Monday, April 25, 2005


A post exploring the etymology and different meanings of the word "divan." I find this very interesting because my grandmother, who grew up as part of a homesteading family in East Texas and New Mexico ("migrant workers," they'd probably be called these days), and who lived for many years on a small Arkansas farm, always used the word "divan" to mean "sofa" or "couch." I can't recall that I've ever heard anyone else use that word, and I always thought it was some sort of rural slang. I wonder where and how she would have picked up a word of Persian origins.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My own grandmother, or hearty Pennsylvania Dutch stock, favored "davenport." But "divan" was a word I was familiar with from the Bible -- King David, I think, spoke of his "divan of illness" in one of the Psalms.

6:36 AM  
Blogger michael said...

Dan Brown used the word many times in his books, Angels and Demons and The DaVinci Code. Funny thing, I knew what he was naming without looking it up.

It reminded me of another author (?memory) who used the word "gingerly" so many times I considered quitting the book.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in the Cincinnati suburbs in the 1950s, and sofa was the term used. Rural people in the Midwest often used "davenport," and "divan" I think is a Southern usage.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

folks grew up in southeast kansas and southwest missouri. They moved to Wichita after college and Korea and as I grew up I only heard divan, never couch or sofa until I became an adult.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amidst the various meanings of "divan" listed, the most important one of all was forgotten:
Chicken Divan!
An easy chicken casserole with broccoli and Parmesan cheese.

1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (reduced fat)
1/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon sherry or white wine, optional
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli spears, cooked and drained
grated Parmesan cheese

Combine soup, half and half, chicken, butter, sherry and nutmeg. Arrange broccoli an a shallow casserole; top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly.

9:54 PM  

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