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Old 03-01-2017, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
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This week on another online forum I frequent, someone used the term "davenport" when describing the furniture arrangement in her living room. I know it means couch or sofa only because I learned that when I was in the 5th grade or so, but in all my life I've never heard anyone use it - and I'm middle-aged! Where does that come from, I wonder? I grew up calling it a couch. Another poster on that forum was talking about her "settee." To see people use words like davenport and settee is so odd to me, as if we've stepped back in time.

I also know two people who say "you might could" instead of "you could" or "you might want to," which is the weirdest thing to hear. "Might could" doesn't make any sense! I think they are both originally from the South.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:27 PM
 
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In Milwaukee they call a drinking fountain a bubbler.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:01 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
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In St. Louis hoosier doesn't refer to someone from Indiana, but rather it is a derogatory insult that's akin to white trash. It's probably not as much of an insult as white trash, however.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:56 PM
 
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Back in my old days a "hodad" was a surfer that didn't surf, just liked to hang out at the beach, wear Hawaiian shirts, generally associate himself with surf culture. An earlier generation had coined the term as an insult, but in junior high and high school of the '70s it was no such negative identifier.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,533 posts, read 1,617,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citychik View Post
This week on another online forum I frequent, someone used the term "davenport" when describing the furniture arrangement in her living room. I know it means couch or sofa only because I learned that when I was in the 5th grade or so, but in all my life I've never heard anyone use it - and I'm middle-aged! Where does that come from, I wonder? I grew up calling it a couch. Another poster on that forum was talking about her "settee." To see people use words like davenport and settee is so odd to me, as if we've stepped back in time.
"Settee" is probably a corruption of the word "seat", so I can see some connection there. "Davenport" is just odd, though; to me, it's a city in Iowa, not furniture to sit on. (Although technically, you can sit on the sidewalks in Davenport, IA. )

It gets even weirder with words like "chesterfield" or "divan". "Chesterfield" sounds British and slightly pretentious. "Divan" is weirder still; it sounds like the exact Russian word for "couch"!

Makes me wonder why there are so many words for a banal piece of furniture. Any guesses?
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,157 posts, read 19,805,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
"Settee" is probably a corruption of the word "seat", so I can see some connection there. "Davenport" is just odd, though; to me, it's a city in Iowa, not furniture to sit on. (Although technically, you can sit on the sidewalks in Davenport, IA. )

It gets even weirder with words like "chesterfield" or "divan". "Chesterfield" sounds British and slightly pretentious. "Divan" is weirder still; it sounds like the exact Russian word for "couch"!

Makes me wonder why there are so many words for a banal piece of furniture. Any guesses?
Is Divan pronounced as doo-vey?
My buddies GF said to hand her my doo-vey and she was talking about my comforter. I was like at first. LOL

In New Orleans people say neutral ground and not median. People will automatically know you're a tourist if you say median.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Is Divan pronounced as doo-vey?
My buddies GF said to hand her my doo-vey and she was talking about my comforter. I was like at first. LOL
In Russian, if my knowledge serves me correctly, it's pronounced [dee-VAHN], not unlike the name Devon. I even have a colleague who speaks Russian, and he used to laugh at the name Devon Avenue in Chicago. Perhaps you were thinking French?
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Denver
14,157 posts, read 19,805,340 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
In Russian, if my knowledge serves me correctly, it's pronounced [dee-VAHN], not unlike the name Devon. I even have a colleague who speaks Russian, and he used to laugh at the name Devon Avenue in Chicago. Perhaps you were thinking French?
I'm not sure. Maybe it's a cajun thing.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
I'm not sure. Maybe it's a cajun thing.
Not impossible. The word pronounced [doo-VEY] is spelled "duvet". That's definitely French, which has a connection to Cajun.
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Old 03-01-2017, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Noo Yawk, Noo Yawk
625 posts, read 1,355,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
It gets even weirder with words like "chesterfield" or "divan". "Chesterfield" sounds British and slightly pretentious. "Divan" is weirder still; it sounds like the exact Russian word for "couch"!
Chesterfield is a particular type of sofa, not another word for any kind of sofa. There are numerous types, based on the styles of their arms, back, detached cushions or not, types of legs, tufted cushions, whether the arms and back are the same height, and so on. There's also a Lawson, Camelback, Tuxedo, English Rolled-Arm (my fave), sectional, Chaise Longue, Cabriole, etc.

A Chesterfield has deep button-tufting, arms and back the same height, and is usually made of leather but also often of velvet. It's a very English style.

This is a classic Chesterfield:


As for the word "settee," I always think of a settee as something like an upholstered garden bench, not really a sofa or couch, just something light for brief seating, but I think people do use it to mean a couch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_himself View Post
Is Divan pronounced as doo-vey?
My buddies GF said to hand her my doo-vey and she was talking about my comforter. I was like at first. LOL
No, she was saying "duvet," pronounced doo-VAY. A duvet is like a comforter but... better. Duvets are always made of down or down and feathers and need a duvet cover that you buy separately. A comforter can be filled with either down or other materials and sometimes comes with its own non-removable cover. Duvets are generally of a higher quality than comforters.

Last edited by citychik; 03-01-2017 at 10:25 PM..
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