According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘sofa’ comes from the eastern Mediterranean with the Arabic soffah, which is ‘a part of the floor raised a foot or two, covered with rich carpets and cushions, and used for sitting on.
In 1625, Samuel Purchas was the first person to write about a sofa, which he noted during his travels to Arabia, calling it a ‘sofa’, whilst in 1637 Sir George Courthop described a ‘sopha’ as a place raised about a foot to sit on.
In the 17th century, the sofa as we know it came to England from France, and became a popular piece of furniture in homes of the wealthy, and by the 19th century the spelling had been settled on – it was officially a sofa.
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