Wordy McWordface

Senior Member
SSBE (Standard Southern British English)
In British English, the word till is the standard everyday term that we use to refer to this kind of object:


But when I look in the WR dictionary till - WordReference.com Dictionary of English, I cannot find this definition.

All I can see is the definition a box, case, or drawer into which the money taken from customers is put, now usually part of a cash register. This is in line with the American English usage, but there seems to be nothing relating to the British sense of 'till', meaning the cash register itself, or - even more broadly- the 'checkout' area of an shop where the till is located.

If this definition really is missing from the dictionary, it's a serious omission. You can't survive in the UK without knowing this word. A tourist buying a bottle of water within minutes of arriving at Heathrow airport will be told to pay at the till. This is 'the till':


It is an absolutely essential item of basic BrE vocabulary, and it really ought to be in the dictionary.
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  • OED

    Cash register:
    A till for recording and adding the amounts put into it.
    1. 1879
      Cash Register and Indicator.
      Official Gazette (U.S. Patent Office) vol. XVI. 847/1 [Patent No.] 221,360.
    2. 1886
      The cash register which is represented in the woodcut is only twelve inches in height.
      Cassell's Family Magazine 123/1
    Interesting that the till is still the drawer, but the two words are indistinguishable and, moreover, till has become the place where payment is made.