How do you define it?

gandle(4 NE)May 8, 2011

The word -cottage-, one of our dictionarys says a hut or vacation home. Another says a small house. I confess I've probably never used the word at all but I'm reading a book by P.D. James and some of the English terms elude me. They mention living in a squat. What in he!! is a squat? Just about all of the Brit-isms I can at least guess at by where they are used but some I have no idea.

I suppose an idealistic picture forms in my mind of a cozy small house surounded by gardens and that would be a cottage.

Oh well, we have cottage pudding and cottage cheese but I know what those are

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Oh do I ever love PD James.I've read all her books and some of them twice.I guess I've grown up with the term cottage because it was used in fairy tales a lot and the pictures always showed it to be a little house tucked in the woods,with lots of flowers around it.The English cottages I really liked when we were there were usually small,made of beautiful weathered stone and dripped charm with all the greenery.There is even a magazine out on the stands here called Cottage living,or something like that. I think a lot of us would love a small cottage somewhere.A squat as far as I know is just an abandoned building where people go to live if they don't want to pay any rent. Sometimes they get evicted and some times they don't. ( I Googled this) I'll bet Sara could clear this one up. So which James book are you reading?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 6:43PM
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Sometimes, language can be confusing.

We have a neighbor from England that planted a cottage garden in her front yard, full of flowers, roses and herbs. Our houses are not cottages (small houses) by any means,but she managed to bring a memory from her homeland and plant it here in Silicon Valley.

There is a new housing development going up on the last piece of farm land in our neighborhood. Some of the plots have room for a Casita (small house)next to the main house. There is a main room, and a bathroom. There is a small area in the main room with a counter, some drawers, a built in wine chiller, but no sink nor a stove. I fully expected a Casita to be fully functional as a small house, but the real estate agent said the zoning code prevented them from including these items.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 7:44PM
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Housing terms are confusing a lot of times. I live in a manufactured home on a permanent foundation, I call it my "not so mobile" home, there are some that call it a trailer and some call it a house. There are times I call it a shack, but whatever it's called, I am comfortable and it is small enough I can keep it up and have time for gardening or writing or reading and it is not going to go anywhere.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 8:29PM
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To me a cottage is a small house, equivalent to one of the earlier Cape Cod houses but with equally slanted roof, a live-in kitchen, a small parlor and bedroom downstairs and a room under the roof. Of course it has to have a cellar and a flower(cottage)garden in the front and a kitchen garden in the rear and flower boxes at the window. The walls are all stone, sometimes stuccoed and whitewashed.
It has a tile or slate roof. Houses of this type you find all over Europe.
A squat is a empty house or apartment which is used by mostly indigent people as lodging for what ever times they can live there (squatters).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 8:35PM
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gandle(4 NE)

Reading "The Murder Room". Thanks all for the definitions.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 9:11PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

Just google the word and you can get definitions of all sorts of words. I realazied I tend to use a lot of out-of-date slang when I see blank looks in the younger generation's eyes. The latest was Phooey. A comoon expression used by Nero Wolfe mysteries.

I enjoy reading Nigel Colburn's blog Silvertreedaze, He is a curmudgeon of a british gardener/writer and always has all these british expressions that are so, well, expressive.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 7:38AM
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I was just sure Sheila or Sara would clear it up. Hm.

I use phooey all the time. Makes older people laugh.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 1:38PM
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A Squat might be what we would call a "flat" like a one or two room apartment.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 6:50PM
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