"linen-swagged" bed


Chinese - Mandarin
Now, in the linen-swagged marriage bed on the fourth floor of their house, Julian was lying sprawled amongst a cornucopia of broderie anglaise pillows.

— "The Gobbler" by Adrian Edmondson

What does a "linen-swagged" bed mean?

Does it mean a bed full of linens, or some particular way of bed-making?
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Welcome to the forum, BleedingO:)
    This picture shows a bed with swags over the headboard: they're basically just decorative bits of fabric, draped. This picture shows curtains with swags (at the top).

    (So you're reading The Gobbler? ~ you have my sympathies:()


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    This use of 'swag' is new to me and I had to look it up in the OED: "A wreath or festoon of flowers, foliage, or fruit fastened up at both ends and hanging down in the middle, used as an ornament; also of a natural festoon."

    A book that uses this in the same sentence as 'cornucopia of broderie anglaise' is a bit suspect. :)


    Chinese - Mandarin
    Thank you for the reply, entanglebank. I had looked up the word in dictionaries. it's just that I can't imagine a bed with a 'swag' without actually seeing one. >_<
    Yes, the hero of the book doesn't seem to like the decoration neither. :)

    And thanks so much for the pictures, ewie. Or I can never imagine a bed like that.
    I'm not reading the book. I'm struggling to translate it into Chinese, without permission though. :eek:
    Do you really hate the book so much? :D
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