closet

English translation: [dictionary definition]

14:36 Nov 12, 2019
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / self-soothing strategies
English term or phrase: closet
Dear colleagues, I was wondering about the meaning of “closet” in the following passages taken from an American parenting book.
Probably because I tend to feel a little bit claustrophobic, I find it difficult to imagine a little child in a small space... What can “closet” mean in this case? Maybe a large walk–in wardrobe? Or a storeroom? Considering the second occurrence of “closet”, maybe it’s more in the sense of “storeroom”…
Thank you very much for your help!
********************
1)
Sometimes we just need to get away, to remove ourselves from a high-stress situation. Our kids are no different. Having a place to retreat and recover when they feel strong emotions beginning to take over can be a great tool for returning to the green zone. So at a moment when your child feels calm and collected, take a few minutes to set up a “calm cave” she can go to the next time she becomes upset.
A small pup tent in the living room can serve this purpose, as can ** a corner of a closet **, or a sheet over a desk or table. You and your child can fill the cave with favorite stuffed animals, a soft pillow and blanket, books, a pair of headphones, Play-Doh, or anything else that gives your child comfort. Empower your child by letting her participate in the creation of the calming place.

2)
(…)
Notice, too, that as with most of our principles and strategies, everything here applies to adults as well. (So maybe you want to go clear out some room *** in the back of your own closet *** with a stash of chocolate?)
haribert
Local time: 11:32
Selected answer:[dictionary definition]
Explanation:
"A cabinet or recess for especially china, household utensils, or clothing"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/closet

I don't agree with the three previous answers - a closet is a space used specifically for storage. It could be a freestanding piece of furniture, or a little alcove with a door, or a small room in its own right. I have all three in my house, and my American wife calls them all closets.
Selected response from:

philgoddard
United States
Grading comment
Thank you so much, Phil, for your help! Many many thanks also to the other participants who shared their own experiences and knowledge!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +13[dictionary definition]
philgoddard
5Armário
Pedro Montoro Françozo
4walk in wardrobe
AJ Ablooglu
4A small space which make you feel secure and confortable when you want to be alone
Najme Rajaee
4any space enclosed enough to provide feeling of security and protection
Laura Hafner
3a small, secret and confortable place/ area where we can get stressful situations away from us.
Roberta Broccoletti


Discussion entries: 5





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
A small space which make you feel secure and confortable when you want to be alone


Explanation:
.

Najme Rajaee
Iran
Native speaker of: Native in Farsi (Persian)Farsi (Persian)
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8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
any space enclosed enough to provide feeling of security and protection


Explanation:
My personal interpretation of "closet" here is any enclosed space that makes the child/person feel protected from distressing outside input. It doesn't have to literally be a small closet, just any space that feels protective and "cocoon-like".

Laura Hafner
Canada
Local time: 05:32
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
walk in wardrobe


Explanation:
I agree with your interpretation.

AJ Ablooglu
Turkey
Local time: 13:32
Native speaker of: Native in TurkishTurkish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Sheri P: Not necessarily 'walk-in'. I have small recessed areas in my home that we call 'closets'. They're big enough for a child to sit in a corner, but they're not the same as what Americans call 'walk-in closets'.
28 mins

neutral  AllegroTrans: This is not necessarily a wardrobe it can simply be a recess without doors or partition
3 days 3 hrs
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +13
[dictionary definition]


Explanation:
"A cabinet or recess for especially china, household utensils, or clothing"
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/closet

I don't agree with the three previous answers - a closet is a space used specifically for storage. It could be a freestanding piece of furniture, or a little alcove with a door, or a small room in its own right. I have all three in my house, and my American wife calls them all closets.

philgoddard
United States
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 43
Grading comment
Thank you so much, Phil, for your help! Many many thanks also to the other participants who shared their own experiences and knowledge!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thank you so much, Phil, for sharing not only dictionary definition, but also your own personal experience! Actually, your proposal would fit with both instances of "closet" in the text...


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sheri P: Agree it's the basic literal dictionary definition of American 'closet', but definitely not a freestanding piece of furniture.//I mean, in this specific instance it's not referring to a freestanding piece of furniture.
8 mins
  -> Thanks. It could be, but I agree it's more likely to be an alcove or small room here.

agree  Sheila Wilson
18 mins

agree  Tina Vonhof: I agree with your description and also with Sheri: it is usually built in, has a door, and is primarily meant to hang clothes. Hiding between the clothes can indeed feel very secure and soothing, and lots of children like to do it.
34 mins
  -> I do it when I miss deadlines :-)

agree  AJ Ablooglu
34 mins

agree  Ilias Marios Kounas
1 hr

agree  Tony M
1 hr

agree  Katalin Horváth McClure
5 hrs

agree  Katya Kesten
6 hrs

agree  AllegroTrans
7 hrs

agree  B D Finch: Me and my brother used to hide in cupboards when we were small - sometimes even on upper shelves.
1 day 3 hrs

agree  jccantrell: In the USA, this would rarely be a piece of furniture. Most houses have a small room adjacent to every bedroom for storing clothing. I never saw this in Europe, but they are everywhere in the USA. Realtors speak of 'how much closet space' a house has.
1 day 12 hrs

agree  Roberto Govia
4 days

agree  JaneTranslates: Excellent answer. I agree with jccantrell--in the US, a closet for clothes is a little room within a bedroom, and a linen closet is a built-in cabinet in a wall. I would never refer to a piece of furniture as a closet though I know a few Americans who do.
27 days
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31 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
a small, secret and confortable place/ area where we can get stressful situations away from us.


Explanation:
that's my idea:

a small, secret and confortable place where we can get stressful situations away from us



Roberta Broccoletti
Italy
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in ItalianItalian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: Much too vague in the context
3 days 3 hrs
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Armário


Explanation:
You have to take into account one very important aspect in this: How does the source/target audience relate to closets. Perhaps in a different culture (mine, for example, being Brazilian) a closet would mean a wooden piece of furniture, which wouldn't always have room for one to comfortably sit in. However, in the US a closet is most likely a hole in teh wall of the room with a foldable door or maybe even just curtains. It is a very common-place thing to see kids, especially when they are hiding, sitting inside those, as if they were forts, or something similar. A parent is likely to have the same kind of closet in their bedroom, only slightly bigger, perhaps just big enough taht you can take one step into it before you hit the shelves. I believe it is one such space where a mom would have a stash of sweet goods for her own comfrot, away from the child, especially if u consider that in any of those circumstances, if it were any other kind of closet around the house, it would always be a location of public access, which grants you no safety from outside intruders, who could take you or your candy.

Example sentence(s):
  • She was hiding in the bedroom closet from the killer.
Pedro Montoro Françozo
Brazil
Local time: 07:32
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
Notes to answerer
Asker: Hi, Pedro! Thank you for your useful explanation!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  AllegroTrans: Explanation OK but English to English question
2 days 17 hrs
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