is it a thermos, a bottle, a cup, a mug, a tumbler?

  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    The seller calls this a "vacuum insulated tumbler."
    1575682174563.png

    We cannot tell if the ones you show are vacuum insulated or not, however.
     

    Hardbop

    Member
    Russian
    The seller calls this a "vacuum insulated tumbler."View attachment 36025
    We cannot tell if the ones you show are vacuum insulated or not, however.
    Thanks for your reply. This one does look like a tumbler, but I'm confused by the shape of of the bottle/tumbler I posted. It looks too tall to be a tumbler, it has the shape of a bottle, but doesn't have the screw-on cap that bottles have. So maybe it could be called both?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    A thermos bottle is defined by its insulated shell. We (or at least I) can't tell from the pictures whether or not this one is insulated.

    My wife and I call these travel mugs. (Most of our travel is by automobile.) If they're insulated, we call them insulated travel mugs.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'd call it a flask too. If it keeps liquid hot or cold it would be a thermos flask. Not a mug, because no handle. I haven't used the word 'tumbler' for years, if ever, in everyday speech. 'Tumbler' is another word for a drinking glass, typically for water.
     
    Last edited:

    Hardbop

    Member
    Russian
    Thanks for the replies! Another question: could you call it a cup? "Cup" seems like a very universal word.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's too tall for a cup. Also, mostly cups don't have lids. The exception is take-away coffee cups, which are now widespread.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    I would call it a water bottle. if it keeps coffee hot, I'd call it a thermos (although it's not shaped like one).
    I would not call it a flask; to me a flask is a flat bottle made of glass or metal or possibly plastic that holds high-proof alcohol.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I honestly don't think that there is a word for it. There are some on eBay called "Insulated travel cups" but then there are a myriad of other titles, mainly designed for capturing a search term...
     

    Hardbop

    Member
    Russian
    I looked up the meaning of the word "flask" and it can mean three things:
    1. a small container, usually with a wide base and a narrow neck ; a special container that keeps drinks hot or cold (US Thermos)
    2. a flat bottle that is used to carry alcohol in your pocket
    3. a glass container for liquids with a wide base and a narrow neck, used in scientific work
    According to the definitions, it can be used to describe similar containers as the one in the picture, also, "flask" seems to be more frequently used in British English
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Hi, what would you call this? To me it looks like a thermos bottle, but I'm not too sure.View attachment 36024
    It's an interesting question because its a product that falls between existing definitions. There is then the question of how you define it, versus how you refer to it day to day.

    As far as how you define it, whatever the manufacturer calls it is probably the best thing if you are writing or ordering on line or asking in a store.

    As far as what I'd call it if I was driving around with a friend and we had these things rolling around in the front seat, hmmmm. I think if it was intended for my personal use and I was drinking directly from it, I'd call it a travel mug or coffee cup. If it was big enough that I was going to share it with my friend and pour some into another cup with her I'd call it a thermos.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think if it was intended for my personal use and I was drinking directly from it, I'd call it a travel mug or coffee cup. If it was big enough that I was going to share it with my friend and pour some into another cup with her I'd call it a thermos.
    Yes. I wish I could see the bottom-right picture clearly to see whether the top is configured for drinking directly, drinking with a straw, pouring, or some combination. The crucial difference is just a white blur to me.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes. I wish I could see the bottom-right picture clearly to see whether the top is configured for drinking directly, drinking with a straw, pouring, or some combination. The crucial difference is just a white blur to me.
    Looks like it's for drinking from: the raised lip opposite the hinge looks fit for purpose, the little hole visible in the plane of the white lid is likely a vent and the hinged lid has two rubber projections, one (large round) to seal the drinking hole (not visible) and another (rectangular) to seal the vent hole. Both of those seal their openings when the hinged cover is snapped in place.
    Thermos is a brand name (although some might restrict its generic usage to things big enough to hold more than one serving (e.g., soup for two:)). The company seems to freely mix and match mug and tumbler, although the tumblers seem to be a little taller.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    oh my, so confusing...so I guess it varies from person to person...
    Well, like I said, this is a newer product that blends attributes of different older products. It's bigger than a mug or cup, it's insulated, but it also is for personal use. There are so many variants of oversized personal use insulated beverage containers! Also from many different manufacturers. So there is no one special word.

    Interestingly I think I would reserve "mug" for a larger cup with handle, usually made out of stoneware (but could be china or plastic). If I get a take out coffee in a paper cup, I call that a cup.

    On the other hand, an insulated beverage container is often called a Travel Mug, not cup ( even when it has no handle).

    I do drive around with friends who carry insulated personal beverage containers and I think they usually say "coffee cup" or just "coffee," as in: I'll move my coffee cup out of the cupholder, I've lost my coffee cup, I'm going to dump out my cup, etc.

    If I were requesting say a birthday present and I wanted to be specific I'd say something like: I would like an insulated travel mug that's at least 20 ounces and closes securely at the top.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    If I were requesting say a birthday present and I wanted to be specific I'd say something like: I would like an insulated travel mug that's at least 20 ounces and closes securely at the top.
    :) and actually keeps stuff hot (or cold).
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    There may not be an existing word to describe this new product. That isn't a rule. You can create and sell a product that doesn't have a word for it.

    I agree with your comment -- what it is called will depend on the person speaking. But you can always call it a "thing". Everything is a "thing".
     
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