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mrentropy's avatar

Regional Differences: Shopping Cart vs Buggy?

Asked by mrentropy (17188points) November 16th, 2010

I grew up in New Jersey and when we went grocery shopping we always called the shopping cart a “cart.” Then I moved to Texas and met my wife, who was from Louisiana, and she always said, “Go get us a buggy.”

I thought it was odd, calling it a buggy, so I started paying more attention to what people called them and it seems the general term down here is “buggy.”

I’ve also noticed some people on Fluther call it a buggy also, so I’m a bit curious as to the regional use of words for a shopping cart.

So, where are you located and do you call it a “cart” or a “buggy”?

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29 Answers

AmWiser's avatar

Well my mom (90) says, ‘get me a basket”. I think in this neck of the country I hear cart most of the time. But now that you brought it up, I think I’ll start calling it what it is ”buggy”:~)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Hmm. Both. A cart or a buggy. NE Ohio.

jrpowell's avatar

Cart in the PNW. I have never heard it called a buggy.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

I’ve only heard it called a ‘shopping cart’ in the US, and I’ve lived in Virginia, Minnesota, Illinois and Tennessee. But when I think about it, how often does the term really crop up in regular conversation? It may be the Jellies from the UK that you’ve heard use the term ‘buggy’. My SO is from England, he calls it that.

mrentropy's avatar

@AmWiser Now that you mention it, I do remember “basket” being used a couple of times. Now I hear “basket” used for the hand-held.. uh, baskets.

mrentropy's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer My wife was definitely not from the UK and that’s the word she uses, along with the rest of her family.

However, my first wife is Australian and for the life of me I can’t remember what she called it.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

It is a cart!!!! I’m tired of people calling it a buggy! The hell is a buggy anyway?
BTW I’m originally from NY & grew up in PA for the regional part of your ques.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Aesthetic_Mess A buggy is what the Amish use to get around.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@mrentropy I didn’t mean to imply that your wife is from the UK, but that you might have heard it used on Fluther by our British friends.

In addition to ‘buggy’, I’ve heard other terms used that are different. One is by a Wisconsin friend who uses rubbish bins instead of a trash can. Another is by someone in Pennsylvania who reads up a room (gets it ready). I have often wondered if some of these terms come from other countries when immigrants settled in the US and some of the terms were passed on through the generations.

mrentropy's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Ah, okay. gotcha.

The rest of what you say makes sense, originally. But it must be a specific type of immigrant. “Buggy,” around here, is very common. In La., the part where my in-laws (take that, in-laws questions!) live it’s very common, also. But… since hurricane Katrina, the amount of people from the New Orleans area has grown here in Austin.

Seelix's avatar

I hear both cart and buggy here in Ontario. Come to think of it, though, I think (at least around here) it might be a generational thing. I hear buggy most often from people 50+; most younger people I know use cart.

mrentropy's avatar

@Seelix Curious. Makes sense, though, in a way.

So far we’re looking at Louisiana, Texas, Ohio and Ontario. I’m not seeing much of a pattern there.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The names of a shopping cart vary by region. The following names are regional-specific names for shopping carts:
Shopping cart – the United States and Canada.
Trolley/shopping trolley – the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some regions of Canada.
Carriage/shopping carriage – New England region of the United States.
Buggy – Some regions of Canada, Southern U.S. and Pittsburgh; the latter case often being considered a word related to Pittsburghese.
Bascart/basket – various regions.
Wagon – Hawaii, New England.

tranquilsea's avatar

I use those terms interchangeably. My mother used buggy exclusively. I’m in Western Canada.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve lived in New York but mostly in California; always called it a shopping cart; that’s what the homeless use to move their stuff around. A buggy is drawn by horses. There are basket used at my local grocers; they are held by the hand for shopping when you don’t need a cart.

janbb's avatar

NJ – shopping cart

Aster's avatar

They say “buggy” in Texas and so far I’ve not given in. I call it a CART. lol I refuse to conform when it comes to this issue!

partyparty's avatar

Here in the UK we call it a shopping trolley !

Supacase's avatar

I am originally from Indiana, but have lived in Virginia for over 20 years. I call it a cart and that is what everyone in IN called it, but have heard people here in VA use both terms.

GracieT's avatar

Different parts of Ohio- I’ve not heard any other names until now.

downtide's avatar

In the UK it’s a trolley. Buggy is more often used for baby pushchairs. A cart is what a horse pulls.

Nullo's avatar

St. Louis has its share of “buggy” users. When I was pushing carts, my co-workers would use the terms interchangeably.

GracieT's avatar

Oops! I forgot to mention that it is usually called a cart in Ohio!

mrentropy's avatar

So, basically, it’s all over the place.

Blueroses's avatar

CO checking in with cart or basket, never buggy.

perspicacious's avatar

In the south it is a buggy. I’m southern but haven’t used that term since my teens. I’m in the minority. I think I usually just say cart or basket. In Europe they called it something odd but I can’t remember what it was. I just recall thinking it funny.

kellydeli's avatar

I grew up (until around 23) in southern Illinois, right across the Mississippi from St. Louis. I had never heard it called a buggy before, until I moved down to southern Louisiana. The comment from the person in St. Louis is a bit odd to me, considering I lived so close to the city all of my life. Maybe I just never paid attention? But I am talking a distance of like 20 minutes away lol, weird! I work at a Dollar Tree down here, and I’ve only heard someone use “cart” a few times…it’s basically exclusively “buggy” or “cart.”

downtide's avatar

Does any region of the US call them trolleys, or is that a British-only thing? What about Australia?

Nullo's avatar

@downtide The British are the only people that I’ve ever known to call them trolleys (though I have taken to calling the meat carts ‘trolleys’), but then, I don’t really deal much with Commonwealth types. We have a couple of Australian customers; I’ll have to ask ‘em next time I see them.

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