This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which it’s a PURSE, not a pocketbook

As you may or may not know, I’m traveling to California this week (or perhaps last week if I post this next week.) WOW! That was confusing!


I was on the phone talking to my friend Amy (who I will see while I’m out there) about my packing (or lack thereof) when I happened to mention that I was going to use my new pocketbook that I had just purchased.


Now most of you know (or perhaps you don’t) but I don’t really carry a pocketbook on a regular basis.  I just carry my wallet around with me unless I’m traveling.  At any rate, I told her that I was bringing my new one when we had the following conversation:


Me:                I am psyched about my new pocketbook


Amy:             Pocketbook?


Me:                yeah, I just bought a new one for travel and it’s much bigger


Amy:             Lynn, no one calls it a pocketbook


Me:                what do you call it?


Amy:             a purse


Me:                a purse?


Amy:             yes, I have it on good authority it’s called a purse


Me:                who’s the authority


Amy:             my friend Sherri


Me:                that’s your authority?


Amy:             she’s my authority and nobody say’s pocketbook


Me:                nobody says purse


Amy:             you sound like an 80-year-old lady using the word pocketbook


Me:                well, perhaps it’s a handbag but it’s no purse


And then I was curious about what the hell the difference is so I looked up the definition. I also learned that what you say depends on the area of the country you live in.


Kevin thinks that I bought a “shoulder bag” and Amy thinks I bought a “purse” but all I know is that I bought a huge bag I can throw all my shit into.


By the way, here are the definitions of pocketbook, purse and handbag and ya know what they’re all pretty much the same.


Purse, pocketbook, and handbag are all standard terms reported from all parts of the country. Yet purse is not quite as frequent in the Northeast and coastal Atlantic states as it is to the west of those areas. In the eastern areas, pocketbook appears about as often as purse; but farther west, it becomes sparser. Both purse and pocketbook are distributed by age, community type, race, and education in correspondence with the total sample.




I’m just saying … put that in your purse and smoke it!  hahaha



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  1. Missy
    March 18, 2013

    My Mom, who is 76 calls it a pocketbook. I call it a messenger bag. I’m cool like that!
    Missy recently posted..Foxy Friday: POF EditionMy Profile

  2. Julie
    March 18, 2013

    Team Amy. It’s a purse.

  3. Marilynn
    March 18, 2013


  4. Jester Queen
    March 18, 2013

    My 36 year old self uses both terms interchangeably.

  5. Amy
    March 18, 2013

    FYI, I did find one friend that calls it a pocketbook. Ann says you rule!

    • Lynn
      March 18, 2013

      Two if you count me

  6. Faith.TheBlonde.
    March 18, 2013

    What I call it depends on the size of the back. Small bag= purse. Medium bag=pocket book. Large bag= handbag. *shrug* po-tay-to, po-tah-toe.

    • Lynn
      March 19, 2013


  7. Dawn
    March 18, 2013

    OMG, Lynn – this is so awesome! My mom, who was born and bred in New York City/Long Island and is 67, ALWAYS called it a “pocketbook”, which always made me laugh (and even shudder when I was a teen). Now, when my girls hear her call it a “pocketbook”, they crack up laughing with me! So, if for nothing else, I’m glad I became a mom just so I have someone else to laugh at my mom with me.
    Anyway, I suppose, since you’re from the Northeast originally, I’ll let it pass, but, you know, it’s a “purse”. At least it is if you’re cool like me….

    • Lynn
      March 19, 2013

      i’m actually from the south but my mom was from the northeast…it’s funny how people have different ways of saying it though

  8. Toni
    March 19, 2013

    Well I’m from New York and I’ve always called it a purse. No matter how big or little it is. But it is interesting to see how different people in different areas of the country have their own terms. Like soda and pop.

  9. Anita
    March 21, 2013

    I live in the Uk and a purse is something to keep your money in, a handbag is something to put your purse and other stuff you want with you, in. And a pocket book is a book you put in your pocket, lol. Just saying x
    Anita recently posted..Tags on TuesdayMy Profile

    • Lynn
      March 21, 2013


  10. smart aleck
    March 21, 2013

    I was raised on LI but moved to NC then further south…my husband makes fun when I call it a pocketbook, and now I call it that and purse interchangeably. When I was really little I called it a “pock”, and my grandmother started calling hers that :-)

    All I know is that I finally got my husband to realize that women need more than one, so I’ve won.

    • Lynn
      March 21, 2013

      Sounds like a win to me!

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