13 May

rug vs carpet

Rug (source: cb2.com)

For the first time in my life, I bought a rug for the living room. When I was trying to buy, shopping around online which means I did not see it physically, I used this word, a rug.

But, when it was delivered to my house which means I was able to see it physically, I kept calling it a carpet. So, I had to ask myself. What happened? Why do I call it a carpet from the moment that I can really see it physically? Here is my thought about the reason.

So, in Korea, my parents used to put a rug in the living room in front of a sofa every winter. When it comes to that time, my mother called me and my brother, saying “Boys! It is the time to put the carpet down in the living room.” I hated that time because we need to pull it out from the storage and clean and put it down. Well, the point is that she has been using the English word, carpet, all the time to mean, I think, a rug.

Actually, that makes me ask another question. What is the difference between a rug and a carpet? Is it the size? I bought a 4’*6′ rug. Can I also call it a carpet?

I am confused. I feel like carpet should cover the whole floor, not part of it. My friends, I need your help here.

Speaking of carpet, I learned an expression that is related with a carpet but it has nothing to do with meaning a carpet. Let me give you an example when I can use this one. Suppose that you are my son and you managed to drive my car without telling me and got an accident. I would be totally unhappy about it, right? Then, as you got home back, I will definitely call you. Here is the moment that you can use this expression. What you can say is “Oh no! I am sure my father calls me on the carpet for the accident.”

CAN YOU FEEL IT? I guess not.

It means “to question someone for his/her action.” No wonder why these days people like wood floor, not carpet, huh? 🙂

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12 thoughts on “rug vs carpet

  1. “I feel like carpet should cover the whole floor, not part of it.”

    That’s my definition too, although both are probably technically correct.

    I’m also disappointed at the G-rating for this post Terry, thought for sure there would be a “rug muncher” or “does the carpet match the curtains” in this one.

    • Hey Andrew and Phil,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! That is exactly what I had in my mind. I am glad that I was able to feel the difference without really checking with you guys. Yay!
      I was seriously considering that expression (match one) but this time I would like to be little cautious. Recently, there have been a few X-rated ones. But, don’t worry! They will show up soon. 🙂

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a real person say, “he calls me on the carpet”, though it’s possible I’ve heard it on an old movie or something because it does ring a bell.

    I totally thought you were going to go in a different direction at the end of this post. Interestingly, the expression I have in mind (and I’m sure is in the mind of every other native-born American) works equally well with carpet or rug.

    I typically think of carpet as “wall-to-wall” and a rug as something that’s not. Although I don’t know if the distinction is actually that clear simply because the term “wall-to-wall carpeting” exists. That implies to me that there’s a non-wall-to-wall carpet.

  3. LIke the others, to me a “rug” is something that is small and can be rolled up at anytime. A carpet is something that is there until you have to pull it up (not something that can be moved at any time) and covers the whole floor. Although I think a lot of us use them interchangeably. (like my mom would always tell us not to spill on her rug…when we had wall to wall carpeting!)

  4. Rug Vs. Carpet. Thanks for sharing. I will agree with the other posters that a rug is a smaller sized item that covers a small part of the floor, whereas a carpet is larger and covers a large part, if not the entire floor. That said, anyone who has been to Istanbul has seen lots of Turkish carpet shops which sell the small ones and there they are referred to as carpets.
    By the way, the word rug is also used as a negative slang word to mean a hair piece, or toupee.

    • Welcome, Michael! Good to mee you. Thank you for sharing. In Korea, we also have carpet shops and, regardless of size, we call them all carpets too.

  5. Pingback: What is a rug? You think you know. Guess again! | Learning English from Friends (LEfF)

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