Hoovers or vacuum cleaners; is there a difference? and why do we call vacuum cleaners hoover? Ever come across a person referring to vacuum cleaners as hoovers? If you’re a millennial you might not find this relatable. But apparently, vacuum cleaners are also known as hoovers. It turns out Britishers have a role to play here too. Like most such language anomalies. In England, you will still find people using the word hoovers instead of vacuum cleaners. Not just that, these people also use the verb form of hoover for the act of cleaning. What do you use a vacuum cleaner for? It’s obvious, right? You’d say vacuuming or vacuum-cleaning. But some people would say hoovering. So why do we call vacuum cleaners hoovers?
In this post, we’ll try to answer exactly this question.
To learn why we call vacuum cleaners hoovers, we need to go back in time. The 1970s were interesting times. Where the world saw a rapid growth in electronic appliances. From irons to vacuum cleaners people were starting to choose electronic appliances for the day to day tasks. Back then there were not as many vacuum cleaner brands as there are now. Hoover company was one of the only popular vacuum brands in the market. The manufacturing capacity and overall product quality of the hoovers were excellent.
It is not at all only the case with vacuums. Extraordinary brands end up hijacking the general identity of any product. This makes a single company very popular. It was the same case with the hoover. However, it is never the intention of any company. Instead, the popular public view is the only biggest factor behind this. Just like, you see many people unknowingly call to all kinds of toothpaste as Colgate. Colgate is just another very popular toothpaste brand. In the same manner, the hoover vacuums were the best of their time. They more or less became the norm. As most people had hoover vacuums. So instead of calling these cleaners, vacuums, people just started calling them hoovers. Cause why not? After All, everyone you know has a hoover.
The hoover company was founded by William Hoover in Ohio. Surprisingly by the mid-twentieth century, the company became very successful. They were considered the pioneers of electric vacuum cleaners. It was a US-based startup. However, they soon developed an impressive base in the United Kingdom. In little time, Hoover vacuums became an essential household appliance. With negligible competition in the market, the hoover company enjoyed a comfortable position.
As people learned about the value vacuum cleaners provide, the popularity of hoover vacuums increased rapidly. Soon they got so popular that people started to refer to vacuuming as hoovering and a vacuum cleaner as simply hoover. It became quite obvious that whenever someone talks about a vacuum cleaner they mean a hoover. Since there was no noticeable contender in the industry.
This culture was very apparent in the United Kingdom. You might expect the Americans to follow along but that didn’t happen. The hoover became a countrywide brand providing top-quality electric vacuums in the UK. Meanwhile, in the United States, many other vacuum brands were diverting public attention from the hoovers. It doesn’t take much to answer Why do we call vacuum cleaners hoovers? There’s no fundamental difference between both terms.
Now you know why do we call vacuum cleaners hoovers.
Either it’s a vacuum cleaner or a hoover for you, it makes no difference. It is just the legacy of the hoover vacuums of the ’70s that remain with us. Next time you meet a Britisher calling a vacuum cleaner a hoover you won’t doubt his sanity. As the term is simply a convention that makes no actual difference.