You could probably do without these musings, but if you, like me, are trying to avoid getting on with the real business of the day, you may find some random thoughts on a piece of furniture intensely fascinating. Put it this way, do you want to stay with me, or do you want to go and iron those tricky pairs of jeans or make that awkward phone call to your Aunty Pat about the family party you are shunning, ostensibly because of a prior arrangement you have yet to invent, but primarily because you can't stand Uncle Frank?
I rest my case.
Unnecessary subtitle: My sofa.
Unnecessary picture of a sofa like mine:
I was intending to tell you a story about my sofa. I may well yet do so. The day is young. But, before that, I want to know. Why is a sofa called a sofa? I'm going to look it up. You go and feed the cat .......................
Unnecessary white space.
Well, whaddya know? Here's the definition from www.etymonline.com - a site which tells you the etymology or origin of words. Browsing it is one of my favourite things to do. Do not judge me unkindly. After all, you're still reading this, and I haven't yet said a damn thing of value.
Unnecessary subtitle: Definition of 'sofa' from www.etymonline.com
1620s, "raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions," from Turk. sofa, from Arabic suffah "bench." Meaning "long stuffed seat for reclining" is recorded from 1717.
Well, there you go. It's from the Arabic and it didn't even refer to a separate piece of furniture until 1717. And look who was on the throne then.
Doesn't George 1st look just like the kind of person who would say, 'Puh! You're not getting ME on that raised section of a floor, covered with carpets and cushions! Get me a long stuffed seat for reclining, or I'll suffocate you with my wig, you snivelling minions.'
So now we know. Only, I now feel the need to find out where 'settee' - the alternative word for 'sofa' - comes from, and whether it referred to the same thing. I'm taking an educated guess - I reckon it's an Indian word. It's that 'double ee' thing, like in 'kedgeree' and 'puttee'. Let's see if I'm right. Go back and feed the cat again - it didn't like the tuna flavour and wants to try the salmon .................
Unnecessary white space.
Okay, maybe not so educated after all.
settee - "long seat with back and arms," 1716, perhaps a variant of settle (n.), or a diminutive of set (v.) "act of setting."
Turns out a settee is as Indian as fish and chips. In fact, I don't think they're really sure where it comes from, do you? You can hear them, behind the definition, going 'er .. it could be ... but ... well .... perhaps .... or maybe .... ah, flip, someone put the kettle on!'
Hm. 'Sofa' from 1717. 'Settee' from 1716. Why? What do you call yours, readers? Or are you reading this while sitting on a raised section of floor, covered with carpets and cushions, you purists, you!
I have bewildered you for long enough with useless and trivial guff about furniture, and you really do need to phone Aunty Pat. The story about my sofa can wait another day. Or, perhaps, in your interests, for ever.
Unnecessary sign-off: The End.