upholstery

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Word of the Day
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upholstery

Pronunciation /ʌpˈhəʊlst(ə)ri/ /ʌpˈhɒlst(ə)ri/
noun
mass noun
1 Soft, padded textile covering that is fixed to furniture such as armchairs and sofas.
1.1 The art or practice of upholstering furniture.

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Sam sank slowly into the upholstery of his easy chair. It always absorbs his fatigue, relaxing his day-drained muscles and releasing the tension in his joints. Very soon he naps, waking for supper, followed by a couple of hours watching baseball on TV with Edith before heading off to bed.

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[Lexico didn’t offer an origin this time, so I consulted with Etymonline.com, checking ‘upholsterer’ and its recommended ‘uphold’.]

upholsterer (n.)

“tradesman who finishes or repairs articles of furniture” (1610s), from upholdester (early 15c.; early 14c. as a surname), formed with diminutive (originally fem.) suffix -ster + obsolete Middle English noun upholder “dealer in small goods” (c. 1300), from upholden “to repair, uphold, keep from falling or sinking” (in this case, by stuffing); see uphold (v.).

uphold (v.)

c. 1200, “support, sustain,” from up (adv.) + hold (v.). Similar formation in Old Frisian upholda, Middle Dutch ophouden, German aufhalten. Meaning “maintain in good condition or repair” is from 1570s. Related: Upheld; upholding.

In software circles, the people who keep (especially FOSS) programs up-to-date are called ‘maintainers’. Sometimes, the ones who work on the very core elements of operating systems and infrastructure are called ‘plumbers’. Nonetheless, I do not think ‘upholsterer’ will catch on for a maintainer of GUI software which allows us to use easy, comfortable clicks and gestures and to avoid the command line interface.

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