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If you have any older style armchairs that have matching pieces that prop up your feet, that is another way to understand what an ottoman is. In fact, my grandparents used the term, I understood it to be another word for "footstool".
The Ottoman is a particular piece of furniture that is basically a cushioned seat without any support. It is primarily used as a footrest, or if used as a stool, somewhat centers the spine as someone sits down on it.
Ottoman is a Turkish word. It means the Turkish Empire founded by Ottman (Osman :1290-1326).But here ‘Turkish Ottoman’ means a cushioned seat without back or arms.This kind of fernitures were first used in turkey.Turkish articles were found in the bedroom of raina. The Bulgarians were under the rules of Turks for many years. So the Bulgarians were greatly influnced by the manners and customs of the Turkish people.
For further details you may visit: http://www.friesian.com/turkia.htm
The word ottoman as used in the drama Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw refers to a piece of furniture that was kept in the room of Raina Petkoff. It is a low cushioned seat without a back or arms. In the first act Raina drops her cloak on this ottoman, from where it is picked up later by Sergius. Also Sergius drops his pistol on this same ottoman, where it could have been easily seen by the Serbian officers who enters the room of Raina in search of Sergius. However the officer misses noticing the pistol lying on the ottoman.
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