Trunk cover

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Du_sud, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Du_sud Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Hello everybody!

    What do you call, in a hatchback car, that removable, usually carpeted, fiber cover / board that goes on top of the trunk, and onto which loudspeakers are sometimes fitted?
    I would like to know both the technical and colloquial names, please.

    Thank you all
  2. KenInPDX Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon
    US English
    I've never heard of a specific term for that. To me, "trunk cover" would make sense. Perhaps others who are bigger car enthusiasts than I am might know of a better term.

    You could try looking at some auto company websites to see if they use any other terms in the descriptions of their vehicles.
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    To me, "hatchback" and "trunk" (BE:boot) are mutually exclusive,. which is to say that the cargo area of a hatchback or station wagon (BE:estate wagon car) is normally open to the passenger area and the cargo area would not be blocked by anything carrying audio speakers - except for the blissfully few individuals who seek to wreck their hearing and annoy other drivers with over-amplified sound.

    The flat area at the base of the rear window and over the trunk (boot) of a sedan (BE:saloon) where speakers are often mounted is called the "rear deck."
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I was confused by the reference to loudspeakers, too - but I think the term Du_sud is after is (at least in BrE) "[rear] parcel shelf".

    EDIT: Ah, here's Wiki on the subject:
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  5. Du_sud Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    It's quite common for a hatchback car to have an inner cover over the trunk, like I described in the first post, and that does not mean one will necessarily have a loudspeaker mounted on it. Actually, such a cover is there to "hide" the things one puts in the trunk. I don't know if a rear deck would also be used to call the removable cover we find in hatchback cars.
    You can see what I mean here:

    Thanks again
  6. Du_sud Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese

    That's it, Loob! A parcel shelf!

    I wonder what Americans call it.

  7. Du_sud Senior Member

    São Paulo, Brazil
    Brazilian Portuguese
    I've just found another word for a parcel shelf: STEALTH SHELF.

    Is that the word Americans actually use?
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I agree with sdgraham, hatchbacks don't have trunks. I think colloquially we'd refer to any cargo space as a compartment, and the covering as a lid. I could look up the manufacturer's terms, but it would probably be something you don't hear in common speech.

    But of course I still think proper trunks should have rumble seats.
  9. Mrs Coddlesangers New Member

    In a regular salooon car we always called the back bit that covers the boot, and has boxes of tissues and other things that can kill you if you brake suddenly ;-), the parcel shelf whereas the removable cover in a hatchback was a cargo cover.
    Equally the net that separates the open boot from the passenger area is a cargo net.
  10. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Judging from the numbers of region US google hits for hatchback "cargo cover" and hatchback "parcel shelf", cargo cover also seems more popular than parcel shelf in AmE.
  11. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I'd still like to draw a distinction between the names we use for things-- and terms invented by a manufacturer. Aren't these forums supposed to constitute a way of consulting native speakers about what is in their working vocabularies?

    If we're googling around to determine whether we say "cargo hatch" or "parcel shelf," maybe we don't really say those things-- they're on that fine-printed multilingual printout that comes with a product, but not in the personal lexicon we can summon words and expressions from, on command.

    "I call it a cargo hatch" is an answer I'd take at face value, of course, but I wonder how many of us don't honestly have a name we actually use for that thing.

    As an analogous example, what's the name for the cargo space behind the back seat of a big old-fashioned station wagon? I've only used and heard one-- "the back."

    The cab pulls up to where his passenger is waiting on the curb by her suitcases. She looks apprehensive, probably because he's two minutes late, and there are four other people in the car. The driver gets out, slings her suitcases up onto the roof rack, and starts securing them with a ratty-looking rope he has pulled out from under the driver's seat.

    "Do you have to put them up there? It's raining out at the airport."
    "Sorry, lady, I'd put em in the back, but it's already packed as full as I can get it."
    She sniffs disgruntledly and balks at getting in. "I'm not sure there's even room to sit in there!"
    "Well, then you and the next passenger are gonna have to figure out who's gonna sit on who's lap."

    So-- what if someone asked what we call "the back" in a station wagon, what term would google unerringly lead us to?
  12. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Sure, Fox.

    I say "rear parcel shelf". MrsC says "cargo cover".

    I believe you say "lid"? For me, "boot lid" would mean the external metal lid on a saloon/sedan car which you unlock and raise to access the boot/trunk.

    By the way, Du_sud: I've never heard of "stealth shelf".

    PS: I've driven estate cars for years, and yes, I usually refer to the place I put shopping, luggage etc as "the back of the car". But I wouldn't rule out calling it "the boot":)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  13. Hitchhiker Senior Member

    Washington DC USA
    In the auto makers' brochures, it mostly seems to be called a "cargo area cover". It's not always a shelf or a board but is often a roll-away vinyl fabric cover.
  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Interesting, Hitchhiker. In the estate cars (station wagons) I've owned, there's always been a roll-away vinyl cover - something quite different from the flat, hard, "fuzzy" cover found in hatchbacks.

    I've never known what it was called!:D
  15. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    I just call mine the back shelf:)
  16. Hitchhiker Senior Member

    Washington DC USA
    My mother had a couple of the early American-made hatchback cars. I know at least one of them had a fabric cover and maybe both of them. I have seen hatchback cars with the hard board covers also. About the only hatchbacks sold in America these days are a few Japanese models sold only in California and a few western states.
  17. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    The penny drops! If hatchbacks are rare beasts in the States, it's not surprising that AmE speakers wouldn't have an 'everyday' word for this particular car accessory, and that FFB should feel it important to warn people not to be bamboozled by manufacturer-speak.

    On this side of the pond, I reckon there are more hatchbacks than any other type of car. So it's natural that we would have an everyday term for the bit-that-goes-over-the-cargo-area-in-a-hatchback. Even if we all (me, MrsC, ewie) have different everyday terms:D
  18. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    As a onetime hatchback-owner, the thingy we are talking about was known to me and mine as the back shelf or the shelf at the back.
    Some of mine had speakers added, some didn't.
    In each case, the shelf was a rigid thing that had stringy bits attached to the hatch so that it moved upwards when the hatch was opened.
    Whatever the name for the bit at the top, the actual space accessed via the hatch was the boot.

    This terminology prevailed for as long as the shelf remained in place.
    Any time the shelf was removed in order to carry larger items of cargo (fridges, washing machines, coffins, etc) the now-open space was no longer the boot, it was the back.

    This is quite different from the kind of cover on the equivalent area in my son-in-law's estate car. That is a soft fabric thingy somewhat like a roller-blind. It is called the cover.
    But just like in the hatchback, the space accessed via the rear door is the boot or the back, depending on whether the cover is pulled over it or not.
  19. tomtombp Senior Member

    What about all those SUVs they (Americans) have out there. I once had a Honda CRV and it definitely had one. We in Hungary call it "hat holder":D
  20. Hitchhiker Senior Member

    Washington DC USA
    Hatchback, station wagon or SUV, the auto industry name seems to be "cargo area cover" for both hard and soft covers.
  21. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
  22. Hitchhiker Senior Member

    Washington DC USA
    In a normal sedan, with a trunk and no hatch, the shelf where speakers are sometimes mounted is called the "rear deck" in America.
  23. lablady

    lablady Senior Member

    Central California
    English - USA
    I'm not sure I agree that hatchbacks are a rarity in the US. I drive a sporty coupe that has a hatchback, and I see a lot of cars on the road with this body style (even outside of California- I do quite a bit of nationwide driving) :). I agree that these newer cars are not as boxy as the hatchbacks used to be, but these sporty, two-door cars are indeed known as "hatchback coupes".

    I remember many years ago, when I bought the first of my sport coupes, that the dealer called the cargo cover a "smuggler's shield". I don't think that name has stuck. I usually hear "cargo cover" nowadays, but should I need to replace that cover on my current car, the manufacturer's website lists the replacement part as the "shelf".

    All that said, my cargo cover isn't strong enough to hold speakers. In my car, the speakers would be mounted under the cargo cover in the rear deck, as previously posted.
  24. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    We have an MPV (rather than SUV) which also came with a roll-away thingummyjig. It stayed in the car for a week before the contraption was removed, but if I had to call it anything, I would call it the cover. I'm afraid our family persists in calling the area at the back the boot, so I could imagine call the thing the boot cover. If it's a roll-away thing, it's probably unlikely that anyone would call it a shelf of any sort. I'd understand cargo area cover but this sounds like manufacturer-speak to me (I can't imagine wanting to call our bits of rubbish cargo if they weren't transported by ship or plane!)
  25. Hitchhiker Senior Member

    Washington DC USA
    I have seen the soft cover called, "retractable cargo area cover" and the hard cover called, "(rear) parcel shelf cargo area cover".

Share This Page