Lorry is a nice word, but it has never caught on in American and Canadian English. Where British writers use lorry, North Americans use the clunky tractor trailer or the plain truck. It would be nice to introduce the British word into American and Canadian English, but lorry so far has not gained traction here. It still gives the impression that the writer is either British or affecting a British voice.

Lorry is also common in Irish English. And while the word is not absent from Australian and New Zealand publications, it is less common than truck.


A shop front in Wigan was destroyed after a lorry was deliberately driven into the building three times. [BBC News]

Bald eagle recovers after crash through lorry’s windscreen [Mirror]

A lorry driver stopped on a lonely road, pointed aggressively at Chris and me and taught us the Italian for skedaddle. [Express]

3 thoughts on “Lorry”

  1. Note, however, that in Australia ‘truck’ is only rarely used to refer to smaller utility vehicles, unlike in North America. Such vehicles are routinely called ‘utes’, keeping with the Aussie penchant for shortening words (e.g. ‘brekky’ is breakfast, ‘barbie’ is a barbecue, etc.). A ‘truck’ is a lorry-sized or larger vehicle.

  2. I’ve lived in Australia all my life but I’ve never once heard an Australian say ‘lorry’. It would sound comical/affected (or more likely draw blank states).


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