Sunday, November 24, 2019

Synonyms for Sofa

Synonyms for Sofa Synonyms for Sofa Synonyms for Sofa By Mark Nichol The item of furniture that is usually the centerpiece of a living room or family room or a lobby or waiting room goes by any one of many names, but they have useful distinctions in meaning. Here’s a rundown of sofa and its associated terms. Sofa, ultimately from Arabic, originally denoted a raised carpeted floor, but it is now the primary term in American English for a long piece of furniture for seating. (A sectional sofa, often called simply a sectional, is formed from multiple pieces, two of which join at an angle so that the furniture can be placed in the corner of a room.) A settee- the relatively rare term stems from the Old English word setl- is a sofa, often with fewer cushions or none at all, with a back and (usually) arms. Couch, ultimately from the Latin word collocare, meaning â€Å"lay or place,† is interchangeable with sofa but originally referred to a piece of furniture for lying down that was backless, with only the head raised. It is still used in this sense in reference to furniture on which a psychiatrist’s patient lies during a session. (â€Å"Casting couch† alludes to the practice in which a film or theater producer seduces someone on the piece of furniture in exchange for giving that person a role.) Couch is also a verb with a seemingly unrelated meaning; originally, it referred to inlaying or overlaying gold, but it has also long had a sense of â€Å"put into words,† with the idea that a message is worded in such a way to obscure the truth or influence perception. Canapà ©, adopted into English from French to refer to an elegantly styled sofa, derives from the Greek word for mosquito or gnat; it originally referred to a mosquito net. (The English word canopy is cognate, and canapà ©, referring to a type of appetizer, was inspired by the furniture term.) Squab, of Scandinavian origin, is an obscure synonym for couch that can also refer to a cushion. The love seat, originally designed hundreds of years ago to accommodate one woman during an era when fashion dictated voluminous apparel, evolved into a piece of furniture that seated two people- often, a couple, hence the name. (It was also known as a courting chair.) A variation on the love seat is the tà ªtetà ªte (the term, French for â€Å"head to head,† also refers to a private two-way conversation), which seats two people facing in opposite directions and separated by an S-shaped armrest. A davenport (the name is that of a now-defunct furniture company that produced such furniture) is a large sofa that may or may not be able to be converted into a bed; the term is used primarily in the Midwest and in upstate New York, though it may refer elsewhere to a futon-style sofa. (Davenport is also the name of a compact writing desk such as that also manufactured by the same company.) The traditional Japanese futon is a portable mattress, but in the United States and other Western countries, futon refers to a sofa topped with a cushion that can be unfolded to form a mattress when the frame is adjusted to serve as a bed. A chesterfield, meanwhile, is a davenport with upright armrests. The name, which survives primarily in Canada but also, interestingly, in Northern California, derives from an earl of Chesterfield who commissioned a style of furniture that became popular during the 1700s. (Chesterfield is also the name of a type of overcoat with a velvet collar.) Several other terms denote convertible sofas: A daybed is a bed designed to be used as a sofa, a sofa bed is a sofa that can be unfolded to form a bed, and a studio couch- the name derives from the use of studio to refer to a small one-room apartment, not an artist’s chamber- is a backless couch with a cot that can be pulled out from underneath it and fitted alongside the couch to form a double bed. A divan, meanwhile- the word derives ultimately from the Persian word for a book or a bundle of papers and later a government council- is a seat that is often armless and/or backless. (In the United Kingdom, the term refers to a type of bed.) Similar items designed for one person include the fainting couch, a small, narrow fully or partially backless sofa with one end raised. (The name originated in the nineteenth century, supposedly when constricting corsets required that such furniture be conveniently located for a woman short of breath to recline and recuperate.) A recamier (named after the subject of a painting in which such an item appeared) resembles the fainting chair but is distinguished by having a curved high headrest and a matching low footrest. The chaise longue is a reclinable chair extended to provide support for the legs. (The second word is often spelled or at least pronounced in American English like lounge, though the term is French for â€Å"long chair.†) An ottoman, though not technically a sofa, is often an accessory to one or to a chair; it is a backless, armless seat on which one can sit or put up one’s feet. Originally, the name applied to a couch for reclining, a style inspired by habits observed in the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century. Bench, related to bank and with multiple meanings, refers in this context to a long, usually hard seat for two or more people. A banquette (the word, from French, is a diminutive of banc, meaning â€Å"bench†) is an upholstered bench, often built in along a wall, or a sofa with one arm. (The term also refers to a raised surface along a parapet or a trench used in warfare to accommodate soldiers to fire guns over the barrier; in Southern US dialect, it is also a synonym for sidewalk.) Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! Keep learning! Browse the Vocabulary category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:50 Synonyms for â€Å"Leader†The Writing Process75 Synonyms for â€Å"Hard†

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