There is no such thing as “Chester drawers,” therefore “chest of drawers” is always the right phrase. Newcomers to the English language, particularly children, mishear “chest of” as “Chester” and tend to annunciate it that way. Just remember this phrase will contain three words, not two.
It’s unclear how people came to misspeak “chest of drawers” in lieu of “Chester drawers.” But, it doesn’t really make sense once you fully understand what everything means.
Defining “Chest of Drawers”
A chest of drawers is a piece of cabinetry or furniture that allows you to store things in compartments or drawers. Also called a dresser or bureau, a chest of drawers has parallel compartments stacked on top of each other within the same box, or chest.
The Incorrect “Chester Drawers”
No one really knows how “Chester drawers” came to be, but it doesn’t make sense to what people may mean to convey. “Chester” is a male’s name and “drawers” could refer to either compartment in a box or someone’s underwear.
But, even if you mean the latter sense, you would have to make “Chester” possessive if you want to discuss his underwear. Other than that, “Chester drawers” is the incorrect way to refer to a dresser or bureau.
The Correct versus the Incorrect in Action
Read through the examples below to see how “Chester drawers” is the incorrect way to say “chest of drawers.” Be sure to say them aloud and you’ll discover how silly it sounds.
- Correct: This chest of drawers is an antique since it’s almost 100 years old.
- Incorrect: This Chester drawers is an antique since it’s almost 100 years old.
- Correct: There’s a sale going on at the furniture store and there’s a chest of drawers I’ve been eyeing.
- Incorrect: There’s a sale going on at the furniture store and there’s a Chester drawers I’ve been eyeing.
- Correct: She has an heirloom chest of drawers her grandmother gave as a gift.
- Incorrect: She has an heirloom Chester drawers her grandmother gave as a gift.
Remembering the correct way to refer to a dresser or bureau will involve three words: “chest of drawers.” Never use “Chester drawers” as this is incorrect and nonsensical. Chester is a masculine name and chest refers to a closing box. The drawers indicate the compartments that make up the closing mechanism on that chest.