Origin of the word ‘magazine’

The word magazine has several different meanings. A publication containing articles, ads, stories and photographs that comes out on a regular basis is called a magazine. The part of the gun which contains the bullets is also called a magazine. How did this word acquire such different meanings? According to scholars, the word ‘magazine’ comes from the Arabic ‘makhzan’ meaning ‘storehouse’. The original magazine was a place where grain and other goods were stored. According to the columnist, this explains why the part of the gun which contains the bullets is called a magazine – it is a storehouse for the ammunition. Did you know that before the 19th century even ordinary books were called ‘magazines’? After all, books are a storehouse of knowledge, aren’t they? It was only in the 19th century that the word ‘magazine’ began to refer to periodicals.

Source: “The Hindu”   – Know Your English  Column –  Feb 05, 2008

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