In the US, we usually use the terms “shopping carts” (at least here in the Midwest) to refer to the things that you put your groceries in while shopping. What is the traditional term in Great Britain? Carriage? Buggy? Basket? Trolley? Something else entirely?
Hmmm. I wondered what they were called where the carts were called trolleys. Those are sometimes called “cart corrals” here. Note that dotting the parking lot with them still doesn’t stop people from leaving the carts rolling around the lot.
This is a Britishism that has always given me strange mental pictures, like having tracks running around the supermarket aisles with overhead electric wires …
Trolleybuses. Common in England (under that name) when I was a boy. No rails, but overhead wires alright.
I guess I spent too much of my life in America to recall that the things in question are usually called trolleys in Britain. I have been back in the UK almost three years now, and they are still “carts” in my mind. I am pretty sure other British people would not be baffled if I referred to one of them as a “cart” either, even if it is not the word they would be most likely to use themselves.
It’s the wheel that’s the essence of a trolley. Electric trams originally had wheels (rather than u-shaped carbon shoes) that touched the overhead wire, and those trolley wheels eventually gave their name to the entire vehicle in some cities. In most of North America, streetcar was the much more common term.