Vernacular Spectacular #10: “cooler” vs. “esky”

“Esky” is one of those words like band-aid or frisbee or thermos (or heroin) that is technically a brand name but people use it in Australia for coolers regardless of who makes them. The Esky brand is currently owned by the American company that first comes to my own mind when I think of coolers.

Esky apparently claims to have invented the cooler, but I guess the alleged first-mover advantage didn’t expand to the rest of the globe.

The great contradiction of “cooler” is that it doesn’t actually cool anything, but instead just slows the rate of warming. This is compared to actual coolers, like the glass-walled refrigerator that stores drinks in a convenience store, or a “watercooler.” Then again, cooler does have the lovely “oo” in the middle, and “esky” has a friendly, picnicky air about it.

Comes down to this: Imagine a happy couple deciding to go on an impromptu beach outing. Would you rather one says to the other: “Hey, let’s bring a cooler!” or “Hey, let’s bring an esky!”

Jeremy’s winner: esky

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