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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 19th December 2017
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mews (noun) MYOOZ

A small street lined with former stables that have been converted into housing.

The word is derived from the singular word mew - a cage where hawks were kept. As a plural it came to mean a building containing several mews - that is, a place where hawks were kept. In the late 14th century the royal stables were built on the site of what had previously been the royal mews, so that the word mews began to refer to buidings used for stabling. Later still, in the 19th century, as former stabling began to be used for or incorporated living accommodation, the word took on its present meaning. Though the word was originally plural, in its modern sense it is used as a singular, with a new plural becomming increasingly used: mewses.

One pensioner lives in Marlborough House mews, eight in or adjacent to the Royal mews at Windsor castle, seven in Windsor Home park, eight in Windsor Great park, nine in or near to the Royal mews at Hampton court and one in Hampton court paddocks.

Mr Sproat, Commons Hansard, 8 March 1996. Commons Hansard

Driven out of the Royal Mews in an open carriage for her regular airings, the diapered Elizabeth drew large crowds of cheering, waving admirers; one of her earliest skills was to wave back.

Martin Amis, The New Yorker, 20 May 2002, The New Yorker
reviewing Robert Lacey's Monarch: The Life and Reign of Elizabeth II. Amazon

The cobblestoned Washington Mews is one of the most unusual lanes in Manhattan, its converted two-story stables making it a sort of retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Christopher Gray, The New York Times, 20 November 1988. New York Times

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