Word Traveler: Shopping words

This feature is for all word lovers as well as those studying for the SAT and seeking to learn new vocabulary.

There's a lot of shopping going on now! The word frugal refers more directly to practicing economy in the course of shopping for goods or services, whereas thrifty applies more to the preservation of funds.

Credit cards as we know them were first called "shoppers' plates" around 1920 and were cards used only in the retail outlets which issued them. Charge plate and charge card are attested by 1962. The term credit card dates to 1888 in the U.S., but not in the modern sense of a plastic card, which just started being used around 1952. The first bank to issue a credit card was the Franklin National Bank of Franklin Square, New York, which did so in April 1952. The first bank credit card to gain national acceptance was the BankAmericard (later called Visa) in 1959. The first credit card to be nationally accepted was the Diners Club card, originated in 1950, which could be used at a variety of restaurants and retail outlets.

At first, the word shop designated a small retail establishment and store was applied only to a large establishment. Now the choice of term is quite a bit fuzzier!

Shopgrifting is buying an item, using it, and then returning it for a full refund. To regift is to give an unwanted gift to someone else or give as a gift something one previously received as a gift.

Buying as a means of mental relaxation is oniochalasia while the uncontrollable desire to buy things or spend money is oniomania or emacity.

Mall first was used to denote a mallet used in a game called "mall" or "pall-mall," then referred to the alley in which the game was played. The latter gave rise to its meaning as a sheltered area and then a shopping locale, usually covered, by 1959. Black Friday is the term now used for the Friday after Thanksgiving, historically one of the busiest shopping days in the United States. Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving, which marks the beginning of the online holiday shopping season

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
About PRIVACY POLICY Terms Careers Advertise with Us Contact Us Our Blog Suggest a Word Help