We hear so much about bed and the “accessories” that make it even more comfortable, but… do you know the origins?! These are things we are always seeing, using in everyday life that we never stop to think about where it comes from! Ah, a good bed after a day’s work! Or even without much work. Anyway, in our civilization this is a piece of furniture that cannot be missing for resting. It is made up of several parts and various objects are used on it. And it is about the etymology of these components that we will talk now.
- BED – was used in late Latin as bed, “narrow and low bed”, probably of Iberian origin.
- BED – a better bed was called by the Romans as lectus, “bed”. But beware: they also used this name for “coffin” a place where one sleeps forever.
- CATRE – many are now unaware of this little bed of wooden legs in an accordion, with a canvas for a mattress, that can be folded up during the day to take up less space and that is a guarantee of back pain after getting up. Its origin is Malay kattil, “couch, bed”.
- GRABAT – ah, this word few people know! It is a synonym of catre, from the Latin grabatus, “poor, poorly made bed.
- ESTRADO – is the part of the bed that holds the mattress. Without it, the bed doesn’t work. It comes from the Latin stratum, originally “mat to sleep on,” from the verb sternere, “to extend, to lay stretched out on top of.
- COLCHION – from Old French culche, “bed,” derived from coucher, “to lie down,” from Latin collocare, “to put something in its place,” formed from cum, “together,” plus locare, from locus, “place.” COLCHA has the same origin.
- MOLA – many mattresses are spring made, whose name comes from the Latin mollare, “to loosen, leave loose,” from mollis, “soft, soft, slack, not hard.
- Foam – and other mattresses are made with the material of this name, which comes from the Latin spuma, “foam” itself.
- HAIR – some mattresses may be a bag containing horsehair, a word derived from the Latin crinis, “braid of hair, lock of hair”.
- FEATHERS – some mattresses and pillows may be stuffed with feathers, from the Latin penna, “wing, feather”.
- LENCH – this goes over the mattress and its name is derived from the Latin linteolum, “cloth made of linen,” from linum, “linen” (both the plant and the cloth made from it).
The blankets we use today are made with very different techniques and fabrics than the first ones that appeared in prehistoric times. Back then, our ancestors only needed the skins of bears or mammoths to keep out the cold.
- COVERER – from cover, which comes from the Latin cooperire, “to cover up, cover well,” from com-, “together,” plus operire, “to cover, conceal, cover up.”
- EDREDOM – from French édredon, from Icelandic aedar-dun, “soft bird plumage.”
- TRAVESSEIRO – is from the Latin vertere, “to turn, to make turn”, for its habit of being crossed over the bed.
- FRONHA – some say it has an obscure origin; for our part, we suggest the Spanish funda, “pillowcase, wrapping in cloth or leather,” from the Latin funda, “bag.
- DOSSEL – is that wooden frame of ancient and stately beds over which curtains, tapestries, etc. are stretched. These served for decoration but also to conceal what was going on there, at a time when bedrooms could serve as passageways to other parts of the house. It comes from the Latin dorsum, “back”.
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