Jun 14, 2013

What's in a Name, Couch

Father's Day for some is spent reclining on a couch. How many ways can you say couch? I can think of Couch, Canape, Chesterfield, Divan, Davenport, Loveseat, Sofa, Sectional, and Settee. Variations include sofa bed and futon.

A couch or sofa is a piece of furniture for seating two or more persons in the form of a bench, with or without armrests, that is partly or wholly upholstered, and often fitted with springs and tailored cushions.

The term 'couch' is used in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The term 'sofa' is generally used in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The most common types of couches are the loveseat, designed for seating two persons, and the sofa, with two or more cushion seats. A sectional sofa, often just referred to as a sectional, is formed from multiple sections and usually includes at least two pieces that join at an angle of 90 degrees or slightly greater, used to wrap around walls or other furniture.

Other couch variants include the divan, the fainting couch (backless or partial-backed), the canapé is an ornamental 3-seater. To conserve space, some sofas double as beds in the form of sofa-beds, daybeds, or futons.

In the United Kingdom, a Chesterfield is a deep buttoned sofa, with arms and back of the same height. It is usually made from leather and the term Chesterfield in British English is only applied to this type of sofa, but others use the term more generically. The first leather chesterfield sofa, with its distinctive deep buttoned, quilted leather upholstery and lower seat base, was commissioned by Phillip Stanhope, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield.

In Canada, the term chesterfield is equivalent to a couch or sofa. The use of the term has been found to be widespread among older Canadians, but is vanishing from Canadian English. Northern California is the only place in the US where chesterfield is a synonym for couch or sofa.

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