loft, n.

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Dec 2 04:06:41 UTC 2011

There is another, unrelated sense of "loft" that is missing from most

Loft is the number of cubic inches one ounce of down will fill under
> specific conditions: The larger, more mature the bird, the higher the loft
> of its down.
> A loft test is done in a Plexiglas cylinder of a standard size, under
> exacting conditions of specific temperature and humidity, with a sample of
> precisely one ounce of down. There is a disk of specific weight that sits
> on top of the sample to simulate the load that the covering fabric exerts
> in a finished item. The highest loft to be consistently tested is 800.

Elevation is clearly implicated, but not directly.


On Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 10:36 PM, victor steinbok <aardvark66 at>wrote:

> ...
> I was curious of the exact timeline on Tribeca (TriBeCa) and that led me to
> a handful of NYT articles from 1974-6. The earliest appears to be from Nov.
> 24, 1974 (apparently the NYT article that Wiki editors could not find). The
> snippet in the preview contains the phrase "an illegal community of loft
> dwellers", which is what prompted this query. Of course, I'm familiar with
> lofts, but I just looked through the OED list and there seems to be a gap
> when it comes to loft dwellers. Sure, there is an entry for apartments
> (3.a. and 3.b.) and another for "upper floors of a warehouse" (5.a.), but
> these are not connected to each other. In fact, I suspect that the current
> use arose from 5.a., so it should be filed under 5., not be a part of 3.
> Any comments? Lofts, of course, are not limited to NYC or just converted
> warehouses, but the association is still there.
> VS-)
> PS: There is a second meaning of loft missing from the list. A loft is also
> a [usually wooden] deck that elevates the bed (mattress) from the floor,
> leaving useful workspace or storage space below. Occasionally (though not
> uniformly) this also refers to children's double-deck beds. Similarly, an
> elevated deck constructed in an apartment but used for storage also often
> is referred to as a loft. All of these have obvious derivations from
> already listed meanings, but don't fall squarely under any of them.

The American Dialect Society -

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