Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Word of the Day: parlor

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A parlor is a small room near the front door of a house, set off from the foyer, perhaps with a sofa or a few chairs. This is where you greet your guests. Parlor is also used for some very specific businesses, like an ice cream parlor. The parlor car on a train has seats with a little more space than cabin seats. What do all of these parlors have in common? People talk there. Just think about the chatter in a beauty parlor. But the original parlor was the part of a monastery where monks could meet with people from the outside. A parlor was even briefly was used as the window where confessions were given. Our word parlor, is from the French parler, meaning “to speak.”

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