Shopping "carts" in the Queen's English

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?


“Cart” AFAIK. Maybe “trolley” sometimes.

Most words are exactly the same in British and American English, you know.

I thought trolley was preferred.

It’s always been trolley, though due to transatlantic cross-pollination I’m sure it’ll become cart eventually. Cart as a noun is generally a 2-wheeled contraption pulled by a horse.

Yes, I know that most are but I’m also aware that there are some differences. I’ve never heard them referred to as trolleys, that came from Wikipedia.

Thanks for the reply.

“Shopping trolley” always.

Privately owned ones, as used by the elderly for shopping, are sometimes known as a “walley trolley”. Etym dub.

I have a photo of a “trolley park” sign in Australia - it’s the “cart return”, the spot in the parking lot where you put your shopping cart after loading the groceries into the boot.

Definitely trolley.

Always trolley, never cart. Just to back up the others after an erroneous first response.

I usually buy a trunk full of groceries, as my boots will barely hold a couple of oranges. Also, I need them to walk around in. :slight_smile:

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 …

Always trolley. Carts are things that horses pull.

That’s because you were brainwashed by Mister Rogers… :slight_smile:

Yeah, the name looked so off-base compared to North American colloquialisms that we took a picture.

I have a trunk under the stairs. It’s too big to fit in the car boot.

Of course that wouldn’t occur to a UKian, since they call those kinds of street-rail vehicles trams

But most words in British English mean the same thing as in American English!

Sorry. Couldn’t resist. :smiley:

Of course we used to have trolley busses:

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.

Hmmm. They’re almost always called trolleys here.

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.