Monday, September 9, 2013

Word of the Week - Canteen

One of my historical writer friends asked about canteens a little while ago (namely, what they would have called them before they were canteens), which inspired me to look up the word.

Canteen is from the French cantine, which means "sutler's shop." Which I had to look up, LOL. Turns out a sutler is a person who maintains a store for the army, either by following them with provisions or having a shop within a camp. In this sense, the word entered English  in 1710. There's speculation that it's a sense of the Latin canto, which means "corner"--that it's a corner for storage.

The familiar sense of "container to carry water" evolved by 1744, also from a sense in the French, and used mainly by the military still, or campers. People on the move. The extended-from-the-first-definition sense of it being a "refreshment room on a campus or base" is from 1870.

Somewhat appropriate word choice today, as we'll be traveling to Johns Hopkins for the last (hopefully) follow-up appointment for the elbow my little girl broke back in May. Prayers appreciated!


  1. How did your daughter's appointment go? I hope all is well with her elbow now.

    I enjoy your word of the week posts. I always learn something new. :)


    1. The doctor was really impressed with the x-rays--seemed downright excited about how perfectly the bone healed. Surgery is now completely off the table (had been a future possibility until now). Her flexibility hasn't returned though, so we need to do some therapy for her and possibly get some fancy splint that'll stretch it out. Thanks for asking!

    2. I was just going to say that I'd be praying (ignoring the time gap between America and England!) and then saw this update. Thank you for sharing the good news! I'm so glad for all of you that surgery isn't a threat now and I'll be praying that your daughter's arm goes from strength to strength and regains its flexibility!

    3. So glad to hear that fabulous news, Roseanna! Sometimes God lends us a hand in healing... and it sounds like He did with your daughter. How else can we explain such a perfect mending of the bone? Glad your little girl's doing well. I'm sure it was a relief to you and your husband as well. :)

  2. Love these posts! :) thanks for them, and this one in particular. Fascinating!

  3. I like the idea that a canteen is "a corner for storage"! :)