You furnish the Girl, we furnish the home! The Goat (1921 film)

What does first "furnish" mean in the sentence? And what is meaning of the sentence generally? Is it an amphibology?: You provide the girl, instead of make a gift for her, we provide your home furniture. I think in that way because in the last scene of movie Buster Keaton puts the girl on his shoulder (like a property of exchange) and goes through store.

1 Answer 1


It looks like a play on the various meanings of "Furnish"

As the slogan of a shop it might imply:

To make a happy family you need a bride and a nice home. If you provide the girl to be your wife, we can sell you furniture to make your home nice.

An old-fashioned attitude to the role of women in the home, but common enough in the 1920s. You wouldn't see such a slogan today!

Keaton interprets this as "If you give us a girl..." to give the visual joke of him carrying a girl on his shoulders. His misunderstanding is the joke.

(note furniture is nearly always treated as uncountable, so "a furniture" or "furnitures" are nearly always mistakes, you can use "pieces of furniture" if a plural is essential)

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