"Lobby", "foyer", "entry(way), "entranceway" and "front (of house)/front room" seem to be used to designate an area or a room near the entrance to a public building such as a hotel, where one can wait, and sit and relax and talk. But, are there any differences to these terms or do they mean pretty much the same and, as such, can be used just about interchangeably?

Additionally, are any of these more typical of an English variety than of another?

Besides, "foyer", "entry(way)" and "entrance(way)" seem also to be used to designate an area by the entrance to a private home. Are there any differences to these or do they mean just about the same?

Also, are any of these terms typical of a particular variety than of another?

  • FYI, 'front of house' (or FOH) is a term of art in theater. It refers to the public areas, as opposed to the stage and backstage areas.
    – Jim Mack
    Mar 2, 2014 at 20:57
  • front room is only in a house. You have not done any work on these.
    – Lambie
    Jun 30, 2019 at 18:21
  • These expressions are highly regional - is that what you mean by the strange expression "English variety"? You question is far too broad, and shows no research. Jul 2, 2019 at 2:31

1 Answer 1


About the fist part of your question, I checked quickly (as I did for your question about living room and so on) and apparently foyer, lobby, entry(way) and entranceway are all terms to designate an entrance hall in a public building. As I said in my answer to your other question, the use of one term rather than another can be subjective. But I would say that foyer sounds a little bit old. That is the word you will find in a nineteenth century novel.

In a private home,the most common is entry. I am not sure you would say to your guest Don't stay in the foyer. Sounds weird.

  • 2
    Foyer is all too common in the US since the home-building boom of the late 70s-early 80s. That's when they started building larger entryways they called foyers as a selling point. Mar 2, 2014 at 19:34
  • I think the entrance of a private house in Britain is more commonly known as the 'doorway'. 'Do come in, don't stand in the doorway'. For a hotel I think the most common would be 'the reception' or simply 'reception'. 'The group of four people in reception are waiting for a taxi to the airport'.
    – WS2
    Mar 2, 2014 at 21:21
  • In a private home, entry is not used unless you mean: this is private property, entry is forbidden.
    – Lambie
    Jun 30, 2019 at 18:23
  • Gotta agree with @anongoodnurse... A foyer is a feature of a house. It can be distinguished from an entryway or vestibule, in that it is a full-sized room - not a hallway. Usually furnished more decoratively than functionally, it will have an entrance to a front sitting room and often the landing of a staircase to one side. While someone may sit in a lobby and wait, a foyer has a more transitory purpose: If you were waiting for someone in a foyer, you would remain standing.
    – Oldbag
    Jul 1, 2019 at 2:30
  • In the US, "foyer" is rarely used to describe the lobby of a public building, unless the public building used to be somebody's mansion.
    – Oldbag
    Jul 1, 2019 at 2:30

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