Sara (eatenbykraken) wrote in linguaphiles,
Sara
eatenbykraken
linguaphiles

bags of various kinds!

this was inspired by a post over at customers_suck, the comments section of which basically turned into a dialect free-for-all. English speakers, of the following three words, which would you use to describe a bag a woman uses daily: purse, handbag or pocketbook? Is there any difference in these words for you? Do you use another word that I haven't thought of?

For me (native speaker from the NYC metro area), the three are mostly interchangeable. However, I wouldn't expect to hear "handbag" coming out of the mouth of anyone under sixty. I also wouldn't call my giant corduroy sack a handbag - I would only use that to describe a smaller, nicer bag, if I used it at all - but I wouldn't be surprised if my over-70 aunt called my giant corduroy sack a handbag. I generally use the word "purse" to describe my daily bag, but pocketbook is equally familiar to me.

please respond with whether or not you're a native speaker and where you're from!
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