May 26, 2012
beach (noun)
\BEECH\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a sandy or gravelly part of the shore of an ocean or lake
How do you use it?
"He lived peacefully with his mother and father in a beautiful house beside the sea. There were always plenty of other children for him to play with, and there was the sandy beach for him to run about on, and the ocean to paddle in." (Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach)
Are you a word wiz?

Today the word "beach" conjures images of sun, swimming, and fun! But before people started using "beach" as we do now, they used it with a different meaning. What do you think that earlier meaning was?

You made a splash if you picked answer A! The earliest known meaning of "beach" refers not to the sandy or gravelly area along the shore, but to the sandy or gravelly material itself that covers such an area. This use of "beach" dates back to the early 1500s. "Beach" was probably originally a dialect word, although its exact origin is unknown. By the late 1500s, the word "beach" meaning "shore pebbles" was also being used for an area covered by beach, resulting in the meaning of "beach" that we use today.
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