One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
bedspread, cover, coverlet, throw-over, blanket, afghan, quiltView synonyms
- ‘The roomy double bedroom suites were originally plainly decorated, their walls covered with sea grass, the beds under light-colored candlewick counterpanes, and pale Wilton wall-to-wall carpeting.’
- ‘He ensured there were Tudor roses on the gowns of the staff and on the Tudor coloured counterpanes of the beds; the roof and stained glass windows were also of royal quality.’
- ‘The replica beds with their counterpanes, striped canopy wall direction and curtains together with the warm glow from the twin overbed lamps provide an interior of great style.’
- ‘He lay under the thick counterpane in the large bed, his body sinking into the mattress, the mass of pillows holding his head so he could see out through the windows.’
- ‘We talk in his room with its single bed, bumpily spread with a candlewick counterpane in a cosy shade of plum.’
Early 17th century: alteration of counterpoint, from Old French contrepointe, based on medieval Latin culcitra puncta ‘quilted mattress’ ( puncta, literally meaning ‘pricked’, from the verb pungere). The change in the ending was due to association with pane in an obsolete sense ‘cloth’.
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