Couch Research

From Fluffernutter to Fainting Couch: Exploring the Weird and Wacky Terms in Sofa Slang

Couches have a lot of funny names these days. lays out a few of our wacky favorites. Hopefully you will have a little fun and learn something as well.

What does couch mean in slang?

In slang, "couch" can mean to express or phrase something in a certain way, often with the intention of softening the message. It can also refer to presenting an idea or concept in a particular manner to make it more palatable or less direct, where the choice of words can influence how a message is received or perceived by others. For example, "She couched her criticism of her friends new jacket".

Wacky sofa terms to know:

  • Fainting Couch: A vintage term for a couch designed with a sloping backrest, historically used for women to rest comfortably in corsets, often associated with old-world charm.
  • Tête-à-Tête: Also known as a "kissing couch," it's a unique style featuring two seats facing opposite directions, fostering intimate conversations without needing to turn one's head.
  • Chaise Longue: A fancy term for a luxurious couch with an elongated seat.
  • Camelback Sofa: A couch with a curved, humped backrest resembling a camel's silhouette, offering a unique and elegant design.
  • Settee: An antiquated term for a small, upholstered couch, reflecting a more formal and traditional style.
  • Davenport: A vintage term for a couch, originating from a style of writing desk, embodying old-world charm.
  • Kissing Couch: See "tête-à-tête" above ^
  • Fluffernutter Couch: A term to describe a playful, quirky and cozy seating option.

Is it sofa or couch in England?

In England, both "sofa" and "couch" are commonly used terms. The choice between "sofa" and "couch" often comes down to personal preference and regional differences. Sofa is generally more common in the UK. The preference for "sofa" in the UK can be attributed to historical language trends, but both terms are widely recognized.

Which word is older, 'sofa' or 'couch'?

Many attribute the generation of the term "couch" to Jay Wellingdon Couch who is widely considered to be the creator of the couch in 1895 but not much is written about him or his alleged creation.

Then there is the chicken or the egg aspect of the terms "sofa" vs "couch. Many argue that the term "couch" is generally considered to be the older term. This is because they believe it originates from the Old French word "couche," which means "to lie down." On the other hand, the term "sofa" has more recent origins, coming from the Arabic word "ṣuffah," which referred to a raised platform with cushions. Over time, "sofa" was adopted into English to describe a similar type of seating furniture. While both terms have evolved and are used interchangeably today, "couch" can be considered the older term in this context.

The world of couches is a fascinating and diverse one, there is a couch out there to suit every taste and lifestyle.

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Alex Back is the founder and CEO of Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of the popular furniture brand, Apt2B, which was acquired by a large US retail furniture chain in 2018. He worked to integrate Apt2B, one of the very first online furniture retailers on the Shopify platform, into the operations of the 100 year old larger business entity and was deeply immersed in the business operations of both online and brick and mortar retail for 4 years before leaving in 2023 to start Working in various parts of the furniture industry since 2004, he has 20 years experience in retail sales, e-commerce, marketing, operations, logistics and wholesale manufacturing and distribution. He has worked extensively with partners such as Costco, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon and his work has been highlighted in many publications such as Forbes, CNN and HGTV, among others. Alex is delighted to bring his experience and authority on couches and the furniture industry to this platform, along with many of his industry colleagues who are helping him keep the audience informed and engaged on a daily basis.
Alex Back CEO & Founder