It seems to me that ‘cupboard’ in the 21st century is usually a closet or cabinet; a piece of furniture usually with shelves for storing food, crockery, and utensils. But early in the 20th century, ‘cupboard’ was in most cases a recess with a door and shelves for storage of not only of cups and saucers, but also daily things such as a small chair. Now isn’t this called a ‘storage room’?
If I am right in my definition of this word, in what decades of the 20th century did this change or transition of lexical meaning occurred?
I was much surprised to find the unfamiliar usage of 'cupboard' in these stage directions, which are from Belinda, a play written by A. A. Milne in 1922.
- (Takes up a vase from a chair in cupboard arid shakes it as if draining it.)
- Baxter (meeting Belinda coming out of the cupboard)
- Belinda (bundling him into the cupboard and closing the door). Hush.