Are sofa and divan are just simple synonym and used equally in the UK and USA or one of these words more common in one of these states?

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    As a Brit, a divan would be a type of bed. A sofa is a settee. – Mobeer Jun 9 '17 at 20:21
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    @Mobeer Settee, I've always thought, connotes a slightly smaller piece than a sofa—what USAians might call a loveseat. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '17 at 22:55

According to Ngram, sofa is much more common in both British English and American English.

As an American, I imagine that few people (outside of interior decoration professionals and aficionados) would know what a "divan" actually is, but pretty much everyone knows what a "sofa" is.

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  • Good ol' Ngram, always has the answers :P – Stephen S Jun 9 '17 at 20:04
  • Divan (like davenport) is much less current in the US today than it was a century ago. I can say that without consulting an ngram. I can't speak with confidence about the UK, but my intuition is that divan is as rare there as it is in USAian. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '17 at 20:08
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    @Stephen - But it only tells as much of the story as you ask. Sometimes there is more to the story. – J.R. Jun 9 '17 at 20:33
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    @StephenS Better perhaps to say "Good ol' Ngram, always has an answer." – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '17 at 20:38
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    @VersatileandAffordable I think couch has become the go-to noun for this piece of furniture across the English-speaking world. Credit Hollywood, TV, and the web. This doesn't mean, though, that native speakers won't know what you mean by sofa (or even divan or davenport.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jun 9 '17 at 22:52


is more of an archaic word, not normally used these days or may be used in a more "affected" way


is widely used in the States and also in the UK



couch potato

gets used more in the States than in the UK.

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