Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Couches again

My brother, after reading my couch entry, sent me this email:


Nice couch! Did you ever wonder how we came to call a cushioned pew a couch? I can't find it or Davenport in my etymological dictionary. It must come from the French Coucher, to lie down. Sofa? Sofa comes from Arabic or Turkish. A davenport is 'a large sofa.' Websters claims this usage is U.S. Only. In the UK a davenport is a small writing desk. A davenport table is a 'a narrow table with drawers, having drop leaves at both ends,placed in front of or behind a sofa. Also called sofa table.' Davenport would make a great name for the protagonist of a gothic novel. "Roger Davenport rode to hounds the day following his wife's suicide."
Hoping I've answered all unasked questions,
John

Does anyone know the origins of the word davenport? I suppose it isn't a huge leap from sofa table to the sofa itself. The only person I ever knew who actually used the word, referring to a couch, was my grandmother. And since I boldly displayed a picture of our shamefully shabby old couch, I now present the new Crabstick living room ensemble.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh. loverly! Did you take advantage of the summer sale at Bassett? Would love to know where you shopped as I'm in the market for some furniture, myself.

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