People can now shop for goods online. This makes online shopping more famous than shopping in physical stores.
Generally speaking the following meanings apply:
However, there are several other meanings you need to consider.
Michael Jackson is famous, meaning a lot of people know who he is. As well as being famous, Michael Jackson is also popular, meaning a lot of people like him and people continue to listen to his music. MJ is both famous and popular even though he is already dead.
A less common use of famous and popular would be with reference to certain examples of food. These are often associated with a particular place or person, possibly within a limited geographical area.
Honey from Papua
Papuan Honey (from Papua) is well-known (famous), at least in Indonesia, and is also well-liked (popular).
Gudeg Yu Djum
Gudeg – a meat dish conceived by Mrs Yu Djum – is also famous and popular, at least in Indonesia.
Titi DJ and Indra Lesmana
A person or a thing can be famous and popular, but their popularity may not last. This is particularly true in the world of music. In Indonesia during the 1980s pop stars Indra Lesmana and Titi DJ achieved wide popularity with the song Expresi. Today their names are still familiar, but few people listen to their music. They are still famous but no longer popular.
Pop singer Gary Glitter was famous during the 1970s but is now infamous, at least in the UK. He was very popular during the 70s, but as people started to listen to newer artists he became less popular over time.
More recently Gary Glitter became very unpopular when he was convicted of paedophilia in Thailand. When somebody is well-known but unpopular because of bad behaviour, they are said to be infamous. Other, more extreme examples of infamous people include Hitler and Sadam Hussain.
Abstract nouns are usually not said to be famous, although they may be popular (well-liked). Examples include:
Returning to our opening example, shopping (abstract) may be popular but it cannot be famous.