Sneakers vs Tennis Shoes and What is a Chesterfield?

When referring to gym type of shoes, what do you call them?   I usually call them sneakers, or just shoes.  Recently when I said something about sneakers in a conversation with a friend, he responded, ‘How much sneaking do you do to have to get special shoes for it?’    He calls his gym shoes, tennis shoes, to which I responded, “and since when have you played tennis?” 

my dirty sneakers

A short work place pole later resulted in tennis shoes as the hands down winner over sneakers with 11 to 5.

I of course followed this up with a google search and came up with this site http://dialect.redlog.net/staticmaps/q_73.htmlthat listed sneakers as the winner with 45.5% to tennis shoes’s 41.3% and these really nifty maps.  We were expecting a line to be drawn regionally of who uses what word, but that was not so much the case.

Tennis Shoes

This also sparked off a debate over why someone calls them one vs the other.  One work mate suspects that if you are a sporting person you refer to them as sneakers where someone who never wears gym shoes for athletic purposes says tennis shoes.  He says it goes back to tennis shoes being a type of sneaker. 

Sneakers

Conclusion – most of my coworkers do not take part in sports. 

Sneakers vs tennis shoes, quickly led to a conversation about chesterfields.  This arose when a tennis shoes wearer said he has a chesterfield, bringing on the first question, what the heck is a chesterfield?  Turns out it’s a couch, or sofa, depending on your choice of wording.  Another quick pole was run, and couch came out the clear winner with 11 couches, 1 sofa, one person slit between couch and sofa equally and 1 chesterfield.   

I bet this was made in China

Another google search was run and it turns out that a couch is a type of sofa, but both names are currently used to describe the modern  living room stuffed bench type of seating.

“The traditional meaning of couch is a particular type of sofa with a half back and one raised end.”  We also found references to a couch for laying down and a sofa for sitting.  So what about when you are lounging in not quite a sit or a laying position?  Maybe that’s when you have a chesterfield.

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