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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Research => Topic started by: Karen Bly on July 19, 2012, 02:24 PM

Title: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Karen Bly on July 19, 2012, 02:24 PM
What do you California folk call that thing in your living room? Couch or sofa? Thanks!
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Betsy on July 19, 2012, 02:30 PM
We always said "couch" as I was growing up (in California).  But some of my friends said "sofa."  I'd say both--50/50.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Lill on July 19, 2012, 02:44 PM
Does anybody anywhere say davenport?  That's what my mother called it when we were growing up.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: mrh on July 19, 2012, 02:49 PM
My grandma (in WI) called it the davenport. My mom and dad tended to say sofa, and for me, DH, and kids, it's the couch. But I do think furniture stores tend to say sofa, as in "sofa and loveseat." So it's possible that era and usage might matter, as well as locale.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: literaticat on July 19, 2012, 02:53 PM
I grew up in california and we say "couch" and "sofa" 50/50.

(I never heard "davenport" or "chesterfield" till I grew up and met a canadian, however.)
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Betsy on July 19, 2012, 03:01 PM
I had a friend with upper class ambitions.  Her family said "davenport." (In California.)  With everybody else it was sofa or couch.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Ravyn2002 on July 19, 2012, 03:08 PM
I agree that it's pretty much 50/50. I've lived in California most of my life and have heard both 'couch' and 'sofa'. I mostly use couch myself, unless I happen to be referring to a sofa bed.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Pons on July 19, 2012, 03:17 PM
I'm a native Californian and my family says couch, although sofa is also common. I think davenport is kind of dated. I did hear it when I was growing up (mostly from older people), but I never hear it now.

Laurel
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: AnneB on July 19, 2012, 03:28 PM
It was davenport when I was growing up in Ohio. I think Davenport was a company that made comfortable bench seating and the word came to be used generically. Our family uses couch and sofa interchangeably, except nobody ever refers to a couch bed!
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: cindoh on July 19, 2012, 03:31 PM
Another native Californian here... I'd say couch slightly more than sofa, but either works.
(Davenport, no.)
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Lill on July 19, 2012, 03:34 PM
Yep. My mother was from Ohio -- I googled and found out what Anne mentioned above. That 'splanes it.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: xiaotien on July 19, 2012, 03:47 PM
sofa here.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: ButterflyGirl on July 19, 2012, 05:17 PM
I grew up in California and we said "couch," but sofa was certainly not uncommon. 
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: LeslieG on July 19, 2012, 05:20 PM
Ditto on slightly favoring "couch," from a former Californian.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Juliarts2003@yahoo.com on July 19, 2012, 05:29 PM
Well, I am not a Californian... but I remember on the old Dean Martin show (which was probably filmed in CA  :laugh ) He'd always say, "I'm gonna go to the couch now..."
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Karen Bly on July 19, 2012, 05:32 PM
thanks, all! We were about 50/50 couch/sofa in New Jersey, but just wanted to check on the other Coast for my novel.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: olmue on July 19, 2012, 06:43 PM
Here's another vote from the Californian sitting next to me on that piece of furniture for either one.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: ChristinefromCorona on July 19, 2012, 07:22 PM
Our family always said couch.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Shari on July 19, 2012, 07:52 PM
No one says chesterfield?! lol, maybe that's a Canadian word.  :)
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: ruecole on July 19, 2012, 10:18 PM
Pretty sure chesterfield is a Canadian thing. :)

Rue
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: AnneB on July 20, 2012, 09:55 AM
Re couch being a CA thing: it's true. Hollywood doesn't have casting sofas or casting Davenports.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: AdamV on July 20, 2012, 11:28 AM
I never knew what the line "a nice chesterfield or an ottoman" meant in "If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies. I can't believe it was a couch this whole time!
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Shari on July 20, 2012, 11:30 AM
I never knew what the line "a nice chesterfield or an ottoman" meant in "If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies. I can't believe it was a couch this whole time!

LOL!
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: PJV on July 20, 2012, 12:00 PM
This cracks me up! We usually said couch, but sofa was a close second, and on occasion my mom (born in the 40's) would slip and say chesterfield. I wonder if this was because my great-grandmother came from Canada? Has it been used as such for a long time? I guess I'm finally understanding why my mom used some of the words she did!  :hahaha
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Karen Bly on July 20, 2012, 03:23 PM
All this time I thought a Chesterfield was a car in that song, AdamV! That solves that puzzling lyric.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Shari on July 20, 2012, 03:37 PM
I grew up with it being a "chesterfield", but actually usually say "couch" now. Maybe even in Canada it's fading from use? (except for  BNL lyrics, that is!)
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Christine B. on July 20, 2012, 03:56 PM
I'm Californian (born and still living here), and as others have said, I say both sofa and couch, interchangeably.

Maybe I'm a little more likely to say sofa when referring to a slightly more formal piece of furniture in the living room, and couch when referring to what's in the den. Never heard of a davenport or a chesterfield (but they sound fun!).

Not to add any confusion, but I am from Los Angeles. I don't know what they say in other parts of CA. Where is your character from?
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Karen Bly on July 20, 2012, 06:04 PM
Christine, MC is from L.A.

I thought BNL were singing, "A nice Chesterfield or an automobile." You know how your brain tries to make sense out of puzzling lyrics and you just sing along?
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: ruecole on July 20, 2012, 07:07 PM
And now I've got the Barenaked Ladies stuck in my head.

Shari, yeah, we used to use chesterfield a lot more when I was a kid (along with packsack instead of backpack and thongs to mean flipflops among others.) Now we usually say couch. Rarely sofa, though. Sofa sounds stodgy to me. ;)

Rue
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: LindaJoy on July 21, 2012, 06:42 AM
Definitely couch...altho I've heard the other terms, too.
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: Barbara Etlin on July 21, 2012, 07:09 PM
Even for Canadians, "chesterfield" is an old-fashioned term that no one uses any more. I went shopping recently for two of those items, and all the stores called it a "sofa." (And so do I.)
Title: Re: Do people say couch or sofa in California?
Post by: AnnS on July 22, 2012, 10:56 AM
California since age 8 here.  We say both, but it's my impression that "couch" is more common.  Although when used with some modifiers, "sofa" seems almost expected.  As in "slip-covered sofa."  You might want to hit a site like Craiglist for the part of Cali you're thinking about for your setting and plug in both "couch" and "sofa" to see how many hits you get for each.