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Sink Room or Scullery

A listener had told us that she’d bought an old house with a separate room off of the kitchen that contained a dishwashing sink and cupboards and wondered what to call it. We noted that it’s sometimes called simply a sink room, but many...

Sink Room in an Old House

Lola in Madison, Wisconsin, just bought a 1921 house that has a separate room beside the kitchen for a dishwashing sink and cupboards. She and her partner are unsure what to call it. The sink room, maybe? Yes! The name reflects the history of how...

Living Room, Family Room, Den

What do you call that room in your house where the family gathers — the family room? The den? The TV room? Names for that living space go in and out of fashion. In the 1930s, you might have called it the sitting room, parlor, living room, setting...

Bedroom Suit vs. Suite

Beth in Springhill, Tennessee, wonders which is correct to denote a particular grouping of furniture: bedroom suit or bedroom suite? Both are correct, although their use varies from region to region. If you don’t want to invite controversy...

Growlery

Charles Dickens is credited with the first known use of the term growlery to mean a person’s private sitting room or a place to retreat when one is in a bad mood. Long before that, the French were using the term boudoir for something similar...