a shoulder bag slung diagonally across *shoulders*

SuprunP

Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
He put the manuscript in a paper bag, then stuffed it into the hard, russet nylon shoulder bag he used when he went to the cram school.
[...]
At six thirty Tengo slung his bag diagonally across his shoulders and left his apartment.
(H. Murakami; Jay Rubin; Philip Gabriel; 1Q84)

I believe that such bags can be slung across only one shoulder, as they seem to have only one strap.
What are your thoughts about this?

Thanks.
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Whether a diagonal strap touches the part of the body medically defined as the opposite shoulder might be questionable, but probably is irrelevant since the expression is well-embedded in the English language, at least the AE version, to refer to the upper part of the torso.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Let's assume Tengo is right-handed. If he slung the bag over his shoulder, the strap would be on his right shoulder. If he slung it diagonally across his shoulders, the strap would actually be on his left shoulder.

    Well, that's how I picture it, anyway:)
     
    Last edited:

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    Thank you, everyone.

    If it is embedded in English then I would rather not go into technical and medical details :)
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    I'd like to ask you one small question, if I may.

    Have I understood you right that if I said 'It was slung across his shoulder' you would most likely interpret it as 'over his shoulder, but not across the body', but if I said 'It was slung across his shoulders' your interpretation in this case would probably be 'over his shoulder and across the body'?
    (I deliberately avoided the word 'diagonally')

    Thanks.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I wouldn't expect you to say slung across his shoulder, Suprun. I'd expect you to say slung over his shoulder.

    If you said slung across his shoulder, I would be cross:D
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    When I wear a shoulder bag diagonally across my body I think of it as being across my chest, and I think this is a more common term than this that you have found here.
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    I have sloping shoulders thus when I carry a shoulder bag, I sling the strap over my left shoulder and the bag will be on my right hip. The strap will cross over from my shoulder to my hips. When I try to carry them on my right shoulder the strap normally slips off my shoulder.
     

    wanabee

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    <<Threads merged here>>

    Dear all,

    She likes to sling her bag over (across) her shoulder.

    I made up the sentence. Would the meaning change if you replace over with across?
    I would appreciate any comments.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    To re-summarize:
    "over her shoulder" - the strap is on one shoulder, the bag is on the same side.
    "over her shoulders" - odd for a bag - perhaps the strap goes over both shoulders so the bag is in front or behind :confused:
    "across her shoulder" - odd :confused:
    "across her shoulders" - the strap is on one shoulder, the bag is on the opposite side.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top