"Charnel house"?

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Mehrgan

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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.
 

Rover_KE

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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
 

BobK

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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
 

Rover_KE

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Good point, Bob.

Rover
 

Tullia

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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.
 

BobK

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

b
 

Barb_D

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I learned a few things in this thread!
 
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