The term couch-surf came into use in the late 1980s. We will examine the definition of the term couch-surf, how it began and some examples of its use in sentences.

To couch-surf means to spend the night at someone’s house, free of charge, and on a temporary basis. Often, when someone is between apartments or places of residence, he will stay at a friend’s house, usually on the couch. Though first used in the 1980s, the term couch-surf became popular at the turn of the millennium when Casey Fenton founded an online community where people the world over could connect, offering free accommodations in their homes for travelers. Within ten years Fenton converted the concept into a for-profit organization. The Oxford English Dictionary renders the word couch-surf with a hyphen, though it is often seen as two separate words as in couch surf or one word as in couchsurf. Couch-surf is used as a noun or verb, related words are couch-surfs, couch-surfed, couch-surfing, couch-surfer. When capitalized as in CouchSurfing, the word refers to the specific organization founded by Casey Fenton.


Bright, busy and cold dripping with lumberjack chic, The Barn is part country woolshed, part inner city warehouse – as though The Edwards were evicted from the city and had to couch surf in Carro at Café Inu. (The Newcastle Herald)

He was known to couch surf with fellow climbers in Canmore and bivouacked under boulders tucked beneath the face of the massive Squamish Chief, whose Grand Wall he free-soloed in 2013. (The Globe and Mail)

He is from the indigenous community of Doomadgee in north Queensland’s remote gulf country, a kid who grew up “couch surfing” with aunties and mates, getting by hand to mouth. (The Australian)

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