trunk vs boot

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Dec 3 18:40:13 UTC 2002

--On Tuesday, December 3, 2002 8:57 AM -0500 "James A. Landau"
<JJJRLandau at AOL.COM> wrote:

> Wasn't the rear luggage area of a stagecoach known as the "boot" on both
> American and British stagecoaches?  If so, then it appears obvious why the
> British refer to the "boot" of an automobile, and a good question why
> Americans switched to "trunk".

> Perhaps Americans a century ago were in the habit of putting belongings in
> footlockers or steamer trunks and lashing them on the back of
> automobiles, oe perhaps early American automobiles had rear luggage
> compartments that resembled steamer trunks.

I remember during my childhood seeing the occasional old car with a trunk
shaped like a steamer trunk.  I don't remember the makes.  In style, they
appeared roughly contemporaneous with the Model A Ford. I'm sure an antique
car buff could identify makes and model years.

Peter Mc.

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at

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