Is this the "Living Room" or the "Death Room" ?

March 9, 2013
What is the origin of the term ‘living room’?
Room set up for ordinary social use,’ 1825 (as opposed to bedroom, dining room, etc.); from living + room “
In the late nineteenth century, decorative literature suggested a living room to be a reflection of the personality of the designer, rather than the Victorian conventions of the day where there was a formal room designated for receiving guests. The rise of the living room meant the end of such a room that had been common in the Victorian period.
The term ‘living room’ was known since the mid 19th century. This word was mainly coined to give a word to a space where the general social activities are performed. As there was a name for each room dedicated for specific activities like the bedroom, the dining room, the kitchen, et cetera, a name was supposed to be given to such a space which was a common place for all the members of the house where general living activities were performed. Thus, such a space was termed as the living room.
However, this term was not extensively used until the early 20th century. The use of the term by the common people started after the end of the World War I in 1918 prior to which it was called ‘The Death Room’. It was interesting for me to know the reason for which this front room of the house was given such a name and how things stacked up later so that this space was called the ‘The Living Room’.
It so happened that after the end of the World War, influenza was widely spread across the globe and millions of people lost their lives. There were deaths all around and the bodies were kept in the front room of the house for mourning before taking it for funeral. Thus, this room was then started to be called as ‘the Death Room’.
With the improving conditions and decrease in the number of deaths, the Ladies Home Journal suggested that this room was no more a death room. As it was used for various activities of the house and was more a lively place than a mourning room, it should be called ‘the Living Room’. Thus, the use of the term spread in common people.
Before the late nineteenth century, this space of a house was called a ‘parlor’. The term parlor was derived from a French verb ‘Parle®’ which means ‘to speak’. The term was given to the space because it was mainly a place for sitting and talking to various people. They may be the members of the family or guests. The function of this space was to carry out various formal or informal social functions of the house. With the advent of the term ‘living room’, the use of the term ‘parlor’ subsided.
“1175–1225; Middle English parlur < Anglo-French; Old French parleor, equivalent to parl ( er ) to speak (see parle) + -eor -or”
There are some other terms associated with the naming of a similar space but have minute differences on the basis of the functions being performed in this space.
The term ‘Drawing Room’, can be synonymously used for ‘parlor’. This is also a space which is used for entertaining visitors. This name is derived from the sixteenth century terms ‘withdrawing room or withdrawing chamber’ . A withdrawing room was a room to which the owner of the house, his wife, or a distinguished guest who was occupying one of the main apartments in the house could “withdraw” for more privacy.
In larger homes in the United States and Canada, the living room may be reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining, while a separate room—such as a ‘den, family room, or recreation room‘ is used for leisure and informal entertainment. A ‘great room’ combines the functions of one or more of these rooms.
A ‘family room’ is an informal, all-purpose room in a house similar to a living room. The family room is designed to be a place where family and guests gather for group recreation like talking, reading, watching TV, and other family activities.
A ‘recreation room’ (also known as a rec room, rumpus room, or ruckus room) is a room used for a variety of purposes, such as parties, games and other everyday or casual use. The term is common in the United States and Canada, but is less common in the United Kingdom where the preferred term is games room. Often children and teenagers entertain their friends in the rec room, which is often located in the basement, away from the main living areas of the house. Usually it is a larger space than a living room to have the ability to serve multiple purposes and entertain moderately large groups.
The term ‘Sitting Room’ is often used in place of a living room, although sitting room is also a space that can be seen in other public buildings such as hotels and public libraries for waiting or ideally sitting. The term living room is dedicatedly associated with residences.
Article origin: https://blogsurabhi.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/what-is-the-origin-of-the-term-living-room
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snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc posted for all of us...

Dats nize You finally learn how to DAGS ? Won't miss you...
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Tekkie

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On 1/7/2016 4:02 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

called parlor in my house. But, a lot of the kids in the neighborhood called it the front room, or as they pronounced it, "fron troom". My wife also remembers that too. Don't know if it is a Chi thing.
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On 1/7/2016 4:40 PM, Art Todesco wrote:

[snip]

Interesting. I suspect that those terms may also be affected by the ethnicity of the neighborhood.
Think about the "traditional" Chicago style brick bungalow. Early 50's found me living in our first house vicinity of Bryn Mawr and Milwaukee Av. The living room/front room/parlor was the first room you came into. They sometimes had a foyer little bigger than a closet and then you were in the "front room."
At the same time, grandparents place on the north side, a two story frame house, vicinity of Montrose & Elston was pretty much the same setup and they also called it the front room, followed by the dining room. They were of German and Czech descent and never used the term parlor.
My grand aunts and an uncle owned a two flat which had been converted into one large single family residence in Rogers Park. Of Irish descent, that room was the "parlor" Never heard it called anything else while in their presence. Then, too, a couple blocks down on Devon was Maloney's Funeral PARLOR. Back in the day, the Irish often held their wakes in the decedent's parlor at the home. (Probably because the booze was cheaper there<g>) Coincidence with the naming? Or not.
Moved to a newly built brick ranch home in 1953 just off the North Shore in far north Cook County and suddenly we had a living room. Go figure.
Ever since then we've had a living room<g>
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On 01/07/2016 03:57 PM, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

We always called it the 'front room'. When my grandmother died she was waked there. I remember getting up at night to take a leak and seeing the candles burning next to the coffin.
We also had the floating designation 'other room'. That was whatever room you were in that wasn't the room where the speaker uttering the phrase was located.
Sort of like the guy with two dogs. Ask him what one dog's name was and he'd reply 'Dog'. The second dog was 'Other Dog'. The rule was Dog was the closest one at the time.
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wrote:

When I was real young, my parents called it the "front room". I remember asking my dad why there is no back room. He told me to pick one. I picked the bathroom, because my bedroom and the kitchen were also in back, and I told him that it cant be a bedroom or a kitchen. He laughed and said something about having to move the bathtub and toilet into another room then, and I really thought he was going to do it. Later on we both agreed that the garage was the back room, even thought it was not attached to the house.
Later on they started to call it a living room. I think that was because my aunts and uncles called it that.
Kind of funny how there are so many names for the same room, and how they change the names over time.
It seemed that in the late 50s everyone of my uncles and my dad all built rec rooms in the basement all about the same time. I guess that was the fad, along with the bamboo and the Hawaiian look, which was truly a fad then.
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On 1/7/2016 8:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moc wrote:

of paint.
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Ed Pawlowski posted for all of us...

Does this mean I have to buy a drum of Kilz to seal my knotty pine paneling?
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Tekkie

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On 1/8/2016 2:42 PM, Tekkie® wrote:

Nope! Just whip up a couple of pitchers of Mai Tai's or some other fancy rum drink and drink them. You'll find all your decorating concerns fading quickly!
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On Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 5:40:23 PM UTC-5, Art Todesco wrote:

Detroit suburbs in the 60s. I heard it called the front room, too.
Cindy Hamilton
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Cindy Hamilton wrote:

Lately it's called great room which includes all of above whatever room they were.
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On Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 5:40:23 PM UTC-5, Art Todesco wrote:

In Cleveland in the 50's it was also sometimes referred to as the front roo m.
Paul
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R Bowman mentioned "We always called it the 'front room'. When my grandmother died she was waked there. I remember getting up at night to take a leak and seeing the candles burning next to the coffin.
I haven't heard the term "take a leak" in many, many years.
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