Why Are They Called Apartments if They’re Together? (Answered)

The world is full of questions. And while some of those questions may remain unanswered, we have found the answers to the others! One of those mind-twisting questions is, “why are apartments called apartments if they are together?”. In this article, we answer that! 

Why Are Apartments Called Apartments If They Are Together? 

The word ‘apartment’ originates from the French word ‘Appartement’ as well as the Italian word ‘Appartamento.’ And they both mean ‘separate place.’ In the early 17th century, Appartement or Appartamento meant a separate place to live. And with time, the word took the form of ‘apartment.’ 

Many people may feel the name ‘apartment’ isn’t accurate to its description, especially since they’re not apart but instead together! But, calling your home ‘togetherments’ wouldn’t be easy on the tongue! 

And most importantly, ‘apartment’ is just a passed-down version of its origin, which means a separate place to live. So dont worry; apartments dont mean ‘apart places.’ 

The Story Behind The Joke- ‘Why are apartments called apartments if they’re together?’ 

appartment building image

‘Why are apartments called apartments if they’re together is mainly a phrase known as a famous mind twister, or in simpler terms, a joke. The furthest we can track the origins to is 1896. And the first person to say the joke was a comedian named Gallagher. 

The joke is that apartments should be called togetherments! Almost like, ‘why are buildings called buildings when they’re already finished? It doesn’t make much sense, hence why it’s known as a mind twister. 

But for you, it’s a great little joke you can tell a friend! And if you still want an explanation as to why they are called apartments, just scroll up a little bit; we got the answer for you!  

Are Apartments Called Apartments In Other Places On Earth? 

In America, you might call your living homes apartments. But, apartments have a different name in other parts of the world. In most parts of Europe, apartments are called ‘flats.’ And you might be questioning why they would call it a flat when it’s not just a flat abode. 

Well, the answer lies in its origin! Like the word ‘apartment,’ ‘flat’ also originates from a different language. ‘Flet’ in Scottish means ‘residence,’ and as time passed, ‘flet’ formed into ‘flat.’ When the word flat refers to a home, it means a place to stay or a residence. 

Over time, many words, such as flet or Appartamento, have been passed down and modified to their meanings. While the pronunciation and spelling may differ, the meaning remains the same. Flat or flet? Both are correct, depending on what you’re trying to say! 


So, why are apartments called apartments when they are together? Well, because the word apartment originates from Appartement or Appartamento, which means a separate place. 

If you know the origin, the word makes perfect sense! So, we hope you were able to learn something new in today’s article. Until next time, thank you for reading, goodbye!

Frequently Asked Questions;

Q. Why Are Apartments Called Apartments? 

Ans: Apartments are called apartments because the word apartment means a place to stay. 

Q. Where Does ‘Apartment’ Originate From? 

Ans: ‘Apartment’ originates from ‘Appartement’ or ‘Appartamento,’ which are both French and Italian. 

Q. What Do British People Call Apartments? 

Ans: The British call apartments ‘flats’.

Q. What Are Apartments Called In Europe? 

Ans: Apartments are called ‘flats’ in Europe. 

Q. Why Are Apartments In Europe Called Flats? 

Ans: Apartments in Europe are called flats because the word ‘flat’ means ‘residence’ or a place to stay, which originates from the Scottish word ‘flet.’