The history of the ottoman originated from the Ottoman Empire. Originally they were designed as a platform with cushions pilled on to create seating. The ottoman was brought to Europe in the 18th century and eventually made it to North America.
Ottomans make great footstools or a fireside seat.
Other names for ottomans are: footstools, tuffet, hassock or pouffe.
Learn more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_(furniture)