Chaise longues

When is a chaise longue not a chaise longue?


Well, in English the word chaise longue [ˌʃeɪz ˈlɒŋ(ɡ)/ˌʃeɪz ˈlɔŋ] refers to a long kind of seat, like the one pictured above, designed for reclining on. The word chaise longue was borrowed from French and literally means “long chair” [source].

In French the word chaise longue [ʃɛz lɔ̃ɡ] refers to deckchair, sunlounger, lounge chair or chaise longue (in the English sense) [source].


Other kinds of chaise include:

  • chaise haute / chaise de bébé = highchair
  • chaise pliante = folding chair
  • chaise berçante = rocking chair
  • chaise roulante = wheelchair
  • chaise à porteurs = sedan chair

The word chaise longue appears in quite a few other languages, such as Italian and Portuguese, with the same spelling and the same meaning as in English and French. Another word for this type of chair in Italian is agrippina, named after Agrippina the Elder, the daughter of Marcus Agrippa [source].

Some other ways it’s written include:

  • Belarusian: шэзлонг (šezlonh)
  • Czech: šezlong
  • Georgian: შეზლონგი (šezlongi)
  • Japanese: シェーズ・ロング (shēzu-rongu)
  • Norwegian: sjeselong
  • Polish: szezlong
  • Romanian: șezlong
  • Russian: шезлонг (šezlong)
  • Swedish: schäslong
  • Yiddish: שעזלאָנג‎ (shezlong)

By the way, what is the plural of chaise longue?

5 thoughts on “Chaise longues

  1. In the United States, the expression has been corrupted into “chaise lounge” and frequently refers, not only to a separate piece of furniture, but to an extension of one end of a sofa so that one can recline without requiring an ottoman.

  2. In reponse to the query posed at the end of your post, Simon, I presume that in French the plural must be chaises longues, whilst in English it’s probably chaise longues.

  3. Well, I did a Google search on chaise lounge, and right away result showed up: “Chaise Lounge Sofas & Chairs”.

    So, it seems that you DON’T pluralize the phrase itself, but you add an auxiliary word and then pluralize THAT. That would suggest that “chaise lounge” is not being used as a noun but as an adjective.

    Sort of like pluralizing “fish” or “deer” – I think 🙂

  4. It’s rare to see more than one chaise longue in the same place – they’re shy creatures who tend to avoid each other – so perhaps a plural form is not really needed.

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