Luggage vs Baggage
Difference between luggage and baggage is slight as they are both used to mean the same. Two words that mean a lot to a traveler are his luggage and baggage. Did I make a mistake by writing synonyms one after another? For most of the people, these are words that are same in meaning, and they do make use of luggage and baggage as if they were interchangeable. But is it so? Let us find out. In order to find out the difference between luggage and baggage, if there exists one, we will first look at each term separately. Then we will focus on the differences.
What does Baggage mean?
Baggage is a word that is used more in the US than anywhere else. However, it is also used in other parts of the world and not exclusive to the US. To clarify what baggage refers to, if one looks up the dictionary, it becomes clear that baggage refers to all the pieces of luggage that you carry with yourself. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, baggage is ‘suitcases and bags containing personal belongings packed for travelling.’ So if you are carrying five in all including suitcases and handbags, they collectively are known as the baggage that you have with you. Let us look at an example.
Did you count your baggage pieces before leaving home?
Here, the word baggage is referring to all those containers that we use to pack our belongings while travelling. This can be suitcases, bags, etc. Baggage comes from an old French word meaning bundle or pack. So, one can see that the word baggage points to suitcases or bags that are meant to be carried along. Talking of etymology, the word baggage has a close cousin in French. There is a word called bagage in French that means the same as luggage.
The word baggage has another use. It is used to refer to emotional problems that some people carry on their backs as a result of past relationships or happenings.
I don’t want you to handle my emotional baggage.
Here, the word baggage is used to mean a past experience of some sorts that is regarded as a burden. So, baggage in this sense always carries a negative sense.
What does Luggage mean?
The word that refers to all that you carry while traveling along with your person is luggage. With the two words, luggage and baggage, being so similar, it is only natural to think that they have similar meanings. Luggage is also the cases and bags containing your possessions that you carry with your person while traveling. This leaves us baffled as the definitions do not help even a wee bit when it comes to meanings of the two words. Perhaps, usage is what we shall turn our attention to. Let us look at an example where the word luggage is used.
When on a railway platform, always keep an eye on your luggage.
Here, also, by using the word luggage we are referring to the different bags that we use to carry our personal belongings while travelling.
Let us have a look at how the word luggage came into being. The root of luggage is lug. “To lug” is to carry something bulky that is difficult to carry along. So, again, we see that luggage points to suitcases or bags that are meant to be carried along.
What is the difference between Luggage and Baggage?
• Luggage refers to bags and containers that carry one’s possessions while traveling.
• Baggage also refers to suitcases that one carries along while traveling.
• Both words are common across all parts of the world.
• The root of luggage is lug. To lug is to carry something bulky that is difficult to carry along. Baggage comes from an old French word meaning bundle or pack. So, one can see that both baggage as well as luggage point to suitcases or bags that are meant to be carried along.
• Baggage also refers to emotional problems that one carried from his past. Luggage is not used so.
One thing is for sure though, there is nothing wrong in using these two words interchangeably, and yes, both words, Luggage and Baggage, are used in Britain as well as America.
- A set of custom made (bespoke) suitcases by TannerKrolle (CC BY-SA 3.0)
- Luggage via Pixabay (Public Domain)