vegetable store / produce stand / greengrocery / greengrocer's

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi all. Are there stores in the U.S. (or any English speaking countries other than U.K.) that only sell vegetables and fruit? If so, are they called "vegetable stores" or "produce stands"? Are vegetable stores the ones found with other stores in the city and are produce stands the (temporary) ones that stand alone in/near the farm? Does the BE term "greengrocery" or "greengrocer's" apply to both?
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Stores that sell only produce are not that common - they usually sell other things too. Produce stands are common during harvest season as a "direct to consumer" mode of sale.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    For what it's worth, here's a previous thread:
    Greengrocer, produce market or fruiterer?
    Thanks Copyright. The thread helped. According to the link PaulQ posted in the thread, it seems "greengrocer" is commonly used in San Francisco, and also in Vancouver.

    Produce stands are common during harvest season as a "direct to consumer" mode of sale.
    Is that both in the US and in the UK? I'd like to know if British people also call those temporary ones "produce stands".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    So, unlike people in the U.S, you keep 'fruit and veg(etable)', instead of using 'produce'. Good to know. Thanks all!
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Why is "greengrocer" in the following photo plural? Is it to tell the shoppers that there are more than one greengrocer in the shop? Or did they just forget to add the apostrophe?

     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Why is "greengrocer" in the following photo plural? Is it to tell the shoppers that there are more than one greengrocer in the shop? Or did they just forget to add the apostrophe?
    In BE, that apostrophe usage denotes the possessive - i.e. it's the shop belonging to the greengrocer/butcher/chemist or whoever. Although it is in practice frequently omitted anyway, I suspect that in that particular example 'Horrocks' is or are a family of greengrocers, so it's a plural. :)
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Funnily enough there's a misuse of that pesky apostrophe S actually known as the "greengrocers' apostrophe" or should that be "greengrocer's apostrophe" (or catastrophe).
    It usually refers to a misplaced 'S instead of a plural noun ending S, even sometimes when the noun form has changed because it's plural, as in 'ladie's clothing'. For example, 'Banana's/ £1/ kg''
    It's an affliction not restricted to greengrocers.
    See
    https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/02/04/random-apostrophization/
    and a thorough Wiki article.
    Apostrophe - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited:

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I just think it’s very common to say the greengrocers or the butchers. It probably originates in the idea that the individual person ( the greengrocer or the butcher) owns their shop, and therefore needs an apostrophe - but I would not punctuate it that way.

    My mum tells me everyday that she goes to Tescos. But that isn't the official name of the shop. She just adds the “s” and I think that’s a BE pattern, not just my mum. :D
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    The problem is that learners are often required to spend vast amounts of time getting this tomfoolery right, following antediluvian requirements, and if they lose a few marks the rest of their lives could be seriously affected.

    It's all very well for me to say I couldn't care less. If I could reform the language, abolishing all this 'apostrophe S' stuff would be my first action. There'd be no more daily torment of judging people as poorly educated just because they don't know the difference; that would include its vs it's.

    We have no way of knowing whether these greengrocers made a conscious decision to describe themselves by their trade, or didn't use an -'s or -s' supposedly through 'ignorance'.
    Let's say my family is ( or 'are') in the wine trade. After considering the options, we have decided to name our shops "Golightly Wine Merchants". That's all there is to it.
    We're using our family name as an adjective.
     
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