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#199458 - 04/27/11 10:59 PM A board question
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
My favorite television cook used the word cupboard today, and that got me thinking about a couple of things:

1.) is there a difference between a cupboard and a cabinet;

2.) she pronounced it cubberd, as I guess most people do, which reminded me of clapboard which is pronouced here as clabberd (not to be confused with clabbered, as with milk);

3.) how did board come into both of these uses? I presume cupboard originated from being near the board, or table, but I don't really know this, let alone the clapboard connection (if there is one).

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#199459 - 04/28/11 03:29 AM Re: A board question [Re: Jackie]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 821
Loc: Alaska
1) I think that cupboard and cabinet are nearly interchangeable, certainly in kitchen use; Otherwise, a cabinet might tend to be a bit fancier, perhaps more for display purposes than simple storage.

2) The pronunciations I use are cubberd and clabberd, although CLAP-board is not unknown. I've never heard CUP-board except humorously.

3) I believe that the board in cupboard is a shelf on which cups are set or stored; clapboard is overlapping wooden siding for a building, so, again, it's literally a board.

Peter

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#199464 - 04/28/11 10:52 AM Re: A board question [Re: Tromboniator]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6488
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
I use cabinet, seldom cupboard, except when trying to be very
specific about something to someone.
_________________________
----please, draw me a sheep----

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#199467 - 04/28/11 12:06 PM Re: A board question [Re: Jackie]
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10522
Loc: this too shall pass
I hadn't considered this before now, but I seem to use cupboard for the shelving in our pantry, which look very much like our kitchen cabinets.

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#199469 - 04/28/11 08:39 PM Re: A board question [Re: Tromboniator]
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
clapboard is overlapping wooden siding for a building, so, again, it's literally a board. Hey--so named, perhaps, because you grab each board and clap it up against the house?

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#199477 - 04/29/11 05:12 AM Re: A board question [Re: Jackie]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 821
Loc: Alaska
Merriam-Webster:
Partial translation of Dutch klaphout : klappen, to split, crack + Middle Dutch holt, board

Oxford Dictionaries:
early 16th century (denoting a piece of oak used for barrel staves or wainscot): partial translation of Low German klappholt 'barrel stave', from klappen 'to crack' + holt 'wood'

But yeah, Jackie, I think you're right.

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#199484 - 04/29/11 11:04 AM Re: A board question [Re: Tromboniator]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6488
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
Asking some people here whom I know, they seem to see a
cupboard as a free-standing piece of furniture with doors,
either wooden or glass. A cabinet seems to be used for an enclosed
place for dishes and the like, attached to a wall. This is just
the opinions I've found in this part of the world.
_________________________
----please, draw me a sheep----

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#199491 - 04/29/11 12:42 PM Re: A board question [Re: LukeJavan8]
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891
Hmmm. These words are used differently here in Québec, L.J.

A cabinet is either;

1) a free-standing movable piece of furniture with drawers or compartments used for storage of household things - usually things important to you.
2) as you mention, storage compartments attached to the wall in the kitchen for placing dishes.
3) a doctor or lawyer's office
4) the group of ministers in the parliament.
(in French it is also used to mean the toilet room)

And a cupboard is always a storage space with a door, the size of a closet with shelves to store kitchen stuff (non-perishable foods, pots and pans, etc.) I've never seen cups in a cupboard. Those are always in the cabinets.

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#199494 - 04/29/11 02:10 PM Re: A board question [Re: belMarduk]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 6488
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
I pretty much see the same as you.
_________________________
----please, draw me a sheep----

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#199496 - 04/29/11 04:47 PM Re: A board question [Re: LukeJavan8]
Tromboniator Offline
old hand

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 821
Loc: Alaska
Interesting. I have just realized that if I am talking about the installed structures, whether they be on a wall or under a counter, they are cabinets, but if I refer to them as storage spaces they are cupboards. My kitchen has brown cabinets, but the dishes are in the cupboard over the microwave. Otherwise, a cabinet is a free-standing piece of furniture with doors. It may have drawers as well, but if it has only drawers it's not a cabinet. A closet-like small room is always a closet, unless it's it's a pantry, which need not be small. I've never known such a room as a cupboard. I need to ask some friends about their usage.

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