You are not a couch potato

Madame Recamier on an Empire-period couch, painted by David, c. 1800

You are a SOFA potato.


The couch is a form of bench used since ancient times. One could use it for lounging, dining, and sleeping. It was backless - although the Romans did use a version with a partial back - with one or two end supports.

Ancient Egyptian couch found in King Tutankhamun's tomb


The sofa on which you so love to sprawl while watching the Real Housewives on Bravo has a back and two armrests the same height. One of the earliest versions dating to the early 17th century is the so-called Knole sofa named after the eponymous Sackville ancestral home in Sevenoaks, Kent.

A Knole sofa at Upton House, Warwickshire

The Knole's high armrests, which dropped down for more comfortable snoozing, offered protection from drafts and are said to have provided privacy from the prying eyes of servants.

A duchesse brisée

One day I hope to be a duchesse brisée potato, which is a chaise longue (that's long chair, NOT chaise lounge!) with the foot end enclosed (which is just a duchesse) AND then brisée, i.e. broken into two or three parts: a bergère and footstool(s).