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Old 07-02-2007, 10:35 PM   #1
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I am confused!!! Definitions please
I think I have a newfound addiction - knitting and felting bags! So I am googling for free patterns, lol! But I am getting confused - how's a tote different from a bag different from a purse????? Don't know if it's just a cultural thing or maybe I just wasn't taught right, but I always just thought purse is what girls have as opposed to what boys have called wallets, so some of the "purse" patterns are what I'd call bag/handbags.
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:39 PM   #2
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A tote tends to be larger and has an open top, but otherwise they're pretty much interchangeable terms as far as I'm concerned.

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Old 07-02-2007, 10:58 PM   #3
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I've always called a purse a handbag, a tote is what Mason said, and a wallet is a wallet.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:17 PM   #4
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Well women and men use wallets equally. Women tend to carry their wallets in their purses along with everything else in there life.

And totes to purses to handbags and whatever other "bag" name you can come up with is just another variation of a bag.

Like a pair of pants can be slacks, or jeans or low rise, high rise, flared, skinny, wide leg, short... the name just indicates a slightly different style.

Totes tend to be larger with an open top.

Clutch - Purse without straps

Purse tends to have straps

so many variations for a bag. Which means one thing. So many more options for us to choose from!

You can also check out this page HandBag 101

the link should bring you to the glossary which will tell you about everything from bag types to even fabrics used in a list.
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:31 AM   #5
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Thank you everyone
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Old 07-03-2007, 04:43 PM   #6
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'tis indeed confusing. If I said I'd lost my purse, I'd mean the small, leather, money wallet-type thing with a clasp - the one I keep my cash in. I wouldn't mean that I'd lost my handbag or my shoulder bag.

A tote bag to me, means a bag with long handles or something that used to be known as a 'duffle bag' (back in the mists of time) or a bag you can just get on your shoulder and have the rim of the thing under your arm.

I still find it odd that Americans say 'purse' for hand or shoulder bag and 'pocket book' for purse.

As the man said: 'Two countries divided by a common language.'
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