Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 20:54:38 +1608


Subject: Re: offload

Funny! My perception is just the opposite. I know I have heard "offload"

quite a bit, without remarking on it as new, though I suppose it is. The

meaning was always the same as "unload" in its literal sense. (Sorry, I

can't supply any specific citations.) But I have known "unload" in the

meaning "palm off on someone who out of politeness or naivete will be

unable to resist" for a long time.

I've heard 'offload' on TV news and elsewhere for some time, particularly

in situations like the beer truck having been disabled by an accident. The

context seems to refer to "moving the load from one vehicle to another." I

think I've also heard it to refer to transferring the load to a dock or

warehouse for later removal to its ultimate destination. When the goods

get to the final destination, they are unloaded. If they had unloaded the

beer truck, the cases would be sitting beside the road.