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Do you need a bag for your purchases, or a sack?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:01 am Reply with quote
sam
 
Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 10


When I moved from Colorado 12 years ago (from Boston), I was taken aback the first time I was offered a "sack" for my small drugstore purchase. (I've since come to realize that means a bag - even a plastic one.) Does anyone know what the regional scope of that word is? Is it from the Midwest?
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Re: Do you need a bag for your purchases, or a sack?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:26 pm Reply with quote
Howard Shepherd
 
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 16
Location: Asheville, NC


sam wrote:
When I moved from Colorado 12 years ago (from Boston), I was taken aback the first time I was offered a "sack" for my small drugstore purchase. (I've since come to realize that means a bag - even a plastic one.) Does anyone know what the regional scope of that word is? Is it from the Midwest?


On an old episode (I think it may have been "Regional Speech and Our Roots"), my brother Dave and I talked about the use of the term "poke" or "paper poke" to describe a paper bag. It would be interesting to see the range of these different isoglosses.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:44 pm Reply with quote
jppbl
 
Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago


I'm from the great state of Texas, and we have always used 'bag'. Would you like a 'paper bag' or 'plastic bag'?
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Bags
PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:23 pm Reply with quote
Kurt
 
Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3


Here in Minnesota, as well as other midwestern states I've visited Wisconsin and Illinois, I've only heard people say bags.

k.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:02 pm Reply with quote
trainwreck
 
Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 20
Location: Fort Worth


Gowing up in Minnesota, I did hear sack. The difference lies in usage.

Picture a grocery store.

A bag is something the diposable the store gives you to bring home your merchandise.

A sack is a container that the shopper has brought in to help transport merchandise from the store. This would never happen in the new world of supermarkets. Happens in corner stores. Haven't heard this since about 1985 though.

Sack is for now, relegated to what happened to the quarterback last Monday night.

It also happened to Rome after the Barbarians got in the gate.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:49 am Reply with quote
ghimster
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Location: vienna


sack is the german word for bag.. do their originally live a lot german emigrants?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:41 pm Reply with quote
Dave
 
Joined: 08 Jun 2006
Posts: 357
Location: Washington, DC


I'd bet the German influence would explain the use of "sack" in Minnesota, you bet (to use another Minnesotaism).

Elsewhere here I have mentioned how interesting it is for me to hear Minnesotans and Wisconsinites say "do you want to come with?" when the rest of us Americans would say "do you want to come along?" That, of course, is a direct translation of "willst du mitkommen?" in German.

In North Carolina we always talked about getting our groceries in a bag. But when I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, just over the mountains, people always talked about using a sack. I never came up with a good explanation for that.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:29 am Reply with quote
RabiAkiva
 
Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 163
Location: Israel


A sack in Hebrew, even, is 'sak' or 'sakit' (if it is small). I have heard one linguist explain that the origin of this word is very old and has made it into many languages. I have forgotten the gist of it. For example I do not remember whether the origin lies in ancient Greek and from there it was passed both eastwards (Hebrew) as well as westwards (English, German and by the way also French [sac] and Dutch [zak]) or that it is originally semitic and was passed through westwards.
An example of Greek influencing both ways we see in the word air which we find in Hebrew as 'awir'.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 7:46 am Reply with quote
ghimster
 
Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Location: vienna


and in combination with this example.. think of the rucksack.. thats definitly a german word - used as the same in english..
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2007 8:38 pm Reply with quote
Dennis
 
Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 26
Location: Bethesda, MD


trainwreck wrote:
Gowing up in Minnesota, I did hear sack. The difference lies in usage.

Picture a grocery store.

A bag is something the diposable the store gives you to bring home your merchandise.

A sack is a container that the shopper has brought in to help transport merchandise from the store. This would never happen in the new world of supermarkets. Happens in corner stores. Haven't heard this since about 1985 though.

Sack is for now, relegated to what happened to the quarterback last Monday night.

It also happened to Rome after the Barbarians got in the gate.


I don't really have an opinion on sack vs. bag, but I do have an opinion on the frequent confusion between the words "bring" and "take". I hear the words misused on TV broadcasts, speeches, you name it...

"bring" is used when you are referring to something moving from where it is in time or place to where the speaker is in time or place.
"take" is the reverse. So the store gives you a bag to take home your merchandise. I suppose most people understand what is meant by the misuse, and I don't go around trying to correct everyone, but I do notice. Confused

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:53 am Reply with quote
ttommott
 
Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1


I can't really add anything to help narrow it down, except to say that in Arizona sack is the word used by most store attendants.
I wanted to share an incident that happened about 30 years ago, when I, a Long Island boy, was inducted into the army and did my training at Fr. Jackson, S. Carolina. When checking out of a grocery store I was asked, "Wana poke fo dat bo?" Translation, 'Do you want a poke (bag, sack) for that, boy?' Boy being a term for any young man. I had no idea how to respond and only much later realized what she had meant.
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Do you need a bag for your purchases, or a sack?
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