What my friend carries to the school

Xatufan   Tuesday, July 06, 2004, 15:28 GMT
Well, it's a bagpack / rucksack / knapsack. What's the difference?

I first saw the word "rucksack" in my Game Boy Advance game "Harvest Moon". I fell in love with it and started using it. When I say it at my English class, the teacher stares at me quite strangely.
Ailian   Tuesday, July 06, 2004, 18:49 GMT
It all depends on the person's dialect and preference.

Bagpack (backpack, perhaps?), rucksack, knapsack, they're all the same. Some may use "backpack" to only refer to a larger bag carried on the back when people go camping or hiking, but others may use it interchangably.

I've also heard "bookbag". ;)
Damian   Tuesday, July 06, 2004, 19:14 GMT
I use a Nike backpack
Ailian   Tuesday, July 06, 2004, 21:13 GMT
hah! I actually say "backsack", which is a direct translations of what we call it in Cajun (sac à dos, which I believe is the standard French word as well). I didn't include it because I have a feeling that it's pretty far from standard. :/
CG   Wednesday, July 07, 2004, 14:40 GMT
Rucksack is the English word. I think due to imported American TV, most young people in England say backpack, but old people still say rucksack. I have never heard an English person say knapsack.
Damian   Wednesday, July 07, 2004, 18:45 GMT
I thought only climbers in the mountains (like the Cairngorms here in Scotland) carried rucksacks. They look huge things which seem to carry all their worldly goods! You never hear it used for anything else as far as I know anyway. Like CG I've never heard anyone say knapsack that I recall.
mjd   Wednesday, July 07, 2004, 19:47 GMT
I'd say "backpack" or "bookbag" are most common nowadays in the U.S.
Random Chappie   Wednesday, July 07, 2004, 22:23 GMT
I usually say 'school bag'. Is this word dialectal or only one of my own quirky inventions? I sometimes, but very rarely, say 'backpack' and 'bookbag' and have never said 'rucksack' or 'knapsack' before.
Boogieman   Thursday, July 08, 2004, 10:16 GMT
I'd take a school bag or backpack to school.

Is rucksack a german word?
L.A. Dude   Thursday, July 08, 2004, 15:58 GMT
A gun.
Ailian   Friday, July 09, 2004, 17:02 GMT
According to the dictionaries I looked at, "Rucksack" does indeed come from German, yes.
Bookbag vs. rucksack   Friday, July 09, 2004, 17:09 GMT
I looked up in the dictionary that it also lists the word ''haversack''.

''backpack'', ''knapsack'', ''rucksack'', ''bookbag'', ''haversack''.
Xatufan   Friday, July 09, 2004, 21:51 GMT
Well, Damian, you might be right 'cause in my Harvest Moon game, I'm a farmer and I carry everything (including Tools, Fishing Rods, Seeds or even Flowers) in my rucksack.

Rucksack and Knapsack are German words.

So far, my list of synonyms is like this:

backsack (in Cajun)
school bag

Can you think on more?
Someone   Saturday, July 10, 2004, 06:28 GMT
Use "backpack". I know that's what most people in America say... There's no point in wasting effort on learning backpack synonyms. It's useless to know those other terms.
Ailian   Sunday, July 11, 2004, 03:28 GMT
It's not useless if one comes across it in speech or text and doesn't know the meaning, yo. ;)