We use basic furniture vocabulary every day without thinking twice: chair, table, mirror… the list goes on. But when you pause for a minute and think about the origins of these words, you have to go back several thousand years. Today we will look at just a few of them.
The word chair dates back to the Ancient Greek word kathédra, which breaks down to katá, meaning ‘down,’ and hédra, meaning ‘seat.’ The similar Latin word cathedra meant ‘seat.’ The Middle English term chaire (or chaiere, chaere, chayre, chayere) came from the Old French chaiere (or chaere).
The word table derives from the Latin word tabula meaning ‘tablet, board, plank, or chart.’ The Old English term tabele (or tabul, tablu, tabule, tabula) meant ‘board.’
The term mirror comes from the Latin mīror meaning ‘wonder at’ and ‘mīrus’ meaning ‘wonderful.’ The Old French word mireor led to the Middle English word mirour before our modern spelling came into use.
The word clock may date back to Celtic origin from the Proto-Celtic term klokkos meaning ‘bell.’ The Middle English term clok (or clokke) relates to the Middle Dutch word klocke.
We have only scratched the surface with the origin of furniture vocabulary. Expect more to come in the future!