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A cashier in a grocery store has __ 80 customers today.

  • Expedited?
  • Served?
  • Handled?

I have a feeling there's a better word.

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

I think served is the only word that really works here. The ambiguity of handled leaves one open for the Beavises and Buttheads of the world to snicker and joke, while expedited has an entirely different meaning, one that doesn't take human beings as direct objects. Processes, requests, directives — all these can be expedited, but not people.

I see @beetstra has offered helped as a synonym, and that may work in some cases. But helped implies that one has assisted someone, not necessarily sold someone something.

@RegDwight just offered dealt with and had. I submit that had may not be particular enough, and has the same Beavis and Butthead problem that handled does. Dealt with may be applicable, but may have connotations that are too severe. One "deals with" problems, and might say a certain person should be "dealt with" if he causes trouble, etc.

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"Rung up", "Checked out", or "Processed" could all work. "Rung up" is the most colloquial but also the most cashier-specific, and feels to me like the best fit; "checked out" has an unfortunate secondary meaning; and "processed" sounds quite impersonal, which may also be appropriate for some cashiers....

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Helped, served, rung up, had, assisted?

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Cashiers themselves seem to use "ring up" as in "I can ring you up over here, sir" when they want you to switch lines.

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How about dealt with or simply had?

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I would use helped.

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Re off-topic question: Because a good answer rarely consists of a single word. For example, you could improve this one by adding an explanation of why you think this word is the best fit for the OP's criteria. – Marthaª Mar 3 '11 at 18:33

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