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In many places, people on the roadside have a small display of the products. It's not a proper shop where you have to open a door to get in; it's just like a roadside street shop.

I am not sure what to call these shops. Is there a good one word that describes them?

5 Answers 5

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They are usually known as stalls in the UK. If they form part of a bigger market then market stall. The owner is a stall holder

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    Here's a written usage chart showing that even in the American corpus, stall has edged out stand in recent decades. (And here's the equivalent British chart conclusively backing up your first sentewnce! :) Jan 9, 2023 at 13:55
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    Just because a Google search term is becoming more popular than another doesn't mean it's "edging out" another in any sense. In American English, a stand is typically by itself as in "stand-alone". In rural/suburban environments flower/fruit stands are commonplace roadside. A stall on the other hand is found in a series of other shops. Examples are at farmers markets, street fairs, and "food halls" where various produce and goods are sold, usually from under a pop-up canopy. Jan 9, 2023 at 18:18
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    The Google trend may simply be a representation of the growing trend in farmers markets and food halls in the US. US usage of "farmers market" and "food hall" according to Google. It could be that English speaking Europeans have longer practiced the concept of temporary street markets. It's also reasonable that the UK has less roadside stands, since there are less rural areas. In American English, "stall" is not a replacement for "stand". Jan 9, 2023 at 18:24
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In the US we'd call it a stand. The most popular example, children selling lemonade from a table set up in their yard is a lemonade stand. Also common, a shack by a sidewalk selling magazines is a newsstand. But anything works -- "watermelon stand" gave me a video about watermelons being sold outside.

It works alone, as well. If you want corn, I could say "I think there are some stands down the road".

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    Other specific examples would include a "hot dog stand" or a "news stand". I never hear any of these referred to as "stalls". "Stall" to me suggest a wider variety of goods available, and possibly more of a semi-permanent setup than a mere stand. Also, a stall might provide some shelter from rain and sun for its proprietor and possibly its customers, while a stand can be just a table in the open air. Jan 9, 2023 at 15:43
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    @DarrelHoffman a stall is one among many in a marketplace. Stands are, well, stand-alone.
    – RonJohn
    Jan 9, 2023 at 19:28
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If the vendor is in a wheeled vehicle that they parked to turn it into a storefront, it’s a cart. Here on the west coast of the United States, there are lots of food carts parked semi-permanently, for months or years at a time, in long-term parking lots.

A commenter pointed out that this is regional, and in the rest of the United States, a parked motor vehicle that sells food would be a food truck instead. On the East Coast, only vendors’ pushcarts are street carts.

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    Hmmm...a food cart seems to mean an actual cart selling ready-to-eat generally cooked foods -- like a hotdog cart. Actual trucks are called food trucks, around here at least. Of course, we have apple carts, but again I think only when it's a literal cart. Also, while looking for pictures of "watermelon stand", I found a picture of them being sold from the back of a truck. Jan 9, 2023 at 14:39
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    Hot dog, pretzel & peanut carts have been staples on NYC streets for decades - probably from 1800s...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 9, 2023 at 17:22
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    @owen It seems to be a regional thing. “Food trucks flourish in Portland’s culinary scene, though in Portland they are called food carts. With hundreds throughout the city, Portland’s food-cart scene is legendary.”
    – Davislor
    Jan 9, 2023 at 21:17
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    Very regional, perhaps. In Seattle, 200mi N of Portland, they're definitely food trucks. (We've got lots of regional terms in US English - I'm still looking for people - and they definitely exist - who drink soda "pop" ... Personally, I drink "cokes" (no matter the flavor, no matter the brand).
    – davidbak
    Jan 10, 2023 at 16:43
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    @davidbak For “soda pop,” try Wisconsin?
    – Davislor
    Jan 10, 2023 at 17:15
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Owen Reynolds is correct that "stand" is used both for permanent roadside establishments, often selling fresh fruits and vegetables grown by the sellers, and for temporary places. But a temporary place selling hand-made goods or a variety of things under a canopy is called a "booth." This is the term used in an open-air market during a celebration (our "Pecan Street Festival"), or a place that sells beer during a outside concert, or at a flea market. At least that's what we call it in Austin, TX, and I've worked in one.

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    +1 for adding "booth" Jan 9, 2023 at 13:43
  • It seems to me that booth is for indoors, but a big tent (or canopy) feels indoorsy. "Let's check out this stand -- I'm going to look for a booth with carrots" seems natural. Jan 9, 2023 at 14:33
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    Is this a regional thing? In my upper-Midwestern experience, a farmers market or flea market would consist of multiple "stalls" whereas a "booth" is what I might call something at an indoor convention, conference, or trade show.
    – DotCounter
    Jan 9, 2023 at 18:08
  • It might be regional. "Booth" is used for the indoor locations you describe as well.
    – Wastrel
    Jan 10, 2023 at 15:04
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Another possible term is kiosk.

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    While 'kiosk' was also the first word that came to mind for me, after some more thought I would say that like 'booth' it is likely to only apply in an indoor setting. Especially a shopping mall. Jan 11, 2023 at 6:14
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    @SoronelHaetir Kiosks can easily be outside. I buy bus tickets at them. But they are usually permanent, immobile structures, and so may not fit OP's use.
    – Kirt
    Jan 11, 2023 at 18:22
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    I believe that "kiosk" is the preferred term in Ghana.
    – AdrianHHH
    Jan 11, 2023 at 20:04
  • @SoronelHaetir Agreed, in the UK kiosk is often used for a permanent structure (inside or out) for purchasing tickets. We also have very small, permanent, stand alone (usually 1 man) shops erected in the street, or possibly in a large store, offering a single service such as mobile phone accessories, shoe repair, or similar. Feb 3, 2023 at 12:37

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