Making bed means arranging the linen and everything. But that doesnt make sense because the beds are made by whoever created them. I think there must be a word, even if it is archaic, that describes making the bed with a better verb.

I know there is a similar question but this one is asking specifically if there is an archaic word or one that is almost not used to describe "making" the bed.

In Polish for example, making the bed is not "robienie łóżka" where robić is to make. In polish it has a separate verbs describing the activity. Słać or ścielić can both describe the activity where in english it is weirdly MAKE the bed.

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    English doesn't have to have words that mean the same thing as Polish. – Peter Shor Sep 19 '16 at 16:33
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    You may find a word you that you, individually, find more satisfying, but bear in mind that in idiomatic English the phrase used and understood by everyone is, in fact, "making the bed", and any other word you use will at best sound strange, and at worst lead to misunderstandings. – Dan Bron Sep 19 '16 at 16:33
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    Shakespeare, ca. 1600: I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink, make the beds and do all myself, If there was ever such a word, it has probably been long forgotten. – Peter Shor Sep 19 '16 at 16:39
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    I'm pretty sure that "tidying the bed covers" might do it but I'm afraid you'd sound a bit like a fussbudget. I say, if it's good enough for Shakespeare in his time, I'm not sure why you can't use it. Just because the expression sounds odd to you and there's a more suitable word in your native language doesn't mean you will find a similarly suitable word in English, as @DanBron put so well. Embrace the idioms! It's the fastest way to "sound" more like the native speakers. – Kristina Lopez Sep 19 '16 at 16:50

As the comments have noted, make the bed is idiomatic and introducing a new word or phrase for the process is fraught.

I think you are getting hung up on narrow senses not only of make, but of bed as well. Collins lists 31 meanings for bed and no fewer than 56 different meanings for make, so constructing a piece of furniture for sleeping upon is hardly the only sensible interpretation of making a bed.

To make is not only to create or construct, but to prepare or put into a fit condition for use, an extension of the sense that to make X is to cause something to become X. Homemakers make house. Bivouacers make camp. In some regions, you still make meat when you prepare food. When you make a horse you have trained it for work.

The OED traces make a bed in the sense of preparing a bed for future sleep to around 1300. At the time, such preparation would have been laying out mattresses and blankets on the floor or on benches, as few had permanent furniture for the purpose. Some contemporary analogues it gives are Middle Dutch een bedde māken, German ein Bett machen, and earlier the Old French faire un lit, as well as facere lectum in medieval Latin.

So to say make the bed to refer to the orderly rearrangement of bed linens is not only customary, but sensible even within the modern meanings of make and bed.


It appears that make does have an alternative meaning that fits this context.


make verb

7 b : to set in order <make beds>

  • "Make a bed" is the only usage I can think of where the bare verb make means "to set in order" some pre-existing entity. If you "make a line" or "make your fortune", the made thing spring into existence. – Malvolio Sep 20 '16 at 20:50
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    @Malvolio Perhaps make one's toilet counts. – tchrist Sep 21 '16 at 3:36
  • Or "homemaker"/"homemaking"? – Stuart F Mar 9 at 16:43

If I have to clarify those two things, I would say construct the bed, assemble the bed, or manufacture the bed. You only manufacture the bed once, you make the bed every day.


It is up to you mix the words, not every language can satisfy all the situations though English is not capable either.

Preparing a bed.

The bed is ready.

Changing the sheets of the bed.

Let the bed get some air, it smells.

Ohh what a fresh bed it is.

I am leaving now but when I come here I wanna see those beds cleaned.

Also you can find a idiom if you will be a good boy someday it can be considered as official idiom. :)

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