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  1. #1
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default cupboards and sideboards

    Hi,
    I don't clearly understand the meaning of two words: cupboard and sideboard.
    In my bedroom there is a wardrobe and another piece of furniture where I put whatever I want; books, toys (it is as high as a table; it can be higher but it is smaller than a wardrobe); there is my tv on it.
    Is it a cupboard , a sideboard or whatever?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Hi,
    I don't clearly understand the meaning of two words: cupboard and sideboard.
    In my bedroom there is a wardrobe and another piece of furniture where I put whatever I want; books, toys (it is as high as a table; it can be higher but it is smaller than a wardrobe); there is my tv on it.
    Is it a cupboard , a sideboard or whatever?
    Thanks
    It's not a sideboard. A sideboard holds things to do with food/eating. I believe it dates from the time when people with servants had a dining room a long way from the kitchen (up to a five-minute walk in some big houses/palaces). The servants moved food/cutlery/plates/dishes from the kitchen to the dining room, put them down on the sideboard, and then served the food from there. People don't have domestic arrangements like that any more, but a sideboard is traditionally kept in the same room as the dining table (if there is one).

    A cupboard is more of a general purpose word, and can be more or less any size - there's one by my bed, the size of an orange-box, and there was one in my old family home that was about 2m high and wider than that. In that house there was also a piece of furniture we referred to as 'the tall-boy'; it seemed quite tall to me at the time, but I doubt if it was much more than about 1.2m, and sounds a bit like the piece of furniture you describe. But that could just as well be called a cupboard.

    b

  3. #3
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Interesting. In the U.S., we usually only use the word "cupboard" in the kitchen, and I didn't even know what a sideboard was until I read Bob's post.

    In your bedroom, we would refer to the other piece to which you're referring as a bookcase or book shelves (even though it holds items other than books). In a child's classroom, we might also call them cubbies if they are modular and square.

    I forgot to mention, almost inevitably, "cupboards" here have doors.
    Last edited by AntieAnnie; 22-Apr-2008 at 21:26. Reason: added a sentence about doors on cupboards.

  4. #4
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    I rarely hear the word cupboard used here in the US anymore. Any piece of furniture with doors is usually called a cabinet.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    That's true. I would say cabinet too. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    Hi,
    I don't clearly understand the meaning of two words: cupboard and sideboard.
    In my bedroom there is a wardrobe and another piece of furniture where I put whatever I want; books, toys (it is as high as a table; it can be higher but it is smaller than a wardrobe); there is my tv on it.
    Is it a cupboard , a sideboard or whatever?
    Thanks
    Does the second piece of furniture have a door or doors that open with a space inside that may or may not have shelves? If so, it is a cupboard. If it has drawers, it is a chest of drawers. It is has neither, but only a surface and four legs, it is a table.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    I rarely hear the word cupboard used here in the US anymore. Any piece of furniture with doors is usually called a cabinet.
    Interesting. In Br E 'cabinet' refers usually to a piece of furniture hanging on a wall in the bathroom (the room where people take a bath!), containing cosmetics and medicines). It also refers to kitchen cabinets (but chiefly in a 'fitted' kitchen, where the cabinets are fixed to the walls above the work-surfaces). The word "cabinet" can also refer to fine work with wood (a 'cabinet-maker' is much more skilled than a 'carpenter'.

    (There is also, of course, the figurative political meaning that we share with Am E - as in 'cabinet meeting' or 'this decision was taken by the entire cabinet'.)

    b

  8. #8
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Thanks a lot for your help.
    the problem is that if you look for the word using google (not web, but pictures, images) you can see that a sideboard is not only a piece of furniture you can use to carry food to the table. Please check and let me know if you are still sure of your opionions...... My head is aching because of this "problem"...
    By the way what is the so called orange-box the member "Book" refers to?
    Are oranges usually sold in boxes? How many oranges are there in the box? Just one?
    Thanks Rip

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: cupboards and sideboards

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    ...
    Are oranges usually sold in boxes? ...
    Not to the public, but to shops. An orange box is about 60cmx35cmx35cm.

    b

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