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#16621 - 01/26/01 10:05 AM Re: "monkey wrench"
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Parlor
The parlor, in the USA, is indeed an archaic vestige of the olden days when a ceremonial room was needed, even in the smallest houses. In a city house, or a town house or row house, however you call it, this was usually the room at the front facing the street. It contained formal furniture, upholstered in black horsehair in Victorian times, a small center table, and a piano. Unless someone had to practice on the piano, it was entered only once a week, to dust. It was used only when the parson called, and for funerals, and therefore was not heated except on those occasions, the door being shut and the curtains drawn nearly all the time. In old neighborhoods hereabouts, this customs still survives. Old people still don't use the front room (which is generally what they call it now, although there are still some who call it the parlor) exacept to entertain visitors, even though they live in a house 9 feet wide with only 3 rooms and a kitchen on the ground floor.


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#16622 - 01/26/01 10:07 AM Folks/parlor/closet
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
Several generations of my family, from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, have always used "folks." I was unaware that the term was unusual elsewhere. "Folks" is used to refer to people generally, or to specify parents. In the early years of my marriage, I was caught between being uncomfortable addressing my in-laws by first name (since they had never indicated to me that I should) or addressing them by honorific and surname (which I was sure would offend them as well, as inappropriately formal and distant), and finally settled on addressing them not at all if I could avoid it, or when unavoidable (such as in the greeting in a letter), as "folks."

Parlors definitely remain. In current practice hereabouts, a formal room at the front of the house, usually smallish compared to the great room or family room, is often called the parlor.

And, oh yes, closets! Practically the biggest concern of a homebuyer is how many closets, and how big? What other terms are there for built-in enclosed storage areas?


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#16623 - 01/26/01 10:31 AM Re: Folks/parlor/closet
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>And, oh yes, closets! Practically the biggest concern of a homebuyer is how many closets, and how big? What other terms are there for built-in enclosed storage areas?

>Where else would i have my clothes?

As far as I know definitely not in a closet, although I remember them being much discussed in Pride and Prejudice & Sense and Sensibility, so they must have been stored there within living memory.

We have wardrobes, either great big wooden wardrobes or modern/retro fitted wardrobe built into the room. Cupboards are also used for clothes, some are freestanding but some were built as part of the house, especially those strangely shaped cupboards under the stairs Harry Potter's address in book 1 is "The Cupboard Under The Stairs".

In Edinburgh (and probably elsewhere in Scotland for all I know), there are cupboards called presses. The ones that I have seen have doors like the internal doors of the house and are not very deep, maybe about as deep as a chimney breast.

My father talks about the house where he grew up having a parlour in the way described previously, it was dusted but never used. He now considers this to be ridiculous as there were three children in the house and very little space but supposes that it was a matter of "pride" (and very probably prejudice). I can't say that I have ever seen a parlour (or a closet) mentioned in an estate agents, it all sounds a bit "Merchant Ivory" to me!


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#16624 - 01/26/01 10:36 AM Re: whilst
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>Which is getting to the point of my question. Thank you, Jo. Now, would you say "just stay in the car while I pop into the post office"? If not, why not?

The answer is yes, I would.

The reason? I don't think I would choose to say either (or even either note minor pronunciation difference). It would just come out of my mouth, in the same way that most everyday language does. I'd say that it was on a "whim" but it doesn't even reach that level of consciousness!


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#16625 - 01/26/01 10:45 AM Re: clothes in the cupboard??
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
In with the dishes or in with the food??? And clothes on top or beneath???


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#16626 - 01/26/01 10:54 AM Thanks for the info, Jo
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
We really do need a resident linguist on this board. [sighing resignedly emoticon]


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#16627 - 01/26/01 11:00 AM Thank God!
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Thank God--finally, posts that talk about the way we live,
and that are focused on LANGUAGE!
Thank you, jmh, of troy, Faldage, Sparteye, and Bob, from the bottom of my heart.
=========================================================
Bob, your description of a parlor matches exactly my understanding of what one is, from "Anne of Green Gables".
My aunt on the farm had a front room, but no closets.
I would not keep my clothes in a cupboard: those are for storing food, if one doesn't have a pantry! Though even that word is going out of use around here: most people say cabinet, as in: "Look in the third cabinet, and you'll see the spices". My friend in Pittsburgh, though,
says cupboard for kitchen cabinet.


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#16628 - 01/26/01 11:04 AM Re: Folks/parlor/closet
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
In US a wardrobe is a collection of clothes-- (i have a large wardrobe--I own over 20 skirts!) and occationally would be used by grandparents to define an Armoire-- a large free standing piece of furnature to hang clothes in.

cupboards-- is used (but pronounces closer to cub birds)--but mostly cabinet is used (i have new cabinets in the kitchen, ie,) and a free standing kitchen cabinet might be a hooser-- a cabinet with short legs, (6 to 8 inches) topped with a storage space behind 2 doors- on top of that, two deep drawers. Then there would be a work surface-- sometimes covered in tin. above the work surface, some more cabinets-- shallower then the ones below-- Some hoosers had one cabinet above, and to one side, a large built in bin to store flour-- at the bottom of the bin-- a built in sifter-- the sifter would deliver the flour to the work surface. the whole thing would be about 5 foot high-- sometimes a little higher-- but never more than 6 feet high-- and about 3 feet wide, with a depth of about 20 to 24 inches. They could be very ornate-- with fancy glass in the panels on the doors of the upper cabinet.

Old ones are very popular now-- and very expensive!

If you are lucky-- you might have a pantry in your kitchen-- or near it-- Like the cooler WoW mentioned in an other thread, it was a large (floor to ceiling) area-- sometimes big enough to walk in--with shelves for storing dishes, and food items. Country homes often had a root celler too, (my first house had an old Coal room-- from when the house was heated with coal- it had been retro fitted with a gas fired boiler (for steam heat))

Estate house's(mansions) would have a butlers pantry-- a room half way between kitchen and dining room (sometime part of the passageway/hall way between the rooms) that has many shelfs for dishes, serving pieces, silverware.

I heard of a press-- and knew it to mean a kind of closet-- but i never hear the word used here-- (press is a verb-- to iron, and Presser would be a person who has the job of ironing (say at a large commercial laundry).

Under my stair way is a trianglar storage area-- its a closet--of course! I keep my brooms, and mops, and cleaning stuff in a broom closet, too.

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#16629 - 01/26/01 11:09 AM Re: clothes in the cupboard??
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>In with the dishes or in with the food??? And clothes on top or beneath???

No, no, no. My food cupboards are in the kitchen, the rest of the cupboards are dotted around the house.



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#16630 - 01/26/01 11:11 AM Re: Folks/parlor/closet
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
In reply to:

maybe about as deep as a chimney breast.


I knew exactly what you meant-- but i don't think the space would every be defined that way in US-- Well not in NY for sure!

in many of the older house's in NE, and NY, you'd try to avoid having clothes near the chimney-- since the unlined chimneys would leak creasote-- NYC houses, tended to have coal fires-- less creasote-- but all the walls near chimney of ex's grandparents house had stains.



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my other obsession

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