This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Rest: flotel. Word Not To Use Today.

What do you think a flotel is?

Yep, that's right, it's some sort of a hotel-type thing.

And, yes, that's right, too, there's a floating idea going on as well (an alternative spelling of flotel is floatel, but that's so ugly I hardly liked to mention it).

So, you're thinking white-jacketed stewards, a setting sun turning a cocktail into a gleaming beacon of rapture, and stiff icy napery on the captain's table, right? Basically the same thing as a cruise ship.


Er, no.

A flotel doesn't cruise. And it's not a ship, either.

Neither is it a hotel.

As for the floating thing, well, flotels do their business in the middle of the sea, so they do float sometimes. But not always.

A flotel (ouch!) is an oil rig or boat used as accommodation on off-shore oil rigs. They were used as accommodation during the Mexico oil-spill clean-up, too.

It caused a strike.

'If I wanted to be in prison, I would break the law and go to jail,' said one 'guest' in a flotel, where the cabin walls consisted of curtains and the lack of space made guests nervous about the spread of disease.

I suppose you have to give the coiner of the word flotel marks for humour, though.

Even if it is of the most ironic kind.

Word Not To Use Today: flotel. This word is one of the horrors the 1950s inflicted upon us.


  1. I hadn't heard this word before and on balance I am not sure I want to hear it again. Sounds horrendous.

    1. Yes, sorry about that, Adele. It's a horror, isn't it. Possibly even worse than the wincingly dreary motel.