One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Originally British. A water-based foam used in firefighting.
2North American. Originally: a sponge-like rubber material used as padding in furniture, mattresses, and vehicle seating. Now: (a trademark for) a type of flexible synthetic padding material.
1930s; earliest use found in Nashua (Iowa) Reporter. From air + foam, apparently so called on account of its consistency.
air foam/ˈɛː fəʊm/
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