Senior Member
Britain English
Would an American use the word 'closet' for what a British speaker would call the 'cupboards' in a kitchen?
  • Chaska Ñawi

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    On this side of the Atlantic, we have cupboards (and in addition, some of us still have pantries) in our kitchens.

    Our closets are little rooms with their own doors where we store things like skeletons, or hide until we're ready to step out and declare our sexuality.


    Senior Member
    english, USA
    however, in AE as in BE, there are no water cupboards

    the pantries referred to above tend to be larger than cupboards

    a kitchen pantry would typically be a walk-in small room mostly for storing food (though it might just be a large cupboard)

    a kitchen closet would be where one stored the brooms and other cleaning supplies


    Senior Member
    Cymraeg Cymru
    In the olden days, the closet was room in the corner of the castle. The room was used to hang coats and there was an aperture to the outside waste for disposal of liquid human waste. The name closet in modern parlance is used to describe the cloakroom in a house or WC meaning water closet.


    Senior Member
    Britain English
    Thank you all.
    I also now know where to dispose of my liquid human waste when visiting American friends.


    i think u r looking for "wardrobe"

    wardrobe Anoun1 wardrobe, closet, press
    a tall piece of furniture that provides storage space for clothes; has a door and rails or hooks for hanging clothes
    2 cupboard, closet
    a small room (or recess) or cabinet used for storage space
    3 wardrobe, closet, press
    a tall piece of furniture that provides storage space for clothes; has a door and rails or hooks for hanging clothes

    WR Rule #21 - Except as a topic of discussion, chatspeak and SMS style are not acceptable. Members must do their best to write using standard language forms. <<This includes using capital letters where appropriate.>>


    Senior Member
    USA - English
    To further clarify. In AE:

    cupboard/cabinet Storage areas above and below the counter top used for the storing food goods and plates, dishes, cups, etc. Cupboards/cabinets are found in kitchens and bathrooms and sometimes utility rooms. See PHOTO here.

    closet Storage area usually adjacent to a bedroom, or found in a hallway, used for storing clothing items. A photo of a "walk-in closet" is here.

    pantry A "closet" - usually with shleves - adjacent to the kitchen used for storing food stuffs. Here is a photo of a pantry.

    Edit: In follow-up to Alunarada's post, what is called a "wardrobe" in Europe, is called an armoire in the US. These are also popular, but are used more as decorative furniture items.


    Senior Member
    Cymraeg Cymru
    Wardrobe is another word for

    garderobe. n. wardrobe; private room, privy.garderobe. n. wardrobe; private room, privy.

    garderobe is the room which looks after your clothes middle english "garder + robe"

    In olden days the garderobe, closet, WC or "privvy" was where you hung your clothes to benefit from the amonia fumes to rid your "robes" of bugs etc.

    So we are back to the cloakroom in your hallway or in AE "half bath"
    My Scottish grandmother used to refer to 'the press', but it was in the kitchen.

    Dictionary of the Scottish Language
    A (? shelved) cupboard, sometimes containing drawers, for holding clothes, documents, money, vessels, etc.

    Hingand press, a cupboard for hanging (? clothes) in. Naprie press, a linen chest or cupboard.
    Also, a cupboard into which a bed could be folded.



    I think the average British or Irish closet is much smaller than its American counterpart - thus making coming out of it a more liberating experience on this side of the Atlantic. :D
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