|Heights Casino in Brooklyn|
Today, on Beyond the Gilded Age, he featured a building called The Heights Casino on Montague Street in Brooklyn. I thought Casino? Brooklyn? This building was a social hall/athletic club and the description made no mention of gambling.
So I posted a comment:
December 31, 2012 11:18 AM
Does "casino" have an original meaning that goes beyond gambling? I've never seen it used this way to mean a social or athletic facility.
Then I looked at dictionary.com and posted a second comment:
December 31, 2012 11:48 AM
Ok, I just answered my own question by using dictionary.com. The meaning of casino is any building which is a social gathering point, but especially if there is gambling. The word comes from the Italian for house (casa) and the diminutive ending (ino). Never knew this, but it is so obvious now.
Just now checked to see if there were more comments. OK, I'll admit: I looked at both blogs again in order to procrastinate and not do what I'm supposed to be doing. But here's a comment from one of the learned commenters:
December 31, 2012 11:53 AM
The Down East Dilettante said...
Patricia---just to add a little---'Casino' was a word used for many sporting and gathering facilities in the gilded age summer resorts---the most famous of which is the wonderful Newport Casino. Definitely the definition of a hundred or more years ago was less specifically geared toward gambling
So that's what I've learned. It surprises me that I typically have an eye out for word derivation, but never put the casa into casino... Never occurred to me!