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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2010-08-15 18:31:06

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1561

"shiftrobe" for chifforobe

There is an obscure piece of furniture that is burned into the American psyche through its role as a MacGuffin in To Kill A Mockingbird. You may know which one I’m talking about – the chifforobe.
The earliest mention of a chifforobe in Google Books is from a 1902 Sears and Roebuck catalogue. The word is a somewhat ungainly portmanteau that amalgamates a chiffonier, which is a tall thin chest of drawers, from the French for “piece of cloth”, and a wardrobe, to guard your robes. The chifforobe as a name for this piece of furniture exists chiefly in the Southern States, according to the AHD, but the circumstances of its use in Harper Lee’s story has placed it into much wider consciousness. It even shows up in the Urban Dictionary as a conceit for miscegenation.

Booboo points to the chifforobe in the Words that have fallen out of favor thread. A shift a robe or shiftrobe is an elegant, transparent alternative to the opaque original. The shift could be between hanging and folding your clothes, for example, or between the two sides of the thing.

Search trace
design ideas results for the search : antique shift a robe.

Furniture refinishing
This is a shiftarobe that belonged to my mom’s cousin. [...] We have the shiftarobe in our bedroom in this home.

“FLA classified (snippet)”
1940,s Dresser/with matching mirror and shiftarobe good cond. Location: Englewood

Antiques question
Antique Shiftrobe + J. Harry Fathauer?
i dont know what year it is but its been in my family forever

Furnishing baby room
As far as storage there’s a closet (one of those small old house closets), a shift robe, an armoire, and a changing table/dresser that has yet to be purchased. [...] This shiftrobe was my grandmother’s when she was a child.

Hotel review
There was no closet in the room, just a shiftrobe to hang a few things in.

The lyrics for Whistlin’ past the graveyard, by Tom Waits, involve bustin’ up a chifforobe, way out by the Kokomo. Screamin’ Jay does a cover that has him bustin’ up a chaperone, which resonates, given his prodigious fertility.



#2 2010-08-15 22:46:49

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2601

Re: "shiftrobe" for chifforobe

Good eggcorn. There is also Zwicky’s Shiffer robe in our database.

Last edited by kem (2010-12-18 00:20:01)

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2012-05-07 19:56:33

From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 1101

Re: "shiftrobe" for chifforobe

A place for Arnold or Claudia to store her robes.

There is a sizable schiffer robe for storing all your clothes after you unpack.
Apt for rent in Tuscany

Made for shipping.

This room provides a haven of rest with it’s queen sized bed complimented by an oak dresser, old steamer truck, and an antique shipper robe.
Texas B&B

Barbie has an antique pink and white Chippendale Chipperobe.

In the collection is the Barbie Pink and White Chipperobe Queen size. has Gold sticker on front reads (Barbie and Midge Chipperobe)
Vintage Barbie

The chaperobe keeps an eye on your underthings.

Sometimes a refrigerator was called a frigidaire, the name of a manufacturer. The knuckleheaded argument for this was “it’s a frigidaire, it says so right on the door!” I recall the older people referring to a certain piece of furniture called a “chaperobe” (never saw it written); it was sort of a free-standing closet with two doors
Lonely Planet memoir

I will force you to store your skintight vinyl in this chafe robe.

I can put some at my house as well if need be. Or buy you a room chafe robe.
Mistress accoutrements

Edit: I think I meant latex.

Last edited by burred (2012-05-09 11:12:25)



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