Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 20:54:38 +1608
From: "Donald M. Lance" engdl[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU
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.