Fun Etymology Tuesday – Magazine

What do the magazines you find in the supermarket, full of gossip or specialist information, have to do with old buildings storing grain and dates in ancient Arabia?

Well, the word “magazine” ultimately comes from the Quranic Arabic word “makhzan”, meaning “storehouse, depot”, a form of the verb “khazana”, “to store”.
This was borrowed into Italian as “magazzino”, where it still has its original meaning of “storehouse”. Later, French brought the word to English, where its meaning of “storehouse” was metaphorically transferred to paper with the publication of the “Gentleman’s Magazine” in 1730, with the intended meaning of “storehouse of information”.

This metaphorical meaning supplanted the original and is now the primary one, the old meaning having survived only in military jargon, referring to the capsules storing ammunition for firearms.

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