1902 Victorian

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Soffit by Any Other Name

Is a soffit what I think it is?
According to Merriam-Webster, sort of maybe:
Main Entry: sof·fit
Pronunciation: 'sä-f&t
Function: noun
Etymology: French soffite, from Italian soffitto, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin suffictus, past participle of Latin suffigere to fasten underneath -- more at SUFFIX
: the underside of a part or member of a building (as of an overhang or staircase); especially : the intrados of an arch

Dictionary.com says:
The underside of a structural component, such as a beam, arch, staircase, or cornice.

I really hate not knowing what to call something. Saying "those thingies made of drywall above the cabinets" is not very efficient.



Anonymous said...

Soffit is a fairly new term to me for this structure. I have always connected soffit with the area under a roof overhang. I have always refered to "those thingies made of drywall above the cabinets" as bulkheads, however that yields a equally less than reasuring definition:

Main Entry: bulk·head
Pronunciation: 'b&lk-"hed, 'b&l-"ked
Function: noun
Etymology: bulk structure projecting from a building + head
1 : an upright partition separating compartments
2 : a structure or partition to resist pressure or to shut off water, fire, or gas
3 : a retaining wall along a waterfront
4 : a projecting framework with a sloping door giving access to a cellar stairway or a shaft

-Andrew in Red Lion

3:07 PM  
Kristin said...

Well, if there isn't a satisfactory word for those drywall thingies, we should just come up with one. My sister and I made up a bunch of new slang words in high school, just to see if we could make them catch on. Hmmm, didn't work out!

Maybe they could be thingus drywallicus. No?

3:44 PM  
Kristin said...

Last night I heard someone on the HGTV show Generation Renovation refer to those thingies-over-the-cabinets as soffits. So at least I'm not the only one.

2:25 PM  

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