Social Question

rojo's avatar

In English colloquialisms, why is a "flat" called a flat?

Asked by rojo (24159points) April 16th, 2015

Is it because it is all on one floor as opposed to a multi-level dwelling?

Just wondering, generated from @longgone ‘s happy times post.

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6 Answers

marinelife's avatar

“flat (n.) 1801, “a story of a house,” from Scottish flat “floor or story of a house,” from Old English flett “a dwelling; floor, ground,” from the same source as flat (adj.). Meaning “floor or part of a floor set up as an apartment” is from 1824.” Online Etymology Dictionary

longgone's avatar

Oh, interesting! Glad to have inspired you to ask!

talljasperman's avatar

I think it is where one lyes down flat.

ucme's avatar

I think probably because residents dwell on a single floor, but then a bungalow would be “flat” too.

Stinley's avatar

I have wondered this and I am pleased it comes from a Scottish word.

While we are on the subject, what is a duplex?

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@Stinley A duplex is either a single apartment spread out over two floors or a house divided into two separate apartments.

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