NABOKV-L post 0006975, Mon, 28 Oct 2002 14:38:08 -0800

Fw: no pressing matter: PALE FIRE and "press"
EDNOTE: NABOKV-L thanks Nicholas Laughlin for this item. Let it be a
cautionary to us all. Several times I have chased after some Nabokovian
rabbit to discovered it meant something in Edwardian English quite different
from what a naive American reader might think.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nicholas Laughlin" <>

> ----------------- Message requiring your approval (23
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> The definition of "press" as "a large (usually
> shelved) cupboard" etc. seems to have caused
> puzzlement to some list members recently. It's of no
> relevance to Nabokov, but I thought it might interest a
> few of you to know that up to a generation or so ago
> "press" was the standard word for such an item of
> household furniture here in Trinidad, W.I., where I
> live. My grandparents & great-aunts (born c. 1910)
> habitually used "press" where I would use "cupboard" &
> where most Americans I suspect would use "closet". I
> have no idea why this word survived in common usage
> for so long in this corner of the English-speaking
> world, or whether the same is true of other Caribbean
> territories.
> Nicholas Laughlin
> Diego Martin
> Trinidad, W.I.
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