Why Are They Curio Cabinets if We Don’t Put Curios in Them?

Why Are They Curio Cabinets if We Don’t Put Curios in Them?

This is a question that has bothered me for a while now.  When we put items into a curio cabinet, we call them things like knick-knacks or collectibles.  What we don’t call them is curios, even though the word exists, and has since 1849.  Short for curiosity, curio means something novel or bizarre, according to Merriam-Webster.com, so maybe it is too wild a word to reflect the mundane things we put in curio cabinets today.

Most cabinets hold things like Precious Moments collectibles, our family’s heirloom china, or a combination of random things we have collected over the years that hold special meaning to us.

If we no longer place curios in curio cabinets, shouldn’t we change the name of them?  I mean, am I the only one who feels a little bit betrayed by the fact that if you’re looking for curios, you won’t find them in a curio cabinet?

Perhaps they should be knick-knack cabinets, or display cabinets, or…something!  And if changing them to reflect what they hold isn’t going to happen, maybe we should start referring to the things we find special enough to store there curios again.  Though they may be common or not particularly special to someone else, if they mean something to us, they would fit the definition of curios.

So what do you think?  Should we start calling the things we place in a curio cabinet by their true name, or is it time to change the name of the cabinet itself?  In any case, who is with me that this misleading combination should be changed?