One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A type of (large) flat-topped writing desk (especially one made or decorated in an ornate French style) supported by four legs, typically with one shallow central drawer, and one or two corresponding drawers at either side.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From French bureau plat flat-topped writing desk from bureau writing desk + plat flat.
bureau plat/ˌbjɔːrəʊ ˈplɑː//ˌbjʊərəʊ ˈplɑː/
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