This week's Economist has an advertisement for a house in a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland. The house has, on the First Floor:

Sitting Room, Snug, Study, Kitchen, Family Room/Dining Room, Utility Room, Conservatory (emphasis added)

The upstairs has what one would expect -- bedrooms and bathrooms.

What is a snug in a private residence?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a snug as:

2.a. dial. or slang. The bar-parlour of an inn or public-house; = snuggery n. 1b. Also snug bar.

2.b. One of the compartments in the taproom of an old-fashioned inn.

By extension, a snug in a private house might be an elaborate wet-bar with stools, tables and chairs, but this is just a guess. Does anyone out there have a snug in their house?

  • 4
    Hm, I expected to see it used as an adjective, like how American realtors use "cozy" as a euphemism for "very small". Never seen it as a noun. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 19:34
  • 1
    According to Wikipedia, the word "snug" as applied to a public-house is often extended to refer to a small room in a home. No implication of a wet bar is made. Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 20:37
  • 3
    There are rules in Edinburgh about what can constitute a bedroom, in terms of floor space, ceiling height and natural light. Rooms too small were traditionally listed as box rooms, but snug seems to be more popular now. Often, the equivalent room in England would be described as a single bedroom. Of course if you wish you can turn it into a small wet bar with stools, and if you choose to sleep in it the council will be none the wiser. You cannot, of course, rent the room, but if you rent out the flat as a whole there is nothing to stop someone sleeping there. .
    – davidlol
    Commented Nov 14, 2017 at 20:58
  • This might be what we call a "bonus room" Stateside. Or maybe a "kitchen nook".
    – Spencer
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 0:43
  • @davidlol If you have any reference for your comment -- maybe that you are a resident of the Edinburgh area and know something about housing there -- I suggest you convert your comment into an answer. I will upvote if you do. But ping me if you do.
    – ab2
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 19:35

3 Answers 3


Here is an advertisement for a three bedroom property a few miles from the village in which I live in Worcestershire, UK. The link may not survive if the property is sold, so here are the details :

large refitted kitchen breakfast room. Opening onto a garden room/snug with log burner and sliding doors to the garden.

The room contains a sofa and a wood burning stove.

I would say it is what Americans would call a 'den'. It is informal, cosy and garden-centred. But there is no sign of a wetbar.

From this and other real estate adverts in the UK, it seems that the modern estate agent's idea of 'snug' has nothing to do with pub snugs - they just like the word and the concept of cosiness and relaxation.


England. A snug is often a bonus area - either as part of a big kitchen, where you have enough space for a cosy little seating area (typically with a couple of armchairs or a sofa, maybe a woodburner) - away from your eating area. Sometimes a snug can be a separate liitle reception room with a similar set up as above. In other words - definitely a cosy space.


Cosy. For a realtor, "not so spacious essentially-but believe me, cuddling up and just accepting your fate in that little pit that I would certainly not buy into myself would more than make up for the fact that you could be convinced into actually buying into that deceivingly uncomfortable space".


  • 3
    It sounds like you are using "snug" as an adjective, and the question is asking about its use as a noun. Do you have references or quotes that show the word being used the way you suggest that are also relevant to the question?
    – jejorda2
    Commented Nov 15, 2017 at 15:32
  • No unfortunately. But as a noun even, it means the obvious, along the lines that I had drawn atop we should think. Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 3:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.