Difference between a porter and a bellboy

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mysina, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. mysina Senior Member

    Hello. What´s the difference between a porter and a bellboy who work in a hotel? Thanks for your answers.
  2. Embonpoint Senior Member

    To me, they are the same in meaning. Porter is often a preferable term because "bellboy" could be viewed as condescending and also because it is not gender-neutral. In addition to porter, another word is bellhop, which has the advantage of being gender-neutral.

    I personally would never say "bellboy" unless it actually was a boy, 15 years old or younger.
  3. Resa Reader

    Resa Reader Senior Member

    I'd say there is not a lot of difference. Both carry luggage. 'porter' might be more British and 'bellboy/bellman' more American.
    (Some definitions say that 'porters' just carry luggage whereas 'bellboys' also deliver mail and messages. I personally don't see that difference anymore.)
  4. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    I agree with Resa Reader. Bellboy isn't used in Britain.
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Note, though, that the word "porter" can often refer to someone whose main job is cleaning rather than anything else; like "janitor", the term literally means someone who attends to a door or a gate, but also like "janitor" it can mean something quite different.

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