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Finishing School

Hassock This!

This Week's Weird Victorian Term Explained

What is the difference between a hassock, a tuffet, and a pouffe?

They are all basically the same thing: a footrest or stool that is covered and padded. In Victorian times the following distinction was drawn: a hassock is more likely to have feet and be square, a tuffet is usually round with feet like a covered stool, and a pouffe is round with no feet.

My mum, being the eccentric Brit that she is, is prone to referring to them all as poufftees.


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Is there also a difference between a hassock, a tuffet, a pouffe and an ottoman? Ottomans are very popular these days and seem to serve the same purpose.



Back in Victorian times and ottoman specifically meant something with one arm, or arms both ends and no back, or only a partial back. http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/furniture-lighting/a-late-victorian-ottomandaybed-late-19th-century-4947279-details.aspx

These days? It seems to cover the gambit.

Re: Ottoman

Huh that looks like something we'd call a chaise longue nowadays. Love finding out how language changes over the years.

Years ago I found out that Hamlet's "get thee to a nunnery" meant not a convent but a house of ill repute.