baggage / luggage

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  • Artrella

    Banned
    BA
    Spanish-Argentina
    baggage (BAGS) all the cases and bags that you take with you when you travel; luggage:
    How many pieces of baggage do you have?
    We had to pay extra for our excess baggage (= our bags and cases which weighed more than was allowed).



    luggage
    noun (MAINLY US baggage)
    the bags, cases, etc. which contain your possessions and that you take with you when you are travelling:
    Never leave your luggage unattended.
    hand luggage (= small bags and cases that you take with you onto the plane)


    (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

    Both are uncountable nouns
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Baggage is also used figuratively to mean emotional problems you carry around as a result of bad past relationships.

    She is carrying a lot of emotional baggage after her divorce. Dating her might be unwise.
     

    premiumcopy

    New Member
    France, English
    The difference is in etymology. Luggage, coming from "to lug." Lugging something around entails carrying something bulky and difficult to carry. Baggage means to "bundle or pack" in old French. One derived from a verb with a pejorative sense which has since disappeared. The other was more neutral.

    They're quite interchangeable, and common to both American and British usage.
     

    LV4-26

    Senior Member
    premiumcopy said:
    Baggage means to "bundle or pack" in old French.
    Oh yes. I forgot to mention that. While "luggage" seems to be specifically anglo-saxon, the word "baggage" has got a close brother in French : "bagage" (which we use to translate..........luggage :))
     

    modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Mycall said:
    I always thought "Luggage" was British English and "Baggage" was American English.
    Personally, in American English, I've heard luggage much more frequently than baggage, with regards to suitcases. At US airports, at the check-in counters, I'm always asked, "Do you have luggage to check?"
     

    Mycall

    Senior Member
    France French
    I wonder if it would be correct to use "baggage" instead of "luggage" in the following expression: "a piece of matching executive luggage with leather embellishments and initials";) .
     

    Aupick

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    'Luggage' = suitcases, bags, etc. whether they're full or not.
    'Baggage' = suitcases, bags, etc. that have been packed and that are carrying the stuff you travel with.

    In other words, you can't buy baggage, you can only buy luggage. The idea of buying baggage conjurs up images of bulging suitcases with shirt cuffs poking out at the seams in the department store window. "Baggage: 172 piece set, including 2 suitcases, a carry-on, 7 shirts, 14 men's socks, 6 pairs of tights, 1 pair of men's shoes, 12 pairs of women's shoes, 7 pairs of knickers, 2 pairs of Y-fronts, an electric shaver, travel pillow, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,..."

    In other words, you can't say 'a piece of matching executive baggage with leather embellishments and initials'. But thank you immensely for bringing this up.
     

    modgirl

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Aupick said:
    'Luggage' = suitcases, bags, etc. whether they're full or not.
    'Baggage' = suitcases, bags, etc. that have been packed and that are carrying the stuff you travel with.
    Wow! is right. I never really thought of it that way. I would never refer to the empty suitcases in my closet as baggage. And, although I tend to use the word luggage, I could easily see those same suitcases -- when packed with my possessions and waiting to be loaded into the car -- referred to as baggage.

    Baggage is full.

    Luggage may or may not be full.

    I've heard of luggage stores and luggage departments in large stores but never baggage stores!
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Shakespeare wrote, in Romeo and Juliet:
    Capulet: . . . Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!​
    You tallow-face!​
    Lady Capulet: Fie, fie! what, are you mad?​
    Juliet: Good father, I beseech you on my knees,​
    Hear me with patience but to speak a word.​
    Capulet: Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!​
    I would say that baggage has a more disparaging connotation than luggage. Baggage is a burden. Luggage matches.
     

    Beninjam

    Senior Member
    British English
    I always thought "Luggage" was British English and "Baggage" was American English. At least, that's what I've always told my pupils. Looks like I was wrong. Don't tell them or they'll want their money back!:confused:
    ....
    I'm in my late sixties now and I shared this opinion.

    Apart from that I tend to think of luggage as something more or less limited to individuals, whereas baggage would be more general and more numerous, as in the baggage train of an army.
    The other meaning of baggage as used by Shakespeare and referenced above has according to Websters a different etymology. It comes dixit Websters from Middle French bagasse (which in turn might come from O. Prov. bagassa).
     

    Anais Lee

    Senior Member
    Cantonese
    I thought 'baggage' was especially American English and 'luggage' more British.
    That's what I read in the online Cambridge Dictionary, but modgirl, who I assume to be an American, said the following:

    Personally, in American English, I've heard luggage much more frequently than baggage, with regards to suitcases. At US airports, at the check-in counters, I'm always asked, "Do you have luggage to check?"
     

    Laurent2018

    Senior Member
    french belgium
    According to Collins: baggage=belongings; luggage=containers, whatever they are. So you put your baggage inside the luggage.
    You say: "excess baggage", not "excess luggage".
     

    tartopom

    Senior Member
    French
    To me the main difference between luggage and baggage is in the figurative meaning.
    We can, e.g., say psychological / political baggage but not emotional / psychological luggage.
     
    Last edited:

    wildan1

    Moderando ma non troppo (French-English, CC Mod)
    English - USA
    The other common term for baggage, in AE anyway, is simply bag/bags. Unlike baggage, bag is a count noun.

    At the airport I usually hear check-in agents ask me Do you have any bags to check?, or I if I already checked in online, I can leave them at the "bag drop".
     

    Laurent2018

    Senior Member
    french belgium
    Of course, Wildan. In some airports they read: "baggage reclaim", whereas it sure means that you'll retreive your "luggage" from the conveyor belt.
     
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