Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Pat from Elk Rapids asked about the word stateroom.  

Originally (17th century), the stateroom was the captain’s cabin on board a ship. It was the largest and most desirable one available. Soon thereafter, it was used to designate a large, lavishly decorated hotel room used on formal or ceremonial occasions.

Within a century, a stateroom was a cabin on a passenger ship that provided sleeping accommodations. It no longer was reserved for the superior officer. In 19th century America, it was a private compartment on a railway train.

The words state, estate, and status are connected. One’s social standing was involved, especially where wealth and possessions were concerned. At the core is the Latin verb stare, to stand. The participle form shifted to the spelling form stat-.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Nook edition

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