Language · Word of the week

Word of the week: chairdrobe

I love this word, it hardly needs a description: a chair serving the function of a wardrobe.

I’m not sure whether I made it up, and found that other people had made it up at the same time, or read it and then forgot about it. The first time I remember reading it was in one of Nicholas Lezard’s excellent pieces in The New Statesman, from 2013, but I definitely knew the word before that. This article also introduced me to the idea of “The Scholar’s Mistress”, described as “sharing the bed with a large and varied assortment of reading matter”. That concept was new to me.

And I also like these variants of the chairdrobe: the back-of-door-drobe and the floordrobe. Our household is home to all three but I have been trying to limit the number of chairdrobes since discovering that, between the four of us, 11 (yes, eleven) different chairs were harbouring clothes in various states of freshness. We’re now down to four, one chairdrobe each. Is that acceptable? Do most people have a chairdrobe for the things that they wore a day or two ago, but don’t need washing yet, like sweaters or jeans? We all do it, right?

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