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Old 07-12-2009, 06:12 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Our English friends

Robin, et al:

Just watched a TV show on home buying in France, by English people.

A couple of terms confused me: lounge and reception room.

What are those? Living room? Family room? Dining room? for the first. for the second, Foyer? Entry?

Those are American names for odd rooms, so I hope you can translate for me.

They also talked about loo and ensuite bathroom; the former seemed to be just a toilet, the second a full bathroom (toilet, sinks, tub/shower, possibly a bidet).

I thought I was pretty good with Britishisms but this show was confusing.

   
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
Robin, et al:

Just watched a TV show on home buying in France, by English people.

A couple of terms confused me: lounge and reception room.

What are those? Living room? Family room? Dining room? for the first. for the second, Foyer? Entry?

Those are American names for odd rooms, so I hope you can translate for me.

They also talked about loo and ensuite bathroom; the former seemed to be just a toilet, the second a full bathroom (toilet, sinks, tub/shower, possibly a bidet).

I thought I was pretty good with Britishisms but this show was confusing.
Seems we are still two nations separated by a common language.
Let’s start with a reception room which is any room suitable for receiving company or visitors. It would encompass both dining rooms and living rooms. It basically means any room other than a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or utility room where you can entertain visitors. In the UK housing market, houses are often defined in terms of size by the number of bedrooms plus the number of reception rooms.
A foyer or entry room would most likely be termed a hall in the UK.
A lounge is basically a living room. It is where you will find arm chairs and sofas and most likely a television. It’s the main room in which the family relax. There are folk who frown on the use of the term lounge for a room in a house suggesting it really only applies to public rooms in hotels or airports and prefer to use the term sitting room.
The family room is not a concept which has made much inroad into the UK psyche, certainly not mine. Can you differentiate between a family room and a living room?
A loo is simply a lavatory. En suite means that a bathroom is accessible directly from the bedroom. Its size and content will vary. It is likely to be smaller than a fully fledged separate family bathroom but anything is possible.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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Thanks, Barry. I think in the U.S. we used to call a formal room for visitors a parlor; it was a sort of living room in which hardly any living was done.

Family room is a relatively new notion — it is really a second family living room, with TV, games, toys, maybe a fireplace, very casual. Often next to the kitchen (and perhaps including the family dining area; or not). That way the living room can skip the TV and be kept presentable room for guests without being so stiff and perfect as the older parlor used to be.

So the English reception room is still a bit murky to me. The people on the show seemed to imply there was only one of those, so I guess it was the living room.

“En suite” is gaining currency here, though most real estate agents (and let’s face it, they define many of these terms) still refer to “master suite”: a large bedroom and plenty of storage (walk-in closets fitted with hanging space, drawers, shoe racks, etc.) plus a full bathroom, in American parlance, which probably includes a shower (possibly quite large, maybe with two or three shower heads including a hand-held), as well as a tub (probably a jetted or whirlpool). It is likely to have extensive counters, usually of stone or marble, with two sinks and personal storage.

That is what you get in new construction. Older homes are retrofitted as best they can be, often by annexing a spare bedroom.

Most Americans know loo. We usually say bathroom at home, ladies’ room or restroom in a public place. (Literate ones, anyway. We learned loo from English writings and movies. That is also where I learned about kerbs (curbs), boots (luggage compartments), bonnets (hoods), lifts (elevators), lorries (trucks or semis), and so on.)

   
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
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Parlor is a common term in Northern England -- Lancashire anyway. And of course:

"Will you walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly .... " although I don't know about "up the winding stair"

   
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:09 AM   #5
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Parlor is a common term in Northern England -- Lancashire anyway. And of course:

"Will you walk into my parlor, said the spider to the fly .... " although I don't know about "up the winding stair"
Parlor is sort of quaint here, or affected. I like the word, myself — but I like lots of words that are sort of drifting out of use.

   
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Old 07-13-2009, 02:22 PM   #6
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It has a distinguished history:

-------------------------------

Also parlor. ME.
[Anglo-Norman parlur, Old French parleor, parleur (mod. parloir), from Proto-Romance antecedent also of parler: see
PARLANCE, -OUR.]

A. noun.

1. A room for conversation in a monastery or convent.
ME.

J. T. Fowler The..outer Parlour..was usually on the western side of the cloister.

2. Orig., a private room set apart for conversation or conference in any large or public building. Later, a sitting-room in a private house.
LME.

P. Auster The downstairs parlour—which featured a number of..easy chairs.

3. A shop or business providing goods or services of a particular kind. Freq. with specifying word. Orig. US.
L19.
beauty parlour, ice-cream parlour, massage parlour, etc.banking parlour the head office of a bank.

4. A room or building equipped for milking cows.
M20.

B. attrib. or as adjective.

1. Of, pertaining to, or resembling a parlour; suited or adapted for (use in) a parlour.
L18.

2. Designating a person who professes but does not actively give support for a specified (esp. radical) political view; designating a political view professed but not actively supported. derog.
L18.

A. Boyle One of those Parlour Pinks..so often ridiculed for playing at Communism.

Special collocations & comb.: parlour-boarder Hist. a boarding-school pupil living with the family of the principal and having privileges not shared by the other boarders. parlour-car US a luxuriously fitted railway carriage.parlour game an indoor game, esp. a word game. parlour-house (a) a house with a parlour; (b) US slang an expensive brothel. parlour-maid a female domestic servant who waits at table. parlour palm a Central American dwarf fan palm, Chamaedorea elegans, grown as a house-plant.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting that the US spelling goes back so far -- ME = Middle English

   
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:26 AM   #7
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Very interesting. I especially like the association with a room for milking cows!

   
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:55 AM   #8
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KT: “master suite”: a large bedroom and plenty of storage (walk-in closets fitted with hanging space, drawers, shoe racks, etc.) plus a full bathroom, in American parlance, which probably includes a shower (possibly quite large, maybe with two or three shower heads including a hand-held), as well as a tub (probably a jetted or whirlpool). It is likely to have extensive counters, usually of stone or marble, with two sinks and personal storage.
Let's be honest, KT. They are selling cheap subdivisions with "master suites" because they have attached one of 2 bathrooms to them. It may or may not be the only whole bath on offer. Fiberglass and linoleum are the surfaces of choice, the "big" walk in closet is what used to be the sideways closet that spanned a wall now turned lengthways with a narrow passage a few steps in. That's the great "walk-in" closet on offer, and may hold fewer clothes than the ones that fit into a wall with sliding doors.

If you still haven't room to swing a bat, and the construction is ticky-tacky, it really doesn't matter what you call it. It's doesn't become a mansion and catapult you into the upper classes. <BG> Realtors, hand-in-glove with developers, are notorious for overstatements.

   
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:14 AM   #9
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Let's be honest, KT. They are selling cheap subdivisions with "master suites" because they have attached one of 2 bathrooms to them. It may or may not be the only whole bath on offer. Fiberglass and linoleum are the surfaces of choice, the "big" walk in closet is what used to be the sideways closet that spanned a wall now turned lengthways with a narrow passage a few steps in. That's the great "walk-in" closet on offer, and may hold fewer clothes than the ones that fit into a wall with sliding doors.

If you still haven't room to swing a bat, and the construction is ticky-tacky, it really doesn't matter what you call it. It's doesn't become a mansion and catapult you into the upper classes. <BG> Realtors, hand-in-glove with developers, are notorious for overstatements.
Of course. Nor did making a lot of money for a few years. And some of the “mcMansions” built from 1999 through 2007 around here are going to be very hard to sell, at any price, because they are so shoddy, with replacement vinyl windows in houses offered at $2 million or more.

But you also see well-built houses with these amenities. I have seen walk-in closets (and once a pair of them) larger than a normal bedroom of a couple of decades ago.

Our wacky house has a granite-topped kitchen island only a bit smaller than the ice skating rink my father used to build behind our house in Alaska every winter, carving it out of snow. (I have to walk around that damned island a dozen times a day to reach something on the other side, which reminds me daily why design is important. Lots of things in this house do that).

Anyway, I was describing the new American standard, not necessarily defending it.

   
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:21 AM   #10
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KT: But you also see well-built houses with these amenities. I have seen walk-in closets (and once a pair of them) larger than a normal bedroom of a couple of decades ago.
You do indeed. The 80s actually was an era where "luxury" in the form of master suites and jacuzzi baths in a middle-class neighborhood didn't necessarily mean really cheap finishing. I think in CA, in particular, to keep prices anywhere near affordable by the middle class, within the last 10-15 years they started cutting as many corners as they could to keep prices from becoming stratospheric. Even with 0% down and banks trying to throw loans at them, people couldn't afford to buy if developers didn't cut quality.

They cut out land (as in all of it), or they cut out finish, or both -- usually both. But not the "master suite with walk-in closet." LOL And the realtors certainly didn't change their flowery language. It's a "view lot" if you can see anything besides your neighbor's fence. It's "cozy," not tiny. Etc.

Many of the McMansions here, very popular, have been sitting on the market for over a year, despite signs with "price reduction" on them. And for some reason, most of the privately contracted big houses I saw go up over the past few years are already on the market. Lovely things, and I'm sure someone someday will buy them.

   
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