Carry Around: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
December 27, 2023

The phrase "carry around" is often used to describe the act of having or holding something with you as you move from one place to another. It can refer to physical objects that one might possess, like a bag or a book. It can also be used figuratively to talk about emotions, memories, or burdens that one might "carry" with them mentally or emotionally.

In short:

  • It refers to having or holding something with you as you move.
  • It can be used for physical objects and figuratively for emotions or memories.

What Does "Carry Around" Mean?

When someone says they "carry around" something, they mean they have it with them, usually wherever they go. For instance, you might say, "I always carry around a water bottle," to express that you always have one. On a deeper level, someone might say, "She carries around a lot of guilt," to describe someone who constantly feels guilty about something from their past.

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • It describes the act of having something with you, often at all times.
  • You use the phrase to express that something is always in your possession or mind.
  • People often "carry around" essential items like keys, wallets, or phones.
  • Someone might "carry around" feelings, memories, or burdens in a more emotional context.
  • Similar phrases include "have on hand," "keep with you," and "hold onto."

Where Does "Carry Around" Come From?

The origin of the phrase "carry around" is quite straightforward. It combines "carry," which means to hold or support while moving, with "around," indicating movement in a general area or place. Its use expanded from physical items to emotional or mental burdens. While it's hard to pinpoint when this phrase became popular, it's been a part of everyday language for many years.

10 Examples of "Carry Around" in Sentences

To help you understand when to use this phrase, let's look at some examples from various situations:

  •  I always carry around my trusty notebook.
  • After buying the new headphones, he carried them around everywhere he went.
  • Travelers often carry around a map to help them navigate unfamiliar cities.
  • My bad, I always carry that charger around, but I forgot it today.
  • That sucks; you have to carry around that heavy suitcase all day.
  • He carries around the same old backpack everywhere he goes.
  • She watched a video that carried her around the world, showing different cultures and traditions.
  • He carries around a photo of his family in his wallet.
  • When they went hiking, they carried around a first aid kit for safety.
  • Misery loves company, and just like you, many of us carry around the weight of our past mistakes.

Examples of "Carry Around" in Pop Culture

This phrase also appears in pop culture, often illustrating someone's attachment to an item or memory.

Let's explore some examples:

  • In an online article on James Clear’s website, the author explains: “A mental model is an overarching term for any sort of concept, framework, or worldview that you carry around in your mind. Mental models help you understand life.”
  • The song “Things I Carry Around” by Troy Cassar-Daley is part of the album with the same title.

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Carry Around"

Here are some alternative phrases that convey a similar idea:

  • Hold onto
  • Keep with you
  • Bring along
  • Have on hand
  • Take with you
  • Hold with you
  • Keep on you
  • Bring with you
  • Hold close
  • Keep close

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Carry Around":

  • What does "carry around" mean?

"Carry around" means to have or hold something with you as you move from place to place. It can refer to physical items or even thoughts and feelings.

  • How can I use "carry around" in a sentence?

You can use it to describe having something with you. For example: "She always carries around a water bottle to stay hydrated," or "He carries around the memory of his childhood friend.

  • Is it a common phrase in everyday language?

Yes, "carry around" is a common phrase used in everyday conversations to describe having something with you regularly.

  • Does it only refer to physical objects?

No, while it often refers to physical objects, it can also describe intangible things like memories, feelings, or burdens.

  • Can "carry around" imply a burden or responsibility?

Yes, in a figurative sense, "carry around" can mean bearing a burden, responsibility, or emotional weight. For example: "He carries around the guilt of not saying goodbye."

  • Is it similar to "carry with you"?

Yes, "carry around" and "carry with you" are similar and can often be used interchangeably. Both can refer to having something on one's person or bearing an emotional weight.

  • How is it used in a figurative sense?

Figuratively, "carry around" can describe holding onto emotions, memories, or thoughts. For instance: "She carries around the joy of her first achievement."

  • Can it be used to describe habits or routines?

Yes, it can describe habits or routines, especially if someone consistently has something with them. For example: "He has a habit of carrying around a book wherever he goes."

  • Is the phrase used in any idioms or expressions?

While "carry around" itself isn't an idiom, it's often used in expressions that describe emotional baggage or burdens, like "carrying around a heavy heart."

  • Does "carry around" have any cultural references?

Not specifically, but the idea of carrying something, whether tangible or intangible, is a universal concept and can be found in stories and expressions across cultures.

Final Thoughts About "Carry Around"

The phrase "carry around" is versatile and can describe both the act of having physical items with you and the idea of holding onto emotions or memories. It's a phrase that resonates with many because of its dual meaning.

Here's a quick summary:

  • It can refer to physical items or emotional states.
  • It's a common phrase in everyday language.
  • The phrase can be used in both literal and figurative contexts.
  • It captures the idea of having something with you, whether a cherished item or an emotional burden.

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