Have you ever had one of those awkward experiences where it turns out that the exact same word means different things in different varieties of English – or, if it comes to that, any other language? What was the word – and what were the consequences?
a) the thing a person keeps their cash in
b) the thing a person keeps coins in
c) the thing a person keeps the aforementioned things in
and do these terms vary depending on the gender of the person in question?
Myself, I call them
a) a wallet (or possibly a purse, if it is basically a little bag with a fastening, as in picture above);
b) a purse (also as in picture above);
c) a bag, bilum or handbag.
I tend to avoid the words purse and handbag when referring to men’s accoutrements, since some consider those words apply only to women’s accoutrements and become uncomfortable and/or offended. And if I’m going to make people uncomfortable and/or offended, I’d rather it was intentional.
would smell as sweet (if kept properly aired). Or would it? Does it make a difference to your feelings about the main room in your house if you call it the sitting-room instead of the lounge? The drawing-room (or even withdrawing-room) instead of living-room? Would you perhaps converse more if it was called a parlour?
What do you call that room – and have you ever wanted to call it something else?