Where does the word “Flophouse” come from and What does Flophouse mean?

Although the word “Flophouse” is labeled slang in some dictionaries, this early-twentieth-century substitute is certainly convenient and expressive.

It will undoubtedly gain prestige and, as long as need exists, remain in our language.

We in America are barely acquainted with the Englishman’s equivalent, doss house, and don’t particularly like it; it sounds Chinese, though actually derived from Latin dorsum, “the back.”

But here in America we “flop” down on a bed, when tired, and a flophouse is a house or lodging for the weary who need a bed at a very, very low rate and must be content with other inmates, whether human or vermin.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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