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Posted By: musick Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 01:30 PM
Would you say 'sofa' or 'couch' (or something else)? Are they the same things? Is there a material difference or just a regional one... or some other social issue at *play?

Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 02:21 PM
I won't be able to answer your question until I be-52 (next year).

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 02:53 PM
I've used both of those, as well as davenport...

heh.

Posted By: Sparteye Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 03:15 PM
Although there might be technical distinction recognized by furniture makers or some such, I've always heard and used davenport, couch and sofa interchangably. "Loveseat", however, is reserved for couch with only room for two.

My American Heritage Dictionary defines a "couch" as a sofa which a patient lies while undergoing psychoanalysis or psychiatric treatment (Wow! That's news to me! Although, calling the multiple-occupant upholstered seats in our house "couches" now make sooo much more sense.); it defines a "sofa" as a long upholstered seat, usually with a back and arms; it defines a "davenport" as a large sofa, often convertible to a bed, or a small desk.

Posted By: nancyk Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 03:57 PM
I use sofa and couch interchangeably, and recognize (but never use) davenport. And, yes, loveseat is a small couch for two. On first reading, I thought the definition of davenport said it's a sofa that can be converted to a bed or desk - which I found rather odd! Overlooked the comma.

Posted By: Elizabeth Creith Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 09:28 PM
I've just been reading a murder mystery (about antique dealers; who knew they were such a violent bunch?)in which a davenport is described as a "vertical desk with drawers down one side". But I, too, understand it to be like "couch" (which is what I use, rather than "sofa"). I grew up with the word "chesterfield", and I understand this is a Canadian use.

Posted By: Capfka Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/21/05 09:30 PM
Interchangeable here ...

Posted By: Father Steve Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/22/05 12:58 AM
The words used to describe the large soft piece of furniture on which more than one person can sit at a time are a SECRET CODE designed to inform the listener about the educational background of the speaker. It works like this:

The thing = high school dropout

Davenport (or Daveno) = high school graduate

Couch = community college graduate

Sofa = B.A. from a state college or university

Settee = one of those Eastern colleges which admitted only women.

Chesterfield = Ivy League degree or pretensions to one



Posted By: inselpeter Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/22/05 01:27 AM
And I thought a Chesterfield didn't seat a butt.

Posted By: Faldage Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/22/05 09:42 AM
The thing = high school dropout

You have to be in awe of a group of people who can use so few words to refer to so many things and still understand each other. If it's animate it's 'dude,' if inanimate, 'thing.' The level of intelligence must be well beyond those poor folk who need to be taught in school.

Posted By: dxb Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/22/05 10:45 AM
As Cap says, sofa and couch are pretty well interchangeable here and so is settee. The OED describes a couch as having a half back with one arm at that end only, but general usage is as for sofa and has been for as long as I can remember though that could have been an import from Hollywood.

Donít know about davenport, but a chesterfield is a subset of sofa. The chesterfield sofa is a type of upholstered settee that first appeared in England in the early 19th century. The first fully upholstered and sprung sofa, it may have been named after the town in Derbyshire. More likely, it is named after the 6th Earl of Chesterfield who was something of a fop; a type of double breasted overcoat is also named after him. The chesterfield has upright (as opposed to sloping) rolled arms that come up to the same height as the back of the sofa. Chesterfields are often upholstered in leather, with buttoned backs, but fabric upholstery is also common.

It looks like this:

http://www.darlingsofchelsea.co.uk/prodpage.asp?ProdID=3


Posted By: inselpeter Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/22/05 11:17 AM
If it's animate it's 'dude,' if inanimate, 'thing.'

And then there is the hybrid "Miss Thing."

Posted By: TEd Remington the hybrid "Miss Thing - 04/22/05 11:20 AM
Can you show us a link to that?

Posted By: inselpeter Re: the hybrid "Miss Thing - 04/22/05 11:28 AM
The link, dear TEd, is missing, of course.

Posted By: belMarduk Re: the hybrid "Miss Thing - 04/23/05 12:32 AM
My grandma used to use the word chesterfield. She must have gotten the use from her first mom (her mom, who died when my grandma was pre-teen, was Irish) since it is not a very common way of calling a sofa here.

We generally use sofa and couch. In French, only sofa.

Posted By: Father Steve Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/23/05 02:42 AM
Faldage sez: " If it's animate it's 'dude.'"

I take an oath, a person appeared in front of me in the court just the other day and referred to "the mail dude" which I took to be the person who delivers the mail. At least this term avoids the problem of gender.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: diva, divan... - 04/23/05 10:55 AM
> this term avoids the problem of gender

well, maybe... dude is usually male, and there isn't really a good female version. dudette sounds like something a clarinet would say.

Posted By: Elizabeth Creith Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/23/05 11:23 AM
referred to "the mail dude" which I took to be the person who delivers the mail. At least this term avoids the problem of gender.

I say "postal person"" because I figure "mailman" is, homophonically at least, redundant. And I suffer from severe homophonophobia......

Posted By: inselpeter Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/23/05 12:13 PM
"avoids the problem gender"

problem?

And now, the post:

Overheard on the subway: one of a gaggle of girls dressed in the ritual lime-green and pink of this season calls her friends "dudes."

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: dood... - 04/23/05 12:19 PM
> calls her friends "dudes."

I sit corrected.

Posted By: Elizabeth Creith Re: dood... - 04/23/05 01:17 PM
And don't we use the term "guys" for both men and women, informally? I have friends who use "gynes" (hard "g") for women, and I kinda like it, although I'm not sure about "Guys and Gynes" as a musical...

Posted By: TEd Remington gynes - 04/23/05 07:20 PM
So a women's movement to clean up the environment would be gynecology? OUr would you call the ambiance around Bryn Mawr gyne-collegy?

Posted By: Elizabeth Creith Re: gynes - 04/23/05 09:11 PM
I love it, TEd!

Posted By: inselpeter Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/24/05 02:40 PM
One of the creeps in "Fox and His Friends" sells poor Fox, who is in over his head, a "tres-a-tres," a sort of pinwheel of three seats, an elaboration of that odd love seat with an s-shaped back and facing seats.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: sofa, so good... - 04/25/05 11:39 PM
so, has the Language Hat been reading us?

http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001863.php

Posted By: inselpeter Re: sofa, so good... - 04/26/05 12:24 AM
<<"Divan" is one of the most complicated words I know>>

And on the lips of fallen belles impostured in the North, on the Great White Way, it had the ring once of deific metaphor of that something--anything--someone jaded less, less sordid sorrowed, might in broken memory have named: "Good" -- or she, the footlit ghost of that abandoned sister on fetid gulf, in all her fragile inwardness forever always, unpeeled, "It was, my love, divan."

Posted By: Saranita Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/26/05 02:26 PM
And then there's the "Love Toilet" because "when you're in love, even five minutes apart can seem like an eternity." http://snltranscripts.jt.org/91/91gtoilet.phtml

Posted By: Jackie Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 04/26/05 02:37 PM
Saranita!
E.C., re: the use of "guys" to address both genders -- I have posted before, and I say again: I am not a guy, never have been and never will be one. Here (where I live), the proper term for addressing a group is you-all. MUCH more inclusive! (She said, being highly prejudiced.)

Posted By: Alex Williams tin roof - 04/26/05 02:39 PM
so it just dawned on me that the title of this thread is a B-52s reference. kudos to musick.

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: tin roof - 04/26/05 02:45 PM
and me without my jukebox money...

Posted By: AnnaStrophic Re: B-52s - 04/26/05 03:01 PM
so it just dawned on me...

Would you like me zested? On toast points?

Posted By: Alex Williams Re: B-52s - 04/26/05 03:10 PM
no Anna I'll just have the chopped liver

Posted By: Buffalo Shrdlu Re: B-52s - 04/26/05 03:11 PM
yes, nice catch, Anna!

Posted By: musick rusted - 04/26/05 04:28 PM
so it just dawned on me...

Never look a gifthorse in the ear.

Posted By: Father Steve Guys - 04/26/05 06:53 PM
Jackie writes: "I am not a guy, never have been and never will be one."

When, in the movie "Goonies", Sloth said "Hey, you guys!" he was addressing both males and females. And Sloth oughta know.




Posted By: boronia Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 01:25 AM
Jackie writes: "I am not a guy, never have been and never will be one."


Finally catching up to ... er, y'all!

I hope Jackie and I can still be friends. I commonly refer to my roommates (all of whom are women) as guys or dudes. Dudette is purely for comic effect. I've noticed, though, that I pronounce it doods, evenly though I usually say things like d(y)ue, d(y)uty and end(y)ure.

Posted By: Jackie Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 01:28 AM
I hope Jackie and I can still be friends. Not to worry--I have long known that Yankees have to be forgiven a lot...

Posted By: tsuwm speaking of guys.. - 05/25/05 03:31 AM
I'm doing some volunteer work at the regional ADA (Diabetic, not Dental) office, and I've been wondering about how to informally address this office full of women during breaks. I had just about worked up the courage to ask when the office manager (wait for it... a man) showed up for a luncheon meeting and started addressing them as "you guys".

maybe when I next get a chance I'll ask how they all feel about this.

Posted By: Bingley Re: sofa, so good... - 05/25/05 08:49 AM
I don't think the Language Hat mentioned the Indonesian Dewan, which means Board or Council.

The Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia defines it as: a council or body consisting of several members whose work is to give advice or make decisions by means of negotiations.

A charity's Board of Management, for example, is the Dewan Pengurus.

Bingley
Posted By: Bingley Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 08:54 AM
Sofa, settee, or couch, pretty interchangeably when talking to native speakers of English. Sofa if talking to Indonesians in English, since that's what it's called in Indonesian.

I've heard of davenport or chesterfield, but associate them with couch-like antiques, and would never use the words.

Bingley
Posted By: Zed Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 06:54 PM
I use sofa and couch interchangably and may seat two or more, a chesterfield is a sofa or couch made to hold three people. (and I always thought that a davenport was a type of veranda )

Posted By: Faldage Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 09:47 PM
Davenport is a town in Iowa.

Posted By: Zed Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/25/05 10:23 PM
do they have verandas??

Posted By: tsuwm Davenport is a town in Iowa - 05/26/05 02:31 AM
and Couch is a town in Alabama, Florida, Missouri, or West Virginia.


Posted By: vanguard Re: Davenport is a town in Iowa - 05/26/05 04:24 PM
My grandmother always called it a "davenport"...so this takes me back a ways. I call it a couch, mostly, although sofa works quite well here in Ohio as well. I'm afraid I might have thought a Chesterfield was some sort of chest of drawers, if I had thought of it at all!

Posted By: Zed Re: Davenport is a town in Iowa - 05/26/05 06:49 PM
Didn't people used to smoke Chesterfields??


(the tobacco ones that is)

Posted By: Father Steve Chesterfields - 05/27/05 01:14 AM
http://www.ttlaonline.com/chesterfield.jpg


Posted By: amnow Re: Davenport is a town in Iowa - 05/27/05 08:52 PM
When was that song around? "d,a,v,e,n,p--ort spells 'davenport'..that's the only thing to have a date on, that's the only thing to stay out late on..."

Posted By: Father Steve Re: Love seat, baby love seat! - 05/28/05 08:35 PM
"Lord Peter's library was one of the most delightful bachelor rooms in London. Its scheme was black and primrose; its walls were lined with rare editions, and its chairs and Chesterfield sofa suggested the embraces of the houris. In one corner stood a black baby-grand, and wood fire leaped on a wide old-fashioned hearth, and the Sevres vases on the chimney-piece were filled with ruddy and gold chrysanthemums."

~Dorothy Sayers, Whose Body?, 1923.



Posted By: Jomama Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/06/05 02:49 PM
Trying to catch up on recent posts, I found this one and have to add a late postscript. I was intrigued by the many
definitions of "divan" and just now thought that "couch" also has several defs....
But mainly I wanted to share that in this small community,
quite a few years ago, the incumbent mayor Mr Couch was
replaced, being defeated in the election by Mr Davenport.

Posted By: Father Steve Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/06/05 06:33 PM
the incumbent mayor Mr Couch was
replaced, being defeated in the election by Mr Davenport.


Instead of having a recall election, you could just send the mayor out to be recovered.



Posted By: Zed Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/06/05 07:09 PM
Jomama


Posted By: nancyk Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/06/05 10:54 PM
send the mayor out to be recovered

Or Mr Couch was unseated by Mr Davenport.

Posted By: maverick Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/06/05 10:58 PM
Was it a spring or fall election? Well, at least it gave the new guy a fouton the ladder.
And why not? He's armless.
Posted By: Jackie Re:Sofa, Couch, Davenport - 06/08/05 01:31 AM
A cushy job, for sure.

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