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Where Did That Real Estate Word Come From, Anyway?



The other day, I was talking to my seven-year old daughter while we were cleaning up the house.  Of course, we must clean up (pick up) before the maids come each Friday, so this has become part of our weekly ritual now. 


She asked me where one of our todder's toys went, and I told her, "We keep them by the fireplace."  As an aside, we have had a fireplace in each of our two homes dating back 13 years, yet I have NEVER had a fire.  I don't like the process of creating a fire, or cleaning it up, or the danger posed with children.  I would probably consider a gas log at some point, but that is not the point of this post.


When I said the word "fireplace", it struck me as funny.  Fire place.  The place where fire goes.  Then, I started thinking about other home-related words, and how basic some of them are.


The bedroom is the room where the bed is.  The living room is where you spent much of your living time.  The gameroom, breakfast room and dining room are all aptly named.


Perhaps someone could answer these questions for me:



  • Why is the kitchen not called the "food room" or the "eating room", or "the room where everyone congregates when we have guests over"? 

  • How did the garage, which serves such a non-glamerous function, get such a cool French-sounding name? 

  • The same question goes for the patio (actually a Spanish word), or the "sitting place", as I like to think of it now.  Actually, in our case, I may just start calling it the "toy graveyard".


"Ceiling fan" seems too utilitarian sounding to my ears - I would like to suggest "sky cooler" as an alternative.


I understand the terms "formal living" and "formal dining", but I would like to re-name them thusly:



  • "Catch-all room that no one ever sits in"

  • "Room used twice annually"


Maybe that's too many syllables?  Doesn't formal sort of imply that you should be wearing a tuxedo or a formal dress to sit there?  I don't even own a formal dress.


"Media room" is also a little boring.  How about "room for massive HDTV and surround sound system" or just "guy room"? 


Roof?  How about "house hat"?  Sorry, Mr. Johnson, but your house hat has severe hail damage. 


Foundation?  I like "underhome" better.  Did you have to get your underhome repaired?


Attic?  I will now refer to this area as the "up top". 


Well, I am getting hungry now.  I am going to get a snack from the food box in our eating room. 


Welcome to my mind.


Thanks for reading!


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