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Cabinet Options
Atatürk
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:43:53 PM

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What's the difference between a kitchen cabinet and a kitchen cupboard?

And the difference between a closet and wardrobe?

Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum!
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 4:52:45 PM

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Atatürk wrote:
What's the difference between a kitchen cabinet and a kitchen cupboard?
There really isn't any difference where I live here in the U.S.

And the difference between a closet and wardrobe?
Generally, a closet can hold much more than a wardrobe. Also, many closets are the walk-in type. You can't do that with a wardrobe.



We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:18:08 PM

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FounDit wrote:
Atatürk wrote:
What's the difference between a kitchen cabinet and a kitchen cupboard?
There really isn't any difference where I live here in the U.S.

And the difference between a closet and wardrobe?
Generally, a closet can hold much more than a wardrobe. Also, many closets are the walk-in type. You can't do that with a wardrobe.



I would add, that in the US, a closet is very small (unless you're rich!) room in which you store clothes or coats, generally. Wardrobes are sticks of furniture for the same purpose.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 4:49:37 AM

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You can pee or pray in a closet, but propably not in your wardrobe.
Whistle


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 7:19:57 AM
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JJ - Applause Applause

Ataturk: I've discovered, from travelling, that these are likely to differ from place to place.

One main distinction - the one JJ is referring to - is the word "closet".

This was a Middle English word which went over to America in the 17thCentury. It refers to any small, private room whether it's used to pray in, to write in, to have a nap in, or, as JJ says, to pee in. It's still used in this way but today closets can only be found in old, historical buildings like castles or Stately Homes, so it isn't a word used very often - except by historians.

However, in America the word gradually morphed into meaning a cupboard.

A cabinet refers to a piece of portable furniture. You can go and buy a cabinet at an antique market or a shop and take it home to display things in....while a cupboard is usually built into the house - it has a door which is part of the fabric of the building.

A wardrobe is the specific place - whether it's a walk-in one or a piece of free-standing furniture - where one keeps one's clothes.It was originally a rectangular wooden box.

The difference between the European meaning of "closet", "cabinet" and "wardrobe" and the American usage of these terms can lead to confusion (like a car "boot" or "trunk"); however most English speakers nowadays are perfectly aware of the difference ( as we are aware of "lift", "elevator"; or "rubber" "eraser") so one usually takes one's cue from the speaker.
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 8:36:56 PM

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In AE, a cabinet and a cupboard are essentially the same thing, though the term "cupboard" is more apt to be used in kitchens and bathrooms than other rooms of the house (maybe because you have a cup/cups in the cupboard). There is no rule about it. "Cabinet" is used in any room. Both mean an attached or inset (i.e. it may be built into the wall) box with shelves on the inside and doors that close off the shelves.

They weren't always attached to the wall, and "cabinet" may be used for some free-standing furniture today (e.g. a china cabinet, to hold dishes). In houses built since the mid-twentieth century, at least, cupboards tend to be attached to or built into the walls (cabinets, too).

A closet is a small storage room. It is the term used for the space used to store hanging clothes in a bedroom (dresses, shirts, slacks, etc.) A closet may literally be a room, in which case it is a walk-in closet: you can walk into it and stand in it. The rods for hanging clothing will usually be on at least two sides of the room, perhaps three. There may be shelving along one side of the room for things like sweaters, that stretch out of shape if hung.

A closet that is not a walk-in will have one clothing rod running left to right in front of you when you open the doors. There will almost always be more than one door, because the closet will be wide enough to hang clothing for two people (or one with a lot of shirts or dresses). There may be short shelves at one end of the closet (maybe both ends), but the closet will not be deep enough to put shelving in the back, behind the clothes rod.

A closet used for clothing will either be called a closet or a clothes closet. A closet used for other storage, like cleaning supplies or laundry supplies or holiday decorations, will probably be called a storage closet. Again, however, there is no rule about this.

A wardrobe is a free-standing piece of furniture, which takes the place of a closet. Wardrobes were where clothing was hung in the Victorian era, before houses had built-in closets. A wardrobe usually has one or two drawers under the cabinet for hanging clothes. A wardrobe does not hold anywhere near as much as even a small closet will hold, so they are not very much in favor in our current age of acquisition and over-consumption.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 3:00:30 AM

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I think that this goes to show that different people use different words for the same thing! (It's not only American/British, but within each continent too.)
The 'early' (very basic) meanings of the words may help.

"Closet" and "cabinet" are from Norman French, "cupboard" and "ward" and "robe" are more directly Germanic (Anglo-Saxon early English).

"Closet" initially meant "a private room" - 'closed space'. (A 'closet drinker' is someone who gets drunk in private, when they are alone in their room, but makes a public show of not drinking.)

"Wardrobe" is "ward" - to guard or keep safe - and "robe" - clothing.

"Cabinet" is "cabin" - a hut or wooden building and "-et/-ette" - 'small'.
Sometimes a room built of wood on the deck of a ship.
Later, the meaning expanded. The private rooms of the lord or king in a palace (where many rooms were public) - and the people allowed in there were called the Cabinet.
A "cabinet-maker" is a person who works with wood to make fancy furniture. A bit more of an artist than a carpenter.

"Cupboard" would be a board (shelf) for cups. However the earliest known use (apparently thirteenth century) was a recess with doors and shelves - a small closet with shelves.

So they have all "grown together"
A small walk-in space with a door, used for hanging clothes, could be a closet or a wardrobe.
A free-standing wooden space with doors, used for clothes, could be a wardrobe or a cabinet - or a closet to some people.
A closed recess with shelves could be a cupboard - but a set of shelves with doors in a kitchen or dining-room could also be a cupboard, or maybe a kitchen cabinet.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 3:37:40 AM

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Jyrkkä Jätkä wrote:
You can pee or pray in a closet, but propably not in your wardrobe.
Whistle


But you could in your garderobe, in medieval England those nobles that had a castle would hang their clothes in the garderobe ( a medieval toilet) in the belief the smells would keep fleas away.

Garderobe is similar to wardrobe "Gard" to protect or secure, but I think it's association with bodily functions meant that people preferred eventually to use the term wardrobe for a clothes storage area.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 5:34:19 AM

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I'd rather use a cedar chest!

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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