General Question

mark's avatar

What's the difference between a couch and a sofa?

Asked by mark (225points) January 10th, 2009

I’m guessing there’s a semantic difference (maybe one has arms or something) but when I go shopping I see the same things being called both couches and sofas. Is there any difference?

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12 Answers

cdwccrn's avatar

The pronunciation.

asmonet's avatar

I think couch came later as the definition is:
—sofa: an upholstered seat for more than one person.

Whereas the definition for sofa, has no mention of couch but is identical in almost all cases, I do however see more definitions mentioning armrests on couches than sofas. I have no idea.

I wonder where the words came from. I’m off to dig deeper.

Aha! Wikipedia has some interesting information on sofas and couches. I never thought I’d wiki that.

cdwccrn's avatar

Same thing as a davenport.

SoapChef's avatar

@cdwccrn You took the words right outta my fingers! lurve

charliecompany34's avatar

couch is old school for sofa. then again, a sofa is in the living room. a couch is like in a basement with beer and cigar smells.

Blondesjon's avatar

About $200. If it’s a davenport expect to pay $100 more on top of that.

aprilsimnel's avatar

What, ho, word lovers! Yet another synonym: Chesterfield.

Per Bartleby

richardhenry's avatar

Technically, there isn’t one. It’s a marketing thing.

camelback sofa: a loveseat, a sofa that seats two people.

chaise longue: a reclining chair with a lengthened seat forming a leg rest.

chesterfield: a sofa with padded arms and back of the same height and curved outward at the top.

button-back sofa: a futon (a Japanese quilted mattress rolled out on the floor for use as a bed).

davenport: a large upholstered sofa, typically able to be converted into a bed.

canapé: a small piece of bread or pastry with a savory topping, often served with drinks at a reception or formal party. Umm, or a pullout sofa.

daybed: a couch that can be made up into a bed.

divan: an S-shaped sofa on which two people can sit face to face, or a long low sofa without a back or arms, typically placed against a wall.

judochop's avatar

I love me some canapé.

AstroChuck's avatar

So if there’s really no difference then I guess that makes me a sofa potato.

Response moderated
bubbleblue's avatar

relax on a couch, and sit proper on the sofa…

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