hoover

Ume

Banned
Japanese
Hello.

"I do the washing-up every morning, and I normally do some washing and ironing at the weekend. I hoover the carpets once a week."

"hoover"
Do Americans say "vacuum" instead?
 
  • Luccent

    Member
    English and Welsh, Wales
    Ah ha!

    Hoover is a trademark of the Hoover company; - and is an example of a noun that has been turned into a verb by general usage. "google" and "search" are good examples of this.

    "I am going to google this on the internet."
    "I am going to search for this on the internet."

    to vacuum is the verb you use when you don't want to use the trademark - however, hoover and vacuum are used intechangably. Most people probably don't realise that they are advertising the company through their speech!
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    At least here in NYC, we say "vacuum" (not "hoover"), although you would be understood if you said "hoover".

    I think "hoover" sounds a bit old-fashioned in AE; I seem to remember my grandmother talking about "the hoover" and "hoovering."
     

    Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    This isn't relevant to your translation, but here's a cultural note.

    Around here, the verb "hoover" is used in the sense of "gobbling up" food.

    Her little brother snuck into the kitchen before the party and hoovered all the desserts.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Yes, we have that in Ireland too. It's passed from being a tradename - into a generic word for a vacuum cleaner - to being a verb for vacuuming the floor - and then to being a term for something voracious.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I never say vacuum, always hoover, and I wonder ..... now that Dyson has started to be a big seller in this market ... will people start to use that word as their verb for using the vacuum cleaner?

    (and maybe to sneaking in and scoffing all the food too, eventually!)
     

    Luccent

    Member
    English and Welsh, Wales
    Yes, I think BE uses hoover and vacuum much more interchangably than in AE. I doubt that to Dyson will become a verb, because it's not doing anything particularly new and doesn't have a monopoly or market saturation. Although you never know.
     

    virtdave

    Senior Member
    english, USA
    There are several trademarks which have become more common substitutes in AE for the more general item or action, e.g.
    Kleenex = tissue paper
    Band-Aid = sticking plaster
    Windex (noun or verb) = window washing , or the fluid used for it

    maybe there's a thread on this?
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    virtdave said:
    There are several trademarks which have become more common substitutes in AE for the more general item or action, e.g.
    Kleenex = tissue paper
    Band-Aid = sticking plaster
    Windex (noun or verb) = window washing , or the fluid used for it
    maybe there's a thread on this?
    There are several similar threads if you check HERE. I don't believe "Hoover" despite the popularity of its brand, has ever made it as a popular verb in the US, unlike Xerox or Google.
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    From the Pacific NW, I agree with GenJen54. I also agree with Chaska Ñawi--however I've never heard either "hoovering the floor," or "hoovering the dessert table." I think in both contexts it refers to the Hoover vacuum cleaner--sucking up what's in front of it.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I recall that when the recent Kate Moss cocaine scandal broke, she was frequently referred to as having been photographed "hoovering up cocaine," which seemed an appropriate image. The use of "hoovering" on American websites in that context might, however, have been attibutable to the fact that the story was first reported in the British tabs.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It's always been hoovering for me too. Vacuuming sounds kind of grand: the kind of hoovering I might put a suit and tie on to do. (If I had a suit.)

    I've yet to hear dysoning.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I have never heard anyone on this side of the Atlantic ever use "hoovering" in any context, and while I know what Britons mean by it, I suspect that many of the people I work with (who are far less interested in language usage than I am...) would be utterly baffled by it, and would probably assume it was an odd pronunciation of "hovering", which would make no sense in the context. The only term I have ever heard any American to use is "vacuuming".
     

    glamorgan

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I have never heard anyone on this side of the Atlantic ever use "hoovering" in any context, and while I know what Britons mean by it, I suspect that many of the people I work with (who are far less interested in language usage than I am...) would be utterly baffled by it, and would probably assume it was an odd pronunciation of "hovering", which would make no sense in the context. The only term I have ever heard any American to use is "vacuuming".
    The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English, citing Dr Ruth Westheimer, lists “hoovering” as a synonym for fellatio.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    citing Dr Ruth Westheimer
    Part of the charm of Dr Ruth's shows was in her thick German accent. She lived in a lot of places in Europe and Mandatory Palestine before moving to the US when she was about 28. She was probably already using BrE "hoover."
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    I have never heard anyone on this side of the Atlantic ever use "hoovering" in any context, and while I know what Britons mean by it, I suspect that many of the people I work with (who are far less interested in language usage than I am...) would be utterly baffled by it, and would probably assume it was an odd pronunciation of "hovering", which would make no sense in the context. The only term I have ever heard any American to use is "vacuuming".
    This just goes to show, if we didn't know already, that New England (the North American one) and New York have different vocabularies.
    I've heard 'hoovering' in New England in reference to vacuuming.
    I have never heard the verb 'hoover' in connection with fellatio.
    I don't speak with young people about vacuuming (and definitely not about fellatio), so I don't know what they say. I have heard them use hoovering in connection with eating quickly, though.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I've never heard anyone say hoovering in place of vacuuming. I might have a vague recollection of someone saying "We need to get out the Hoover" in order to vacuum but I can't swear to it. I would assume it was an actual Hoover vacuum. It does surprise me that it has some apparent use in the Northeast.

    I think I have said to myself about my cat, "She really hoovered up that food." But I consider it a slang term only and not a genuine substitute for the verb vacuuming in its usual sense of a mechanical device.
     
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