Posted by Jim on May 06, 2002

In Reply to: mudroom posted by R. Berg on May 05, 2002

: : : : There seem to be a number of Americans contributing to this forum (I'm English). I wonder if one of you helpful people can tell me if the word "mudroom" is a normal American word, and what it means. It appears in the novel I'm currently reading (Some Things That Stay by Sarah Willis) and as far as I can make out it is a room off the kitchen where you might take your muddy boots off - in which case the nearest word we have might be "utility room". But it's not in any dictionary I've looked in so I wonder how much of a current word it is.

: : : : Armorel

: : : Yes, it's a common word. I believe it's a modern term. Mudroom means a room where people take off their muddy boots, hang up coats, put school books, etc., on a shelf.

: : I couldn't find "mudroom" in my references. It's a middle class/upper middle class type of thing. Poor folks just have to put up with mud being tracked in the house.

: I think it's also an East Coast thing. Martha Stewart talks about mudrooms. In my (western) part of the country, houses don't have anything called mudrooms. We do have mud. One improvises by putting protective layers of newspaper or something on the floor near the outside entry.

The mudroom in a midwest house is the house entrance most often used by the occupants and is designed to manage boots, coats and other items such as snow shovels, food freezers and kitty litter. Guests, in contrast, enter the house through a formal entrance near the house front. Some mudrooms are constructed with an outer and inner door like an airlock to buffer the house interior from harsh weather. Mudrooms are very popular in midwest homes as a place to shed soiled/wet/snowy outer clothing and footwear. In another life, mudrooms lived long useful lives as enclosed porches.