2 Vote

What is the difference between el bolso and la bolsa? Am I right in thinking that el bolso is a handbag, whereas la bolsa refers to all other types of bags?

  • Posted Aug 29, 2009
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10 Answers

3 Vote

That's funny! Maybe it is a family thing. Whatever your mother called it, that's what it is. Or maybe it's regional. Her mother's family is from El Paso and her father's family is from Jerez, Zacatecas. We tease each other about other discrepancies as well but she always gets to fall back on: Listen gabacho, it's my language, what do you know?

Pero me ama.

I do know that for whatever reason her father's family uses certain words and expressions normally considered archaic. For example, instead of así, they say asina, which I have come to understand is correct but 18th century.

But I'm a gabacho so what do I know.


  • The wife is always right regardless of her native language! - justoffnorma Sep 10, 2009 flag
  • Exactly! And don't you forget it! - Melinda112 Sep 10, 2009 flag
2 Vote

When I was in Spain, I learned that:

bolso = handbag

bolsa = plastic bag (for groceries)

Hope this helps!

1 Vote

My dictionary says:

el bolso = pocketbook, handbag.

la bolsa = 1) bag, sack; 2) Mexico: pocketbook, purse; and 3) Mexico: pocket.

I hope this helps.

1 Vote

I have had this debate with my wife. She is a native Spanish speaker and she is adamant that her purse is una bolsa, not un bolso.

1 Vote

That's fine Ocbizlaw, colloquial Spanish. I just talked to my wife and she is also adamant that her purse is un bolso, not una bolsa.

1 Vote

I thought it was el bolso too.

0 Vote

There is more than 1 previous thread on this topic if you wish to search form them.

[previous thread][1]

[1]: La Palabra 'Bolsa'

0 Vote

That is correct. Bolsa could also be a purse. Bolsa could also be: "bolsa de valores" (stock market)

0 Vote

Sorry, I meant to say "bolso" for purse

0 Vote

La bolsa tambien is the stock market.

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