A satchel is a bag, often with a strap. The strap is often worn so that it diagonally crosses the body, with the bag hanging on the opposite hip, rather than hanging directly down from the shoulder. They are traditionally used for carrying books.
The main difference between a satchel and a briefcase is that a satchel is soft-sided. Also, satchels often are smaller in size and have straps while briefcases usually don't.
Satchels worn by man are often humorously called "Man Purse" due to their similar design to some of the woman purses.
The satchel became a fashion accessory and was popular during the 17th century. The satchel predates the backpack. Satchels are important element of metro-sexual and then hipster fashion. Satchels can be worn both by man and woman.
In popular culture 
In literature, the satchel is often associated with the classic image of the English schoolboy: "And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel" is a phrase from Shakespeare's monologue All the world's a stage.
In their song "Jennifer Eccles", The Hollies sing about "carrying her satchel".
The satchel is referenced in the movie The Hangover, where the character Alan Garner says "it's not a man purse, it's called a satchel. Indiana Jones wears one." The bag he was actually carrying was a Roots Village Bag. Following the attention due to the movie, Roots released a larger bag, called simply The Satchel, however the design of both the Village Bag and The Satchel are not the same as the traditional satchel.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Satchels|
- Satchel, merriam-webster.com, Accessed 28 October 2009
- Satchel, thefreedictionary.com, Accessed 28 October 2009
- Traditional satchel company
- TheRaider.net - Research - Indy's Gear - The Shoulder Bag
- Memorable Quotes from The Hangover, IMDB.com, Accessed October 29, 2009
- Village Bag on the Silver Screen, roots.com, Accessed Oct 29, 2009
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