It would also include all furniture used in a lounge used only when visitors arrive, or even in a spare guest room. Definitions are a poor way to describe furniture. The second definition used occasionally would refer to exactly the same furniture, but also include rockers, particularly the old-style hickory rockers that you might use occasionally when in the mood. You might occasionally use an ottoman to sit on if all the family arrived to visit. Quite frankly, definitions are needless when people know what occasional furniture is.
Whatever the case, if it was the decision of the British, or even Chinese, wed be calling it "tea table" today. And actually in those lands they do often use that term. But as the fact stands, the cup that most often lands on American tables is filled with coffee, and so the name has stuck. So here we have it, the modern coffee table, now more popular then ever. And its true it doesnt really matter where it gets its name, I mean some people wont even let you put coffee on their supposed "coffee" table. But its just neat to see how things have come a long way and evolved through time.
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