May 05, 2017
cafeteria (noun)
\kaf-uh-TEER-ee-uh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a restaurant in which the customers serve themselves or are served at a counter but carry their own food to their tables2 : a room (as in a school) where lunches may be eaten : lunchroom
How do you use it?
My brother's college financial aid package includes a work-study job in the school's cafeteria.
Are you a word wiz?

Which one of these words do you think was first being used in English around the same time as "cafeteria"?

Both "cafeteria" and "vending machine" first surfaced in the late 1800s. Although "cafeteria" is likely borrowed from "café"-- the Spanish word for "coffee" -- early evidence for its use in Spanish is slim. Its first use in English shows up in Chicago in 1895, when a "Cafetiria Catering Company" opened four self-service style restaurants. Other coinages such as "marketeria," "gaseteria," and "washeteria" followed, but they mostly faded after World War II. "Cafeteria" has survived because of cafeterias in schools and hospitals, but the word as used to describe a restaurant has mostly died out as such eateries faced stiff competition elsewhere from fast-food joints. Anwswer: A
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