:13 PM
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As another Canadian (Maritimes)I agree with Hope1 - but sometimes we say put the luggage in the trunk.
And, Hope, I agree with your personal baggage ;-)
DavidScott
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:53:05 PM
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I would have to disagree with my fellow native English speakers here, baggage is not a term used often in the U.S. Baggage, to those who understand the term, would be considered either a colloquial term used in Brittain and it's various "territories," or previous territories, or used in a nautical sense. It is NOT commonly used, nor nescessarily understood entirely, in everyday speech. Saying "baggage" in many WW1 or WW2 and before, and implies a good deal of property, not simply a suitcase or 2. Baggage in a modern sense refers to something which is a burden, especially in a moral or emotional sense. "I would not get involved with him/her, he/she has alot of baggage." In this sense it is not physical. Further, if one were referring to a trunk, one would not say, "Get the baggage." One would say, "Get the trunk." This has been my experience, throughout my 51 years as a native English speaker. One might say, "Get my bags." Or, "Get my luggage. Baggage, in my experience, is an entirely Old World term, if not utterly obsolete in current American usage. Editing to clarify, "Trunk" is understood as either the "boot," (srictly British usage,) or "chest," when used to describe a container.
martyg
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:06:24 PM
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i put either baggage or luggage in the trunk of my car.

if i go shopping, i only buy luggage. i never buy baggage. it doesn't quite sound right.
DavidScott
Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:08:34 PM
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Again, the subtleties of English have me re-thinking..."baggage" is a term used at airports. Thus, it is a term that carries over from Naval terminology...those who aren't frequent fliers may not have much exposure to the term.
Articulate Dreamer
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 5:45:51 AM

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Hope1 wrote:

My personal baggage is all psychological. :-)


To quote ol' Steven Spielberg, Hope

"YOU ARE NOT ALONE!"
(re: Close Encounters of The Third Kind)
Hope1
Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:58:01 PM
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Articulate,

You made me chuckle. I needed it as we are just taking a break from doing - INCOME TAX!
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