Printable Version
Pronunciation: gê-rahj, gê-rahzh Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A storage shelter for automobiles. 2. A repair shop for automobiles.

Notes: Although the French pronunciation still lingers, this word has been Anglicized to the extent that the final ZH is being replaced by the more English J. The British also accent to the first syllable. This word is a lexical orphan, except it may be used as a verb meaning "to put a vehicle in a garage" in either sense of the word.

In Play: Garages are usually places we park our cars overnight: "Herschel had to hide in the garage to smoke his weed." However, they also frequently provide storage for things we want to get out of the house: "Irma Jean entered the garage to clean it up and was never seen again."

Word History: Today's Good Word was taken unchanged from English's favorite hunting grounds, French. Garage is the place noun for the verb garer "to shelter", which was in Old French guerrer, Middle French garir, borrowed from Old High German waron "take care of". Since Old French didn't have the letter W or the sound it represents, it used the nearest thing to it, which was GU, pronounced [gw}. OHG waron came down from PIE wer-/wor- "to cover", source also of German Wehr "defense", as in Wehrmacht "WWII armed forces", Russian vorota "gate", Serbian vrata "gate", Lithuanian atverti "open" and užverti "shut", and English weir "low dam". We see its remnants in Albanian varr "grave".(Thank you, Joakim Larsson of Sweden, contributor since 2014 of many enlightening Good Words like today's.)

Dr. Goodword,

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