the places I visit on the island paradise where I live

Having left Ohio in 1981, I have been moving south ever since. First to Florida, then for the last 17 years, I have lived on the island of Cozumel with my husband and two dogs. Expat, designer, writer, photographer ... all my passions with a Mexican twist!

Jan 10, 2014

Ottoman: a Piece of Furniture




Photo courtesy of Turnstyle Interior Design
I had an interesting conversation with one of my favorite people today. She said that the use of the word ottoman for a piece of furniture is no longer politically correct, as the word Ottoman refers as well to people of the Ottoman Empire, or Turkish descent. I think I heard this once or twice before, and call me old-fashioned, but I like the word ottoman way better than for instance, footstool. A footstool is some ugly thing my mom used to have in our house in Ohio.


So in my typical fashion, I had to do some research. I typed ottoman in Google search and hundreds of ottomans, poufs, storage cabinets, footstools, floor pillows and floor cushions appeared with hundreds of images, as seen
here ...

Gemini Chocolate ottoman from Ashley Furniture

Cubit Salsa Ottoman from Ashley Furniture

From Wikipedia ...

Ottoman Empire

Ottoman (furniture)




I got to thinking about all those words that have two meanings like the word for doll and wrist in Spanish, muñeca. I would love to know the history of that. What other words can you think of that have two meanings? 

Regarding ottomans, do I really need to start calling them footstools or poufs? Historically there is a reason why the ottoman has that name. It came from that part of the world, which is now Turkey, and represented a time when the people of the world were just beginning to discover other cultures. Back then, an ottoman was a much larger piece of furniture, almost like a divan or could even cover three sides of a room, almost like a banquette. The history of the ottoman (furniture) can be found here and I find its history fascinating. What do you the reader think? Can we continue to call this wonderful piece of furniture where we like to rest our feet an ottoman? I hope so!