kitchen

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English[edit]

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A modern kitchen

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English kitchen, kichene, kuchen, from Old English cycen, cycene (kitchen), from Proto-Germanic *kukinōn (kitchen), probably a borrowing of Vulgar Latin cucīna (kitchen), from coquō (to cook), from Proto-Indo-European *pekʷ- (to cook, become ripe). More at cook.

Germanic cognates include West Frisian koken (kitchen), Dutch keuken (kitchen), German Küche (kitchen), Low German Köök (kitchen), Danish køkken (kitchen). Romance cognates include French cuisine (borrowed into English cuisine), Italian cucina, and Spanish cocina.

In other languages, the cognate term often refers both to the room and the type of cooking. In English, the distinction is generally made via the etymological twins kitchen (room) (of Germanic origin) and cuisine (type of cooking) (from French).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

kitchen (plural kitchens)

  1. A room or area for preparing food.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess[1]:
      Everything a living animal could do to destroy and to desecrate bed and walls had been done. […]  A canister of flour from the kitchen had been thrown at the looking-glass and lay like trampled snow over the remains of a decent blue suit with the lining ripped out which lay on top of the ruin of a plastic wardrobe.
  2. An admixture of languages spoken to convey meaning between non-native speakers.
  3. (African American Vernacular) The nape of a person's hairline, often referring to its uncombed or "nappy" look.
  4. Cuisine.
  5. (music) The percussion section of an orchestra.
    • 1981, Norman Del Mar, Anatomy of the Orchestra,
      For obvious reasons the percussion is normally arranged along the back of the platform, whether centrally or to one side, and sometimes also in two tiers, the heavy, noisier instruments behind, and the pitched, agile instruments such as vibraphone, marimba, etc. in front. An outstanding exception, however, exists in Roberto Gerhard's Epithalamion where the composer expressly desired that the all-important kitchen department be spread out in front of the strings and hence nearest the audience.
  6. (dated) A utensil for roasting meat.
    a tin kitchen

Usage notes[edit]

  • (area for preparing food): A kitchen fruit, kitchen apple, or the like, or one good for the kitchen, is one suitable for use in prepared foods.

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