Chifforobe

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A chifforobe

A chifforobe (English pronunciation: /ˈʃɪf(ə)roʊb/) is a closet-like piece of furniture that combines a long space for hanging clothes (that is, a wardrobe or armoire) with a chest of drawers.[1] Typically the wardrobe section runs down one side of the piece, while the drawers occupy the other side.[2] It may have two enclosing doors or have the drawer fronts exposed and a separate door for the hanging space.[3][2]

Chifforobes were first advertised in the 1908 Sears, Roebuck Catalogue, which described them as "a modern invention, having been in use only a short time."[citation needed] The term itself is a portmanteau of the words chiffonier and wardrobe.[4]

The word is used in the United States, primarily in the southern portion of the country,[5] in Puerto Rico,[6] and in Cuba. Its use has been attested as far apart as Georgia and Vermont.[3] In those references, it was used as a water closet or potty (or more accurately a commode).[3] The word has been used in Texas, but is not as common as its synonyms such as bureau or dresser.[2]

Alternative spellings include: chiffarobe, chifforobe, chifferobe, chiffrobe, chifrobe, and shifferobe.

Trivia

Notes

  1. ^ Dictionary.com website. n.d.
  2. ^ a b c Elmer Bagby Atwood, The regional vocabulary of Texas, p. 44 (University of Texas Press, 1962) ISBN 978-0-292-77008-9. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Walter J. Brown, J.J. Brown and Thomas E. Watson: Georgia politics, 1912-1928, p. 24 (Mercer University Press, 1989) ISBN 978-0-86554-322-5. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Catherine O'Reilly, Did Thomas Crapper Really Invent the Toilet?: The Inventions That Changed Our Homes and Our Lives, p. 30 (Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2008) ISBN 978-1-60239-347-9. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Frederic Gomes Cassidy, Joan Houston Hall, Dictionary of American regional English, Volume 4 (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002) ISBN 978-0-674-00884-7. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Judith Ortiz Cofer, Silent dancing: a partial remembrance of a Puerto Rican childhood, p. 24 (Edition 2, Arte Publico Press, 1990) ISBN 978-1-55885-015-6. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Horton Foote, To kill a mockingbird ; Tender mercies ; and, The trip to Bountiful: three screenplays, p. 59 (Grove Press, 1989) ISBN 978-0-8021-3125-6. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Dorothy Allison, Bastard Out of Carolina, (Penguin, 1993) ISBN 978-0-452-26957-6. Found at Google Books. Accessed July 7, 2011.