New Internationalist

Magazine

June 2004

Magazine is from the Arabic makhazin, a storehouse, and this was the earliest meaning of the word in English in the 1500s. The French magasin (shop) is from the same root. A military store of gunpowder was also known as a magazine(hence the magazine on a gun). Magazineas in New Internationalist dates from the 1600s and was originally used in the sense of a storehouse of information.

Brochure is from the French brocher, to stitch. Bulletin is from the Latin bulla (sealed document). In the 1300s, a journal (from the same root as the modern French jour, day) was a book containing daily church services. Later journals showed daily stages of a journey, or daily financial accounts. The modern journal (not necessarily daily) dates from the 1700s.

A gazzetta was an old Italian coin, and the word may have been transferred to the newspaper sold for one gazzetta. Or gazette may be from gazza, the Italian for a magpie (as the newspaper contents were like the chattering of a magpie, a precursor of the chattering classes!). In the 1600s, a gazetteer was a journalist who wrote for a gazette. The modern meaning dates from 1693 when L Echard published a geographical dictionary that he called a gazetteer.

Susan Watkin

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 368 This column was published in the June 2004 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 368

New Internationalist Magazine issue 368
Issue 368

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

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