I am talking about this break: stop proceedings in order to have a pause or vacation.

Why are they called that?

closed as off-topic by Drew, Edwin Ashworth, Dan Bron, jimm101, snailboat Apr 6 '16 at 23:33

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  • Think of the word "breakfast", which is made with the verb break and the noun fast (a period of time when you do not eat anything), to have breakfast meant to interrupt the period of fasting, i.e. the person's last meal. From there we then have "tea breaks", "coffee breaks", and "school breaks" means "breaking" the period of study. – Mari-Lou A Apr 6 '16 at 12:15
  • It depends on the history of the word. It could be that the 'pause' meaning is a (dead) metaphor for time as a solid length of material, cracking it in two leaves a space like a pause. Or it could be a metaphor in the other direction that the pause meaning was original and the metaphor applies it new to things that are injured in that way. – Mitch Apr 6 '16 at 12:25
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    Evidence (etymonline.com/index.php?term=break) leads to thinking that a split in material is the original OE (even PIE) meaning, and that the 'pause in time' is a metaphor that comes much later (1861). – Mitch Apr 6 '16 at 12:27
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    Dictionary, dictionary, dictionary - look up "break", please. – Drew Apr 6 '16 at 14:43

It relates to another meaning of "break", which is synonymous with "gap" - definition 70 (in the "Noun" section) here - http://www.dictionary.com/browse/break?s=t

an opening made by breaking; gap: "The break in the wall had not been repaired."

It's an interruption in the usual routine ("proceedings" in your definition), and so a break in that sense.

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