Tag: Language

Parlor or Living Room? Supper or Dinner? What the Heck?

 

Blame my curious mind for this post. When did people start calling a parlor or drawing room a living room?

First, let’s start with the meaning.

PARLOR – A sitting room in a private house where the family received visitors. This is a dated word that we no longer use in this context but was the common term until the 1900s. It was known as the “death room” and was where families laid out dead relatives as was common practice in times past. I can’t imagine this! CREEPY! And they took pictures of the dead people in their casket!! Double CREEPY!

 

DRAWING ROOM – An archaic word for a very formal sitting room and could be upstairs or the main floor where a person entertained visitors.

RECEPTION ROOM – Usually refers to a hotel, churches or anyplace besides a private home.

LIVING ROOM – An informal setting in a private home where the family welcomes visitors.

 

So, when did a parlor become a living room?

Inquiring minds want to know. It all changed by the end of World War I when funeral homes started taking care of the dead and they started calling the place where they set the caskets funeral parlors.

In 1910, the Ladies Home Journal came out with an article changing home parlors to living rooms. It’s an informal space where families gather and hang out. It became a “Lively” room and no more dedicated to death.

Large houses sometimes have more than one—both a formal and an informal.

 

Now…When did supper change to dinner?

The Merriam and Webster Dictionary says the last meal of the day changed names with the rise of industrialization and workers were not home for the midday meal they called dinner. (Psst, I still do by the way.) Thus, dinner slid to the last meal of the day and lunch became the noontime meal.

But…Is it an uppity thing? I never hear rich folks say supper. So, was it was a division between those who had and those who had less? 

Whatever the reason was, I just want to point out that the Bible says the Lord’s supper – not the Lord’s dinner.

Now, what’s for dessert? I’m hungry and I might eat in the living room.

So what are your thoughts on all this? Do you have a parlor or living room? Eat supper or dinner?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!! Hope you’re wearing green!