Curiosity About Words and an Assignment For YOU!

It looks like How-to Tuesday is postponed until next Tuesday. That gives any of you who wanted to join us another week to come up with something splendid.

I wasn't too disappointed that it was postponed. I had a good idea but then I got sick--sore throat, a few aches, and I think a little fever. So while I skip How-to Tuesday and instead contemplate on how to get feeling better, here is your assignment.

Please don't read this and then leave. This is something I've long been curious about and you can help me.

As I was growing up, we called this long thing you sit on by a certain name. It was a name that raised a few eyebrows and even merited a couple of snickers from friends who came to visit. I'd like to know what you called the long piece of furniture that seats three or more.

Next, I'd like to know what you call this thing in front of the passenger seat of the car--the place where you stow the owner's manual, insurance cards, pens, assorted snacks, and sometimes a roll of toilet paper.

If you could tell me what part of the country (or world) you're from and what you called these two things, I'd appreciate it.

I know this isn't extremely scientific and probably won't prompt me to contribute to their wikipedia pages, but it will feed my curiosity about the words used and for this word nerd, it will be be kinda fun. It might even make me feel better, which in turn gives you something you can feel really good about.

Any words you're curious about?

(Couch Image from the Corona collection at, Glovebox Image from


Rebecca Adams said...

I guess I will be the first to comment. :) I call the first thing a couch and the second thing a glove box. Don't know why it's called a glove box, but that's what I've always heard it being called. I am from Utah! (originally from Missouri) :)

Jason said...


Glove box or glove compartment

I'm from Utah.

missy said...

I use couch and sofa interchangeably. And the other is a glove box or glove compartment. I grew up in Utah - have lived in the Midwest for 14 years.

One word that interests me is pop vs. soda. There's a definite difference between the west and midwest.

Tawnie J said...

glove box.

Christie said...

Couch. Glove box. Grew up in Utah.

Are there other words for those things?

Boston had the weirdest names for things. A purse is a pocketbook. A stroller is a carriage. And soup is chowdah. (Ok. That last one is a bit much. True, but a bit much).

How-To will return. Sorry about this week.

amanda said...

Couch - Glove Box (although my dad called it a "jockey box" - but it never stuck for me - I call it a glove box)
Born and raised in Utah :)
Hope you get feeling better soon!!!!

Scott / Lori said...

I won't comment on the first two items since I grew up with Karey and that would be a spoiler. But I have to say as a kid it was Pop, but for the past 20 years or so it has been soda.

Anyone else call the counter top the cupboard?

Fun memories to think about.

Lizzy said...

Missouri/Couch (as in potato)/glove mostly but also "ditty"/pop (but after living in another state and having them look at me funny when I said it, I switched to soda while I lived there--is that wrong?! Good exercise, Karey. Refrigerator or ice box? Probably depends on how old one is!

Marie Higgins said...

What a fun blog! lol I would call the first picture a couch. Grew up calling those things we sit on couches. However, the second picture I grew up calling it a jockey box until I got older and realized what does 'jockey' have to do with anything? So then I started calling it a glove box.


Shannon Martin said...

Couch and I think I use jockey box. HAHA. I am from Utah but I remember there were quite a few words (like pop) that I got made fun off for saying when we moved to Arizona. I still have to force myself to say flip-flops instead of thongs.....

~Laurie~ said...

Couch and glove box :) Can't wait to see what you called the first one!! I grew up in New England!

Creator McDonald said...

When I was growing up in Boise Idaho, we called it a daveno. In Utah, it became a couch. Then jockey box, and last Pop. I had to quit using the word daveno because no one knew what I was talking about.

John + Bethany said...

I use couch but probably say sofa sometimes too. And the second is glove box, never heard it called anything else. And I say soda, even though I'm from Utah and most of my family say pop. Massachusetts (where I live now) definitely has some different terms, like a shopping cart is a carriage, it isn't an event facility but a function facility, and the strangest one for me: a water fountain is a bubbler.

Karey said...

This is great! Pop and soda, another good one and Shannon, you're killing me! We used to say thongs, too. I remember saying once that thongs hurt my feet and someone just about died. That's so funny.

Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Missouri: daveno/sofa; jocky box;
pop; thongs; frig.
I also had to switch daveno to sofa or couch; thongs to flip flops.
Can't wait to read some more! This was fun!

Aim Aug said...

This is hysterical! I'm from Utah, so couch, glove compartment, we combined: soda pop, and fridge, and I remember thongs too! But my grandparents from Boise (but they lived all over the US and even Indonesia for awhile) called it a davenport, which I always though was weird because I thought the credenza looked more like a davenport and the davenport looked more like a credenza! And Grandpa called it a jockey box.

Ch√Ętelain said...

I call that piece of furniture a couch now, but when I was a kid we called it the divan.

The compartment in the car is a glovebox to me.

Anonymous said...

Couch: Some of the "really old" generation called it a:

Chesterfield or a Davenport, depending on the maker

What we currently call a "Glove Box" was originally used for storing gloves

A "jockey box" got it's name due to the fact that it was a small locked box

under the driver's seat of a wagon, a carriage, or a surrey to carry things

Mary L Walling said...

Hi Karey. I'm from Florida. I call that long thing you sit on a cradenza and that other thing you stow stuff in in the front seat of your car is a glove compartment. In the case of my car it is a catch-all or pigsty. It holds everything from napkins, straws, silverware, books, scissors, owners manuals, etc. How we ever get it closed is beyond me.

mormon birth mom said...

Westerners call it a couch - I grew up in California...BUT my midwest grandma called it a "davenport"! The other is a glove box....because it's where you put your driving gloves :) (Have also heard compartment as a few others have mentioned) And about the fizzy Cali we would just say Coke for everything! Otherwise I would say Soda over Pop. Then my australian mother in law called the countertop the "drain board". My mom also remembers "divan" for the couch :)

Betsy said...

When I was a little girl, my grandmother told me to sit on the "davenport" I could have sworn she said "davenporch". So I went out to the little room between the front door and the living room (what are those areas called that like a "block" for cold air getting into the house, commercial buildings have them.) My grandmother asked me what I was doing on the cold floor. She showed me what a davenport was. I still think of my grandmother's front door area.

Suzanne said...

Hi...a how-to friend here! =) Those are, of course, a couch and a glove box. (Now I have to go read all the other comments and see what everyone else said). I grew up in Utah/California. But I've never really heard them called anything else in all my traveling with the military. So now you've got me curious! Fun post.

Suzanne said...

I never heard Californians saying "coke" for everything. I did hear that in the south all the time though. (Georgia, etc.) You want a coke? What kind? The root beer kind. Whatever.

In the south they also call a shopping cart a buggy. And their cubes of butter aren't cubes. They're sticks. But they actually are longer and thinner, so stick really does describe it better. Kind of funny.

Mary said...

Couch and glove box, I grew up in Denver with an SE Idaho Dad and Kansas Mom. Now in SE WA. Hubby says couch and jocky box (hate hearing jocky box because it doesn't fit to me). SE Idaho inlaws say davenport and Jocky box.

Soda, pop, soda pop, all fit, mainly now it is pop-that is what my kids say.

Last time I wore thongs was when my 18 yr old was born, was in labor walking down hospital hallway and had my hubby take them so I could walk barefoot. Wouldn't dream of wearing todays thongs, and kids wear flip flops (they would dream of wearing thongs either).

Butter comes in sticks, a cube is just enough to spread on bread, toast, or top potatoes.

Some of the interesting words aren't the word itself but the way it is said - po-tae-toe vrs po-tah-toe, ah-qua, a(at)qua.

Dialect makes words different, as well as well as word choices.

What is in goolash-and how do you spell it? I hear it for all kinds of food mixes.

Rebecca Adams said...


I'm glad I'm not the only one who calls the counter top the cupboard! Just last month when we were looking at the place we moved to and comparing it to our old place, I said something like "I'm excited to have a lot more cupboard space!" My husband says "you mean counter top space?" Yes, that's what I meant...but I still call the counter top the cupboard!

Also, I say pop. :)

Rebecca Adams said...

The whole 'thong' thing reminded me of the word 'gay'. Our world has been corrupted! We can't say thong meaning flip flops, and we can't say gay meaning happy! I'm sure there are other words like this out there that we can't say because they have a whole new disgusting meaning to it.

Primarymary said...

We called it a couch or sofa, but my Mom also called it the bed. I've also heard divan or davenport used.
The thing in the car was always the glove compartment.
I was raised in Central Massachusetts, and I'm pretty sure its the rest of the country that use odd words. We rarely drank Pop, so it never really had a name, now it is coke or pepsi, depending on what is in the can.
I used to always say flip flops, until I got older and they became Jap Flaps. Now that I am in Arizona they are flip flops again, and nobody knows where the bubbler is.

LL said...

I'm loving Primary Mary above. Living in central ma. currently, I love that she just said BUBBLER.
Funniest name for a drinking fountain.
And our here they say "jimmies" for the sprinkles you put on ice cream. I love the different names of things.
But POP and SUCKERS kill me. Born and raised in Utah, but having lived in MA for 10 years those are the two words that bug me when I go back to Utah. It's soda and lollipops.
To answer your question,
COUCH and GLOVE BOX! can't wait to hear what you call it!!!!

Vicki said...

Usually I call them a couch and a glove compartment. I grew up mostly in Southern California.

LaDawn Farnworth said...

Couch, glove box (where you keep your gloves), pop, cupboard

born and raised in Idaho

Tawnie J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

i would say what i called it, but it would spoil it as well since we grew up in the same household. :)

i did say thongs, but now say flip flops.
i did say pop as a child, but now say soda.
i do say sucker, sometimes lollipop.

i currently live in utah and i CANNOT wait until it is flip flop weather. i miss mine.

Carll said...

Got here solely from a whim-of-the-evening web search about "calling the countertop the cupboard." My mother has always said this, and it caused some confusion for me growing up. Never expected there were others out there; assumed it was just a Mom-thing.

Great discussion, and otherwise, it's sofa/glove compartment/flip flop/soda.

Southeastern PA

alex james said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
william doe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

It's a davenport and jocky box. Denver Colorado

alexa jeam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Best Article Websites said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hm, Mom taught me davenport, but I usually call it a couch. The thing is a jockey box, and glove compartment sounds so formal! It was always Pop to me, but in the Air Force people teased me, so I learned to say soda. I knew girls from Georgia who asked if I wanted a coke, and then asked what kind. They called every pop a coke, ha ha! And those summer time shoes were thongs. I was raised in Idaho.

john arnold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.