The next time you’re resting in your living room, ask yourself a question. Why is your ideal place to relax called a couch? Who named that couch, or the bureau or grandfather clock? Also, why do some pieces of furniture have various names? Exploring the roots of furniture names can often share something about their past. We’ll continue to develop our English vocabulary, and in this post, we bring you How 5 Pieces of Furniture Got Their Names.
Let’s start with your comfy couch, which is also described a sofa, a divan, and a settee. Couches first became popular in the 17th century, and the name comes from the old French coucher, purporting to lie down. Early couches were meant for sleeping as well as resting. While couch is the name for this furnishing in the U.S., in England it is known as a sofa. That name derives from the Arabic soffa, which is a proposed part of the floor that’s augmented with carpet and pillows.
The original Old French warderobe or garderobe named a room where the clothes of the mighty powerful were safeguarded alongside gold and other valuables. The room included places for clinging clothes as well as stocking cupboards and storage places. Eventually, the wardrobe became a self-standing bit of furniture, and the word was also used to explain the clothes accommodated within that piece of furniture.
Before there were beds or blow-up beds for sleepovers, fitting in a few slumbering bodies needed a trundle bed. The word trundle means movement and these beds on wheels moved out of under a higher bed.
During the middle ages, children might rest in the pull-out trundle bed put under the massive bed where the head of the family slept. Even the rich and mighty did not sleep alone, as their slaves slept near them able to help and protect them. The trundle bed was first mentioned in 16th-century writings.
Grandfather clocks may be located in your grandfather’s residence, but that’s not the real cause these long, encased clocks got their title and names. The real reason behind this name is a song. In 1875, an American songwriter-Henry Clay Work stayed at the George Hotel in North Yorkshire while touring England. He saw a big pendulum clock in the hall that no longer run. After enquiring, the hotel owners informed him that the hotel had earlier owned by two brothers and that when one brother died, the clock turns less reliable. When the other brother expired, it entirely stopped, and could not be restored. Work composed a song on the clock, “My Grandfather’s Clock,” in 1876. The song sold over a million copies and had been filmed many times.
This lightweight folding chair does invoke the recollection of the Hollywood producers of the 1920s, who made it famous, but the design records back to the harder, more comprehensive chairs used by 15th-century creators of coffers or chests. That chair was in turn incited by the Roman curule chair. The lightweight and compact curule chair went to China along the Silk Road and was adopted by the Chinese as a military chair in the second century CE. The folding chair was logically cast as a director’s chair since it was so trouble-free to move on site. Sitting in “the director’s chair” meant creative control.