November 20, 2013
queue (noun)
\KYOO\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : a braid of hair usually worn hanging at the back of the head2 : a waiting line
How do you use it?
We waited in a long queue for hours to buy tickets to the movie.
Are you a word wiz?

English borrowed "queue" from French. French adopted it earlier from the Latin word "coda" meaning "tail." Based on what you know about "queue," how do you think it came to mean "waiting line"?

English adopted "queue" around 1750, giving it the meaning "a long braid of hair," because a braid can hang from a person's head like a tail. This sense is still in use, but we more commonly refer to such a braid as "pigtail" today. In the 19th century, "queue" came to be used for something else that looked like a tail -- a number of people waiting in line.
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