Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boutique, magazine and Makhzen

Boutique is a word borrowed from the Greek άποθήκη /apothêke/ "place of deposit" in which the word θήκη /thêke/ means "box". The Provencal botica acted as an intermediary between Greek and French and we find the word in Spanish bodega with the modern sense of "cave" or "attic". The word's secondary meaning can also be "wine shop".

We find the same idea of "place of deposit" in the word of Arabic origin magazine "military depot for arms". Arabic مخزن /makhzan/ "warehouse store" stems from the root خزن /khazana/ which means "store" and in French it takes the sense of "shop" (magasin). 

By extension, the word magazine came to designate a book in which were recorded military stockpiles before it began displaying other informations. Leaving only the end of the word magazine, modern industry has formed the words fanzine and webzine. 

The word Makhzen is the same Arabic word for "warehouse" and is used in Morocco to designate the Moroccan power and all which is related to it. Since the events of the Arab spring, this term is tainted with a conservative and backward-looking connotation. 


  1. Very interesting. I don't know much greek.

    1. Thanks, i have so much to translate from my french blog, coming soon

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