For Your Windows


on February 26, 2011

Along with windows and lots of light, I love studying words and where they came from. That just might have something to do with my passion for writing too. This morning, I was sent on a little journey all because of the term “clerestory windows.”

When you have a window cleaning business, customers often ask on the phone if the service includes “clerestory windows” since they are usually the ones that are highest to reach. For years, I thought the term was “clearstory” which, by the way, is also correct along with “clearstorey” and “overstorey.” All the terms are architectural in nature referring to windows above the roof line or eye level.

All those details started me wondering. Why is the floor of a building called a “story” anyway? That one I had never thought of before. So after a little internet searching, I found out that the etymology of “story” or “storey”  is from  Medieval Latin historia (“narrative, illustration, story of a building”), and from Latin, possibly from narratives painted on medieval buildings. Well, how about that!  This type of window goes way back as well to Roman times. And, they are still very popular.

Hey, those even look clean. I bet the home-owner hires a professional to clean the them.

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