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<Asa Lovejoy>
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I've noticed of late that what we in the USA usually call the "living room" has begun to be called the "great room" by the real estate hucksters. Formerly it was the parlo(u)r, and sometimes the "front room." What do you Brits call it?

Second somewhat related query: A hall was once the whole house, but now it's just a passageway. How'd that come about?
 
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There's a similar thread under Cultural Differences 2.

Most people call it the "living room" or "front room". "Parlour" sounds rather dated now.

No idea how "hall" came to be used for "passageway", but Wikipedia gives some general info.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: arnie,


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
There's a similar thread under Cultural Differences 2.


Wow - that thread really goes on and on into a lot of topics! I kept thinking - oh, that's a good one to joke about!

We have a front room in our house because I kept calling it the living room and my husband and son can never remember which room is which, since we have a living room and a family room. So now, our family room (located in the back) is our back room, and our living room/dining room (located in the front) is the front room.

To me, a great room implies that it has more than just the component of a front room or living room or parlour. It would also, I think, have the kitchen open to it.


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Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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To me, a great room implies that it has more than just the component of a front room or living room or parlour. It would also, I think, have the kitchen open to it.[/QUOTE]


I agree with you, CW. I think of a "great room" as a combination living room/dining room/kitchen/family room.
 
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I probably have already posted this in that other thread, but I am too lazy to read the whole thing. When we bought our home, the previous owners had chamber concerts in our family room. It is built with especially good acoustics and a cork floor for the concerts. So, we used to call it our "music room," even though we really used it as a family room. It has our piano, but that's about it. Then, our living room has built-in bookshelves, and we love books, so we called it our "library." Besides, it sounds so sophisticated to have a "library!" That meant, we didn't have a living room or a family room, but instead a library and a music room!

It didn't last long, though. Soon they became our living room and family room.
 
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You Americans can certainly be funny at times. To call your living room a 'great room' sounds unbelievably pretentious to me as it implies dimensions that in most cases simply will not be true. No wonder it was coined by estate agents!!

We certainly call it a living room because that is where we spend most of our time. I've always assumed that the term 'Hall' comes from stately homes as I always associate it with the entrance hall, hence it's reference to that area in a modern home.
 
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Oh yes, and we also have "The Grandma Room", which is our guest room . . . this is not really an official "term that Americans use" but just what we call the room my mother sleeps in when she visits. When Kalleh and Shu visited they slept in The Grandma Room. Wink


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<Asa Lovejoy>
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quote:
Originally posted by Doad:
You Americans can certainly be funny at times.


As in "peculiar," not jovial, I assume! Smile

quote:
I've always assumed that the term 'Hall' comes from stately homes as I always associate it with the entrance hall, hence it's reference to that area in a modern home.


Some palatial houses have entrances that comprise the largest single area of the house, so in't that a "great room" too? Good giref, I'm glad I live in a humble hovel on a hillock!
 
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What, then, is a bungalow?


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If I said it's a house with no first floor, I feel sure that the Americans will be even more confused:-)


Richard English
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Not at all! One must walk up to the first floor, whereas the ground floor is, well, at ground level. As to what a bungalow SOUNDS like, it's a keg with the access orifice at the bottom. Roll Eyes But why would one want to live in one?

Asa of the humble hovel on the hillock
 
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Bungalows come from India - or at least the word and the concept do. Smile

1676, from Gujarati bangalo, from Hindi bangla "low, thatched house," lit. "Bengalese," used elliptically for "house in the Bengal style."

Amother relic of Britain's imperial past!


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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quote:
Some palatial houses have entrances that comprise the largest single area of the house, so in't that a "great room" too? Good giref, I'm glad I live in a humble hovel on a hillock!


If the stately home is that big, doesn't it then become 'The Great Hall' as opposed to just a normal hall? Given that I too live in a run down old hovel I hardly feel qualified to speak on such matters. There's 150 of us living in't shoe box in't middle o't road! Eek
 
Posts: 291 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
I've noticed of late that what we in the USA usually call the "living room" has begun to be called the "great room" by the real estate hucksters. Formerly it was the parlo(u)r, and sometimes the "front room." What do you Brits call it?


I've heard it called "the lounge" in some circles - usually by people who aspire to a class slightly higher than their own. The term "front room" derived from the time when it faced the street in most houses, but the family always sat in the kitchen (at the back of the house) and kept the front room for special occasions only.

quote:
Second somewhat related query: A hall was once the whole house, but now it's just a passageway. How'd that come about?


A hall was also a place in a noble's house where the household met to eat or to mingle with each other on formal or ceremonial occasions. With the rise of the middle classes, it gradually shrank to an entrance hall inside the front door and then to a narrow passageway.
 
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We reside in a bungalow. It is actually a Sears house, built in 1919. More details if you request them...

The living/dining room is one large room partially divided by pillared glass-doored bookshelves which extend into the room from either wall about four feet. The ceilings are 9', and the woodwork is 4" wide dark oak. Not knowing what else to call this great room, we call it the great room.
 
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quote:
Not at all! One must walk up to the first floor, whereas the ground floor is, well, at ground level.

In the UK, certainly. But whenever I've been in a lift in the USA I've noticed that the first floor was the second floor and the ground florr the first!


Richard English
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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quote:

In the UK, certainly. But whenever I've been in a lift in the USA I've noticed that the first floor was the second floor and the ground florr the first!


So who's to say we in the USA make any sense!?!? And if someone here gave you a lift, they would not be presenting you with what we call an elevator! Confused
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
quote:

In the UK, certainly. But whenever I've been in a lift in the USA I've noticed that the first floor was the second floor and the ground florr the first!


So who's to say we in the USA make any sense!?!? And if someone here gave you a lift, they would not be presenting you with what we call an elevator! Confused


'You say "eether" and I say "iyther", you say "neether" and I say "nyther" ...' Smile.
 
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'You say "eether" and I say "iyther", you say "neether" and I say "nyther" ...'

LOL - the other day my son and I were having a very minor disagreement about something and he turned to me and said "Potato Potahto, Mom", shrugged, and walked away. Who taught this kid to be so fun?


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Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by jo:
We reside in a bungalow. It is actually a Sears house, built in 1919. More details if you request them...


I once looked at a Sears house that was for sale. I love looking at the old catalogs of mail-order houses.

I usually equate "bungalow" with a Craftsman-style house. I have lived in 3 of those, all built in the 1920's-1940's.
 
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Bungalows are historically and architecturally significant in Chicago. Here is a link, and for more pictures click on the slideshow.
 
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