English Vocabulary

luggage or baggage

Who could and would be so kind to explain the different meaning of the two words, if at all there is a difference.


  • As luggage and baggage are translating into German by the same Gepäck, we should conclude the words are synonymous with each other. As long as I heard the words in the everyday speech, they are equally used for the container of traveler's belongings.
    Beforehand such containers were mainly trunks and cases carried on but in the railway stations, airports and other dispatching centers of travel you can now see a lot of travelers lugging wheeled upright cases by the mean of an extending handle that allows the traveler to roll it in an upright position. In such cases, I for one would prefer to say luggage than baggage as the luggage is lugged.
    In fact the etymology of luggage could be LUG(bag-)GAGE. In that synonymous meaning of baggage the word luggage seems to date from the 20th century. Baggage is older, it comes from Middle English. I for one thought it came from bag with a suffix, but - thanks to your remark - I read information that it came from French "bague", bundle. Baggage is also used for military equipment on campaign, what luggage doesn't apply to. I suggest you search for further details on http://www.answers.com/topic/baggage or -/luggage

    I wish you got three French hens sent by your true love on this third day of Christmas.
  • Thanks Gee for having devoted your precious time and knowledge to explane this problem to us!
  • Don't worry, Gwendo. Gee's time is not precious. Only HE is a precious friend, believe me. But his time is just trifle as a common time running 60 mere minutes per hour. And he has time galore.
  • If you are all ESL-teachers your time must be precious, mustn't it?
  • Hello Gwendo,
    Ah Q has nothing of a ESL-teacher as far as I know, neither have I for sure. I guess that Silky and Bolibar have. For my part I've been attending the GG for about 3 years now and I think I've made the most of it. I try the same with your tips which are often of great interest.
    So long,
  • Sorry for wasting so much space.

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