[LMB] commodes

athagan at atlantic.net athagan at atlantic.net
Tue Sep 16 13:44:24 BST 2008


Quoting Elizabeth Holden <azurite at rogers.com>:

> Some words have just too many meanings. Some pieces of furniture   
> have just too many names.

I suspect that couch, sofa, settee, and davenport (did I forget one?)  
all do have specific meanings for a given type of furniture, but in  
the modern day English speaking world they've all been more or less  
conflated together to the point that few outside of furniture  
historians would rememember what they were originally specifically  
about.

Commode as a cabinet containing a chamber pot or a stand with a bowl  
(with accompanying pitcher) I knew about, but not as a low chest of  
drawers.

We use everyone's furniture from around the world and across all the  
ages, but their names are like the tags at Bilbo's birthday party -  
highly likely to get swapped around to the point tha no one knows what  
went with what any longer.

.....Alan.



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