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From http://www.sterilite.com/home.html?section=1, there are different kinds of storage boxes. One kind is called "tote". I wonder what it means and how it is different from others?

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closed as general reference by tchrist, Matt Эллен, Mark Beadles, jwpat7, Jasper Loy Aug 12 '12 at 17:46

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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What does the dictionary tell you? –  coleopterist Aug 12 '12 at 15:40
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@ΜετάEd "Tote bag" is an entry in all the three dictionaries that I have checked. –  coleopterist Aug 12 '12 at 16:18
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@mgb OED: “tote n⁴. : c. tote bag, a large hand-bag or shoulder-bag; tote box, a portable box for small items.” Voting to close as General Reference. –  tchrist Aug 12 '12 at 17:06
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Tim, this question might have survived had you simply included the meanings from the dictionaries you found, and then explained why none of them seemed to adequately describe those mysterious totes at the hardware store. By omitting that key information, you created the appearance that you hadn't done any preliminary research, which in turn prompted a lot of skepticism. I dispense this advice often: if you don't want your question being closed as "general reference," think carefully about the first impression your question is bound to create; if necessary, elaborate on why you're puzzled. –  J.R. Aug 12 '12 at 18:44
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@MarkBeadles I had in mind the shipping tote, which was not relevant to the question. I checked in through a tiny mobile device and got the wrong impression. –  MετάEd Aug 13 '12 at 12:37

2 Answers 2

Tote for carry as in cargo is from the 1600s - eg "tote that bale"

More recently it's used for an open bag, at least in American English. I think Tote for a large box with handles may be specific to this company, just to try and create a name for a specific box in their range. I've only heard it in American English where this brand is sold.

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I don't know, I think that "tote box" is a simple extension of "tote bag". –  Mark Beadles Aug 12 '12 at 17:23
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It may be an Americanism, but Sterilite isn't the only company using the term tote; other brands use that word, too, as do Lowe's, Home Depot, and Ace. –  J.R. Aug 12 '12 at 18:54

The first photo below shows an example of tote boxes. They typically have handles, making them easier to tote around. The other photo shows a family of totes.

 

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