10
   

Why is a coffee table called a coffee table?

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:09 pm
They even have coffee table books. When you go to a coffee shop they don't have low tables but regular sized tables.

Sometimes I do see them called cocktail tables.

Are there cocktail table books too?

When you go to a cocktail bar they don't have little tables either. Sometimes they have really high tables.

Those tables are called, I think, bistro or pub tables.

All these table labels are confusing.

I don't even know what books to buy to put on them.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 10 • Views: 7,174 • Replies: 26
No top replies

 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:16 pm
@boomerang,
Cos you put your coffee on them when you're sitting down chatting.

Or your tea, or your ethanol of choice.

Or your nibblies.

I put any books on my coffee table...then they move to shelves and such.

Magazines sit there, too...and stuff.

Really, the coffee table is an organic and flexible concept.

One ought not allow concerns re what is right to put on a coffee table to interfere with the convenience of putting on it what one wishes.

I wish my coffee table had a shelf under it, though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:22 pm
Really though, it isn't terribly convienient to place the beverage of one's choice on such a low table though, is it?

I find it kind of awkward.

I insist my guest chat and imbibe at the dining table. (Even though I'm rarely inclinde to fee them.)
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:25 pm
You could call it a penis table and be happy about it.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:25 pm
@boomerang,
I usually sit on the floor when I put a beverage or food on the coffee table. However we got rid of our coffee table in the past several months (when we were showing our home and trying to move). It was a beautiful, but large marble coffee table - we got rid of it to show off the size of the room better (maybe this is waaay too much information).

Now I use the end tables as "coffee" tables for my beverages and occassional snacks. These actually work better for the height reason you mention.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:31 pm
@dlowan,
Quote:
I wish my coffee table had a shelf under it, though.


I had one like that once, and it was damned convenient . . . i don't recall what happened to it . . .
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:35 pm
@boomerang,
You're just plain ornery, ain't you?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:36 pm
@Setanta,
Well, if you find it, I'll be happy to take it off your paws.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:40 pm
If you have a rack underneath you have to tidy the magazines. You dont seriously expect anyone else to straighten them up do you?

glass tops are no no as well they show all the greasy fingermarks.

The real reason coffee tables at the height they are is so the man of the house has somewhere to put his feet.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:51 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_table

Quote:


A coffee table, also called a cocktail table, is a style of long, low table which is designed to be placed in front of a couch, to support beverages (hence the name), magazines, books (especially coffee table books), and other small items to be used while sitting, such as coasters. Coffee tables are usually found in the living room or sitting room. They are available in many different variations and prices vary from style to style. Coffee tables may also incorporate cabinets for storage.

The idiom "Gather round the coffee table" is derived from the furniture piece and its proclivity for encouraging conviviality and light conversation.


The first tables, in Europe, specifically designed as and called coffee tables, appear to have been made in Britain during the late Victorian era.

Prior to the late 18th century, the tables used in Europe in conjunction with a settle included occasional tables, end tables, centre tables, and tea tables. By 1780, the high backed settle was being replaced by low back sofas and this led to the development of sofa tables which stood against the back of the sofa and could be used by anyone sitting on the sofa to put down a book or a cup.

According to the listing in Victorian Furniture by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray and also in The Country Life Book of English Furniture by Edward T. Joy, a table designed by E. W. Godwin in 1868 and made in large numbers by William Watt, and Collinson and Lock, is a coffee table. If this is correct it may be one of the earliest made in Europe. Other sources, however, list it only as 'table' so this cannot be stated categorically. Far from being a low table, this table was about twenty-seven inches high.

Later coffee tables were designed as low tables and this idea may have been introduced from the Ottoman Empire, based on the tables in use in tea gardens. However, as the Anglo-Japanese style was popular in Britain throughout the 1870s and 1880s and low tables were common in Japan, this would seem to be an equally likely source for the concept of a long low table.

From the late 19th century onwards, many coffee tables were subsequently made in earlier styles due to the popularity of revivalism, so it is quite possible to find Louis XVI style coffee tables or Georgian style coffee tables, but there seems to be no evidence of a table actually made as a coffee table before this time. Joseph Aronson writing in 1938 defines a coffee table as a, "Low wide table now used before a sofa or couch. There is no historical precedent...," suggesting that coffee tables were a late development in the history of furniture.


0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 08:53 pm
@boomerang,
If that's the way you feel, act on it. (why are you asking...)

It's your house.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:02 pm
@dadpad,
Wherefore springs this dastardly charge that I would expect anyone else to tidy my rack, oh Marspial of Little Brain and Manifest Malign Intent?

Harrumph.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:03 pm
I solve the "which book to buy" problem by keeping my books on a bookshelf or in a pile next to my bed while reading from the stack. My coffee table is mostly used to keep the growing pile of remote controls for various electronics sorted out. It also makes a great place for plants. I don't drink coffee, but do occassionally set a glass of water on the table. Perhaps I should then be calling it a water table?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:32 pm
As my coffee table most recently has been employed as a mini-military base I shall henceforth call it my mini-fortress of invincibility table.
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:48 pm
@boomerang,
excellent use for a coffee table. Also parking garage for heavy machinery. With a spread or blanket thrown over a dank and uninviting cave that needs exploring in case bears or worse, blood sucking vampire bats lurk within.

We're going on a bear hunt.

Cant do that with a magazine rack underneath.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 09:50 pm
@dlowan,
Typical! You show a little concern for a woman's rack and get your head bitten off.

*goes to cave
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:36 pm
I don't have a coffee table. I do have a couple of beer and wine tables. And I have a martini table. But coffee? No way!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:39 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

As my coffee table most recently has been employed as a mini-military base I shall henceforth call it my mini-fortress of invincibility table.



Gonna get old, saying that every time.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:39 pm
@dadpad,
dadpad wrote:

Typical! You show a little concern for a woman's rack and get your head bitten off.

*goes to cave


Your kind do not HAVE caves.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 10:46 pm
@dlowan,
Then perhaps I'll call it my mini-foit.

Ha.
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Why is a coffee table called a coffee table?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/21/2019 at 03:00:43