What's the etymology of using 'joint' to mean a place? Like burger joint or juke joint...

1 Answer 1


I think this is what you are referring to:


late 13c., "a part of a body where two bones meet and move in contact with one another," from Old French joint "joint of the body" (12c.), from Latin iunctus "united, connected, associated," past participle of iungere "join" (see jugular). Related: Joints. Slang meaning of "place, building, establishment" (especially one where persons meet for shady activities) first recorded 1877, American English, from an earlier Anglo-Irish sense (1821), perhaps on the notion of a side-room, one "joined" to a main room. The original U.S. sense was especially of "an opium-smoking den."

  • Could also derive from it being a place where you joined others...
    – Oldcat
    May 20, 2014 at 20:44
  • @Oldcat - it could. But unless you give any evidence, that is mere speculation.
    – Colin Fine
    May 20, 2014 at 21:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.