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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "Charnel house"?

    Hi there,

    Is the word "charnel" still used in English? Whta is the namefor the building or section of a hospital where dead bodies are kept? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    As far as I know, 'charnel' is only used in historical contexts - as in 'charnel house'.

    In a hospital, deceased patients are moved to the mortuary (AE morgue), sometimes euphemistically referred to as rose cottage or the rainbow room, so as not to upset the still-living patients.

    Rover

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    As far as I know, 'charnel' is only used in historical contexts - as in 'charnel house'.*

    In a hospital, deceased patients are moved to the mortuary (AE morgue), sometimes euphemistically referred to as rose cottage or the rainbow room, so as not to upset the still-living patients.

    Rover
    *In this case, the historical 'charnel house' is sometimes (currently) used as a metaphor to describe a very violent situation - quite like 'bloodbath'.

    b

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    #4

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    Good point, Bob.

    Rover

  3. Tullia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    I've seen it a lot in similes and metaphors regarding smell, for some reason.

    It smells like a charnel-house in here.
    There was the scent of the charnel-house about the place.

    =====

    I'd also like to make it clear that a charnel-house != mortuary.

    A better translation, depending on context, might well be ossuary.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    Quite so. I was going to mention the Capuchin Chapel, but didn't have time to get my story straight!

    b

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "Charnel house"?

    I learned a few things in this thread!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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