D.F.L. Bag

Do you ever wonder how words came to be what they are? I do. All the time. And it’s usually random words that come to mind and people look at me like I’m crazy when I bring them up.

Which I probably am. But that’s a different story.

So I’m getting ready for my vacation (I leave with my sister on Wednesday) and I’m wondering – where did the terms “suitcase” and “duffel bag” come from? Follow my train of thought here:

Suitcase is made of two words, “suit” and “case.” Well, that makes sense. It’s a case for your suit. Problem solved.

 Duffel bag, though? That’s weird.

 Well, bag is self-explanatory. But “duffel”?

What is a duffel? Is it even a thing? Is it even English? Maybe it’s from a foreign language? Or maybe it’s one bigger, obsolete word that got mashed together to be a new word. Or maybe it’s from an abbreviation. What kind of abbreviation?

 Duffel…could be “D.F.L.” What could be abbreviated that way?

 “Dress for life.” Or “Don’t forget leggings.”  Or—

 Hey, D.F.L. is almost like D.L.F. (Dear Little Friend, a reference to Narnia – Prince Caspian, to be exact).

 Well, the bag is about the right size for the dwarf. So the bag was invented in Narnia to smuggle dwarves to safety after the Telmarines took over!

 That’s settled. Duffel bags are infinitely cooler than suitcases.

 Maybe I can bring a dwarf home with me from Disney…

Okay, you get the point. You’ve had a picture of what happens when I start thinking about things. The worst part is – all this thinking, and I still don’t know what a “duffel” is! I guess that’s why we have the internet. So I looked it up  and it turns out the real definition isn’t nearly as cool as the Narnian definition I came up with. Sometimes it’s exciting to find out the origination of words. Sometimes it’s a disappointment.

But the beauty of being a writer is that I have an imagination, so I can make up my own words or my own definitions! That can keep me entertained while I finish packing.

Let’s compare notes. How would you define “duffel”? What other words or definitions have you made up in the past?

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