Ha, we know you're a Brit!

@dawnald (84148)
Shingle Springs, California
July 27, 2014 9:27pm CST
I read in today's paper that Danial Radcliffe was at ComicCon in San Diego dressed up as Spider Man. He said he got by with his American accent, and he wore a "rucksack". Ha! Gotcha, no American would say rucksack, we call them backpacks. lol
5 people like this
5 responses
@owlwings (39225)
• Cambridge, England
28 Jul 14
The term 'rucksack' only became popular in England after the war. It may have been known as a loan word from German before that but, at least during the war, anything German was usually anathema (except for words like 'blitz', which somehow flourished and has since been used to describe any fast and radical procedure). We generally called such a thing a 'knapsack' or a 'haversack'. Growing up in the '50s, I would have used both terms Wikipedia says that the term 'backpack' is also relatively recent, having been coined in about 1910. Actually both 'knapsack' and 'haversack' are German loan words but came into use in English much earlier, so, by WWII, were already well established. Both describe a bag for carrying food supplies: 'knap' probably comes from Low German or Dutch and means a 'bite' [to eat]; 'haver' comes from the German word for 'oats', so a 'haversack' was originally a small bag for carrying oat cakes and other food. In fact, Daniel is probably also showing his age and education because, in Britain, the word 'rucksack' describes a rather larger article, usually with a frame, than a 'backpack', which is used for a small bag without a frame and usually only large enough for one's daily needs. I am not sure when 'backpack' became current in Britain but it was probably only just becoming common in England as Daniel was growing up. By then, I imagine, 'haversack' and 'knapsack' were already going out of fashion.
2 people like this
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
29 Jul 14
I knew rucksack came from German, but not all that other history!
1 person likes this
@buenavida (8011)
• Sweden
29 Jul 14
Interesting discussion. Language is alive, it changes all the time - sauerkraut is German - sauna is Finnish - smorgasbord is Swedish.. don't know if they are used much in the USA.. Well, who knows where these words came from in the beginning. Smör-gås-bord would be literally translated to Butter-goose-table..
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
1 Aug 14
They are all three used here.
1 person likes this
• China
30 Jul 14
who is Danial Radcliffe?
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
30 Jul 14
The actor who played Harry Potter
• China
31 Jul 14
@dawnald oh,I got it.
@hereandthere (31018)
• Philippines
11 Aug 14
when i was growing up, we called them knapsack, but my niece and nephews' generation now call them backpack.
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Aug 14
Hello there....
@cupkitties (7174)
• United States
31 Jul 14
Oh great. I'm gonna start using that word. I like throwing random British English in with my American English and watching people squirm.
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
31 Jul 14
Lovely, that's brilliant.