"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 22 January 2010


Heather recently stated that she kept things underneath her hutch. This prompted me to comment:-
"I don't have a hutch... Over here a hutch is a cage that one keeps pets in - especially rabbits. So reading this in UK English rather suggests you have a big ears and sleep in a wood and wire cage but at least the fact that you store things underneath it suggests you are allowed out occasionally! :-) "

Upon checking I also discovered that in UK English was not only a “cage (usually made of wood and wire mesh) for small animals” but was also a hovel: small crude shelter used as a dwelling .

Heather responded by telling me that a ” hutch for "me" - can't say that for all US peoples but for me - is a formal wooden place to keep china, dishes, special glass and such. Mine has glass doors on the top section, a counter space for keeping books and what not's and a lower section with cupboards (where all of my photos be).”

In the UK this would probably be called a dresser but the use of the word hutch for this was confirmed by Wikipedia – “A hutch is a type of furniture that usually consists of a set of shelves or cabinets placed on top of a lower unit with a counter and either drawers or cabinets. Hutches are often seen in the form of desks, dining room or kitchen furniture. Frequently referred to by furniture aficionados as a hutch dresser.”



  1. Fascinating. I may have to do my own post on this. :)

  2. Yes, in regards to furniture, a cabinet, with shelves enclosed with glassed or unclassed doors to reveal China or other collectibles and having drawers below (usually for table linens) is a hutch. These can be rectangular or triangular. A triangular peice would be placed in the corner of the room and refered to as a corner cabinet or hutch.

    A cage for a animal, often a rabbit, is called a hutch too.

    Both terms are in wide use here.

  3. Hm...I thought that last was a Dutch dresser? Blame Bargain Hunt...

  4. 'Hutch' is also used in both senses in Australian English. As a piece of furniture it is usually called a "buffet and hutch".