Homeless in Vancouver: This Toter's wheelie bin bent out of shape

Most people in my little corner of the world call this crumpled little thing a “blue bin”.

Some, if they work in the local waste-hauling business, likely call it a “Toter” after the company that made the bin.

Beginning in the late 1990s Vancouver invested in thousands of Toter-brand blue bins for recycling, and grey bins for residential garbage.

But in the U.K.—the cradle of the English language—people would almost certainly call it a "wheelie bin".

Apparently all the real heavy lifting, language-wise, was taken care of ages ago by their ancestors.

These days the British people just have fun with their language.

And not just those in the U.K. but also people in Australia and New Zealand. Together they share a subset of English I call Ukanzish.

Throw another barbie in the skip?

Not to belabour the point but it has some specific bearing on my blog, given my taste for trashy subjects.

Across North America, a large metal, four-wheeled garbage bin is almost universally referred to by its original 1936 brand name: Dumpster.

I deliberately do not capitalize the word because it is never used in the sense of a trademark anymore. 

The 2013 Associated Press stylebook agrees with me. [Editor's note: In the ITP Nelson Canadian dictionary, which the Georgia Straight relies on for capitalization, "Dumpster" is capitalized.]

In Ukanzish what I call a “dumpster” is called a “skip”. In Australia, at least, the term “dumpster” is also sometimes used. In Great Britain, people certainly use the term “skip” but as this BBC item on a bin spewing pizza dough shows, “wheelie bin” is becoming the go-to term.

And recently while reading bike lock reviews I thought I’d come across a hitherto unknown category of bicycle lock, a “D-lock”.

Wow, I thought what did a D-lock look like? Um, just like a U-lock. … Doh!

I wonder if they have U-cup bra sizes? 

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