1764, "the act or practice of visiting shops for the purpose of examining and purchasing goods," a verbal noun from shop (v.). The meaning "goods that have been purchased" is attested by 1934.
Shopping bag is attested from 1864; shopping cart by 1929. Shopping list, of purchases to be made or stores to be visited, is by 1874; transferred and figurative use is by 1959. The modern shopping center is attested by 1933. Shopping day "day in which stores are open" is by 1859; specifically in advertisements announcing the time remaining to purchase Christmas gifts, by 1881.
Twenty-One Days Only and Christmas will be here. Deduct Three (Sundays) leaves Eighteen Shopping Days. Again deduct Six Days (the last) monopolized by the Grand Army of Put-Offs, leaves but 12 DAYS in which Common-Sense Customers may buy their Holiday Gifts in Comfort, Convenience and Pleasure. [from an advertisement for Rosenbaum's store, Philadelphia Times, Dec. 4, 1881]
updated on October 09, 2022