Originally Posted by RSS
Growing up I was told never to use the word mansion ... but rather house. I'm told the term great house is acceptable.
That's an interesting point which I'd never considered until just now. Is "mansion" derived from "manse"? 'Cause a manse, afaik, is a minister's house, usually of the Calvinist bent. Not an imposing, nor ostentatious abode at all.
Perhaps I've mixed up my word roots.