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Why do we park in driveways but we drive on parkways?

I've wondered about this one.


  1. You must not live in New Jersey, because you would know that the Garden State Parkway is aptly named!!!
  2. Here's another good one. If I swallow the contents of my bolster, do I throw down up or do I throw up down?
  3. And why does the freeway feel like prison during rushour traffic?
  4. We actually see this one on here a lot. Usually it's just tossed out as a joke... but in case, you are truly curious about how these words came to their current meaning, here's an explanation in three parts: 1) Grammar (the building of English compounds). The parts of English compound words like these can be related in a variety of different ways. So in this case, the relationship of "drive" and "park" to "way" is different in each case; one based on the verb "to drive", the other based on the NOUN "park". 2) History of "Driveway" --- This originally referred to a private road, usually between a public road and a private house. Historically, these were rather long (think of an impressive country estate -- poor folk or those living in the city would not have a driveway), and their main purpose was indeed for DRIVING driving to the house, certainly not for leaving the horses and carriage (and later car) sitting on. But in more recent times, driveways got shorter and people began more frequently to leave their cars on them (esp. as they added MORE cars and the garages became full of other stuff!) 3) "Park" is used in two different senses in these words (which is always a good setup for a pun or joke) "parkway" meaning "a broad LANDSCAPED thoroughfare" is based on the NOUN "park" Thus "park" here refers not to what one does ON this sort of road but to the "park" areas built (or left) around it. This fits with the meaning of park as an area of land that is set aside (originally by royal grant or law), for gardens, animals, etc. the VERB "park" is based on this noun, referring to leaving something sitting in one place (Thus is one sense both 'park in the driveway' and 'drive on the parkway' base 'park' on the same root idea -- only in one it is the land beside the road that is left sitting, in the one it is the vehicle.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com/park http://www.webster.com/dictionary/driveway
  5. "You can sit here in the waiting room or you can wait here in the sitting room" Firesign Theater