Sunday, January 8, 2017

DECOR VOCABULARY


When I was a young homemaker and learning the ropes, someone taught me  a vocabulary lesson that opened my eyes. Naive about the ways of the world, I had a limited dictionary at my command or so it seemed, regarding one important piece of furniture.  In my neck of the woods… we called it a sofa or a couch… but a good friend of mine did not. I remember her inviting me over for a coffee klatch and while we conversed, she showed me around her house. It was the first time I had been there. When we headed into the living room, she says, “I’ll be getting a new DAVENPORT soon.” I had never heard of a DAVENPORT before… so I just smiled, pretending I knew WHAT she was talking about. I remember thinking at the time… that it must be some kind of buffet, hutch or sideboard. But… I discovered it wasn’t… when I asked my husband about it… later that night. Slightly older and more knowledgeable than me, he educated me on the subject. The expression DAVENPORT is used among folks of a certain geographic location, (the Midwest and New York) and age (born before World War 2). It is used as a synonym for the word couch or sofa. (It can have storage under it or be made into a bed, sort of like today’s futons.) I was gobsmacked to hear this… but quickly added the word to my vocabulary… so if it ever came up again, I would know how to respond. Suffice to say, I grew up and have learned so much in my life… but this one piece of information has always stuck with me. SO… what do you call that thing you sit down on in your living room? A couch, sofa or davenport?



We replaced our old torn one (the slipcovers weren’t working for us anymore) with a couple of new armchairs. Saw them on the showroom floor and fell in love. VERY, very COLORFUL, aren’t they? Believe me… they are not that sedate look we usually go for here at our house. But it’s a new year and the chairs BRIGHTEN our lives and fit our derriere’s. Not to mention, the price was right. CLEARANCE. So we’re taking a walk on the WILD side.



11 comments:

Jon said...

I've heard the term "davenport" and knew what it means - but it seems to be seldom used. As you said, it's more of a regional word. I prefer to call it a sofa.

My father always called a sofa a "couch" - which seems to be rather old-fashioned. He also always called a refrigerator an "ice box".

I love your new colorful armchairs, and they look comfortable.

Weekend-Windup said...

All looks good. Have a nice time:)

betty said...

I like your new chairs! Very colorful! I call it either a sofa or a couch, depending on my "mood" but I did know what a davenport was :)

Enjoy!

betty

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I have a couch here but do remember hearing my folks say davenport back in the day...my favorite place to sit is my rocker. Nice you got yourselves some comfortable chairs. I know I appreciate mine. Great way to start off the year!

jack69 said...

aH HA! One of those times I learned something I thought I knew. I KNEW a Davenport was a 'COUCH', but I never knew it was the design, the fold down affect and the storage underneath that made it different.
In refrigerators they were called Frigidaire often because they were one of the first. For years carpenters referred to the circular caw as a Skil saw, because Skil was the first. What I always thought was that, Davenport musta been the first 'Couch' maker, but now? I think i know a little more. (Maybe I don't!). So, maybe the Davenport makers were the first to make the COUCH fold out! LOL
THANKS for the unique post, I like it!

Mevely317 said...

How fun to treat yourselves! Gosh, I'd be lost without my couch/sofa/what-cha call it, davenport? Verrrry vaguely, I recall that word from the early 50's.

I like the red/white/blue effect, yes. Mostly, I love your wood-panel walls!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I used to hear the word davenport a long time ago. We call ours either sofa or couch. I like your new chairs! We need some new ones, too.

roughterrain crane said...

Happy new year. I wish you more comfortable times with new chairs.

Paula said...

Like your new chairs. Mama always called ours a couch and it did make into an uncomfortable bed and there was storage underneath. John's son and daughter-in-law bought us a really nice sofa from an estate sale, pretty and just like new with two lounge chairs in each end.

Red Rose Alley said...

Honestly, I didn't know what a Davenport was either. :) I've heard of it before, but never really knew what it was. We call it a "couch" here. I love when you said, "so I just smiled, pretending I knew what she was talking about." haha Your new armchair looks very comfy.

Have a splendid week, Taryterre.

love, ~Sheri

Stephanie Faris said...

There was an episode of Family Guy (which my husband used to watch) where Brian (the dog) was dating an older woman. It's strange, so go with it. She kept saying things he didn't understand...finally he decided the age difference was too great and he broke up with her. He couldn't find his keys to go and she said they were on the Davenport. He didn't know what that was, so she said DeVan, then Scheffalier (or however those two words are spelled!). He finally said "forget it" and stormed out. The only other time I heard any of those words were when I was a kid and my grandmother called the sofa a "DeVan" and we, in our childish humor, were saying, "Sit on the VAN? That would be tough to do!"