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Explanation: They're dishes (although sometimes also in silver or leather) that you're supposed to use to 'empty your pockets' into - before going to bed, you put all your keys, loose change etc in them so as not to ruin the crease in your trousers as you hang them up for the night!
Don't know if there's a standard term in English - I have this sneaking suspicion that only the Italians could come up with such an idea.
simon tanner Italy Local time: 12:40 Works in field Native speaker of: English PRO pts in category: 20