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#1
Old 02-27-2011, 11:02 PM
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Is there a tradition of using "Garden" to mean stadium?

I'm thinking of Madison Square Garden (sg.) Boston Gardens, and Maple Leafs Gardens, to be exact. A garden, as best I know in modern usage, is a thing of dirt where you grow flowers and veggies 'n junk. Very technical and precise definition, I know.

However, having done a bit of sleuthing, I notice that the origin of the word is referring to the "enclosure: it is from Middle English gardin, from Anglo-French gardin, jardin, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German gard, gart, an enclosure or compound, as in Stuttgart. See Grad (Slavic settlement) for more complete etymology. [3] The words yard, court, and Latin hortus (meaning "garden," hence horticulture and orchard), are cognates—all referring to an enclosed space.[wikipedia:garden]"

My question: between 1879 (opening of the first MSG), and say, the Middle Ages, is there a consistent usage of "Gardens" in this non-botanical sense, or did re-emerge out of nowhere in the nineteenth century? The closest I can think of is the Vauxhall Gardens in Britain, but those legitimately had trees and shrubs and greenery.

Thanks in advance to anyone who would like to tackle this etymological enigma!
#2
Old 02-27-2011, 11:06 PM
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Kindergarten--from the German tradition of keeping children in small pens until they were smart enough to escape and attend proper school.
#3
Old 02-27-2011, 11:22 PM
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On dog forums, I notice in the UK they talk about keeping the dog in the garden. I am not sure if they mean any yard, or a fenced one.
#4
Old 02-27-2011, 11:27 PM
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From years of watching stuff on BBC America, I gather that Brits use garden to mean the space that Americans call their yard (front yard or back yard).
#5
Old 02-28-2011, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
From years of watching stuff on BBC America, I gather that Brits use garden to mean the space that Americans call their yard (front yard or back yard).
"In the garden" is fairly standard usage here for "in the front/back yard".
#6
Old 02-28-2011, 12:34 AM
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I could probably do up a whole lesson on how garden is derived from the same early German term that led to yard, which meant an enclosure. And a garden was not just an enclosure but became known as one open to the public.

But that's not the way history works.

Madison Square is where Broadway intersects Madison Avenue. There was a park with gardens there before they built the original arena.

Madison Square Garden

Quote:
Madison Square Garden, also simply known as "the Garden", takes its name from the junction where the first two incarnations of the venue were located in New York City. Madison Square was on Madison Avenue at 26th Street, and here the first version of the now legendary stadium rose from the Manhattan ground and began its story. Despite being later moved to different spots in the city, the venue kept its original name, though there is no sign of a garden or a square in the area today.
And then the imitators.

Boston Garden
Quote:
The old Boston Garden is just a memory now. Construction on the old building was completed on November 17, 1928 at a cost of four million dollars. The Garden was modeled after New York’s Madison Square Garden. It was originally named the Boston Madison Square Garden, but that name didn’t last long because of the intense sports rivalry between New York City and Boston.
#7
Old 02-28-2011, 05:47 AM
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Madison Square Garden is (like the Holy Roman Empire) a triple misnomer: it's not on Madison Ave, it's not square, and it's not a garden.

Another garden arena is the Rose Garden in Portland. It's not to be confused with the real Portland rose garden, officially known as the International Rose Test Garden. The "Garden" in the name was "borrowed" from MSG and the Boston Garden, so this is evidence of a tradition of sorts.
#8
Old 02-28-2011, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
From years of watching stuff on BBC America, I gather that Brits use garden to mean the space that Americans call their yard (front yard or back yard).
In Britain, if you say you have a back yard, people will assume that it is paved or asphalted over (and, probably, that you are too poor to live in a house with a proper garden). If it has grass and (optionally) flowers (or even vegetables), it is a garden.
#9
Old 02-28-2011, 07:09 AM
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Madison Square Garden is (like the Holy Roman Empire) a triple misnomer: it's not on Madison Ave, it's not square, and it's not a garden.
As a kid it bothered me that Madison Square Garden wasn't, itself,, square. It was a couple of years later that I read an article about it and learned that it was called that because it was on Madison Square. Duh.

Of course, it's still a misnomer -- neither the Garden I knew as a kid nor the present one that replaced it aren't on Madison Square, either, although the first two were.


Quote:
Kindergarten--from the German tradition of keeping children in small pens until they were smart enough to escape and attend proper school.
Again, when I was a kid, it bothered me that the place I spent several pre-school hours was called a "garden", when it was a really a confined little hardwood-floored room on the second floor of the school.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 02-28-2011 at 07:10 AM.
#10
Old 02-28-2011, 05:47 PM
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You would think that Madison Square Park would include Madison Square Garden, but no. It has a nice Shake Shack, though.
#11
Old 02-28-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Madison Square Garden is (like the Holy Roman Empire) a triple misnomer: it's not on Madison Ave, it's not square, and it's not a garden.

Another garden arena is the Rose Garden in Portland. It's not to be confused with the real Portland rose garden, officially known as the International Rose Test Garden. The "Garden" in the name was "borrowed" from MSG and the Boston Garden, so this is evidence of a tradition of sorts.
MSG and Portland's Rose Garden are a few of the only major sports arenas/stadia without corporate sponsorships. Since corporate sponsored arenas are the norm, using garden to mean arena might be a dying tradition.
#12
Old 02-28-2011, 06:51 PM
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Any Torontonian will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Maple Leaf Gardens was named as such because it is located in Toronto's Garden District, itself named after old Allan Gardens.

And, slight nitpick on the OP: in Boston, the word Garden is, like in New York, used in the singular form.
#13
Old 02-28-2011, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antonio107, in the OP View Post
A garden, as best I know in modern usage, is a thing of dirt where you grow flowers and veggies 'n junk.
At one point, the Bronx Zoo was known as the Bronx Zoological Gardens. source: link to a New York Times article from 1911 (NOT a PDF)

(Actually, I always thought that was its official name. Only just now, in researching this question, did I go to their website to find I was wrong.)
#14
Old 02-28-2011, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
At one point, the Bronx Zoo was known as the Bronx Zoological Gardens. source: link to a New York Times article from 1911 (NOT a PDF)

(Actually, I always thought that was its official name. Only just now, in researching this question, did I go to their website to find I was wrong.)
Yes, true that. Zoological gardens. That's still an extension of "plot of dirt flora and fauna." Gardens in the Sens of MSG and MLG appears to draw upon a far older usage, (seemingly) out of nowhere.
#15
Old 02-28-2011, 09:59 PM
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As I think about it, the official; name of many zoos is ____Zoological Garden
#16
Old 02-28-2011, 10:47 PM
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I lived three blocks from Madison Square for several years. There is a very nice park there—Madison Square Park. There is not, and I don't think there ever was, a garden (as in flowers and such) associated with the square or the park.

I was under the impression that the first incarnation of Madison Square Garden contained a type of bar called a beer garden. I know the second incarnation (at the same location, but designed by Stanford White) did, although the name obviously came from the first MSG, and not from that beer garden.
#17
Old 03-01-2011, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayuga View Post
There is not, and I don't think there ever was, a garden (as in flowers and such) associated with the square or the park.
Wikipedia is your friend... (emphasis mine)
Quote:
Wikipedia: Madison Square Garden (1879)

In 1876 the open-air arena was leased to band leader Patrick Gilmore, who renamed it "Gilmore's Garden" and presented flower shows, beauty contests, temperance and revivial meetings, and the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show... After the death of Commodore Vanderbilt, who owned the site, his son William Kissam Vanderbilt took back control and announced the renaming of the arena to "Madison Square Garden" on May 31, 1879.

Last edited by Keeve; 03-01-2011 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Wiki also has a good article on "Madison Square"
#18
Old 03-01-2011, 03:32 AM
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Data point: There's a very well-known cricket stadium in Kolkata, India, called Eden Gardens. I'm not quite sure where the name comes from, though.
#19
Old 03-01-2011, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
As a kid it bothered me that Madison Square Garden wasn't, itself,, square. It was a couple of years later that I read an article about it and learned that it was called that because it was on Madison Square. Duh.
I knew that, but I wasn't going to let an inconvenient fact get in the way of a pithy comment.

Quote:
Of course, it's still a misnomer -- neither the Garden I knew as a kid nor the present one that replaced it aren't on Madison Square, either, although the first two were.
A double misnomer just doesn't cut it.
#20
Old 03-01-2011, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Greene
The Garden was modeled after New York’s Madison Square Garden. It was originally named the Boston Madison Square Garden, but that name didn’t last long because of the intense sports rivalry between New York City and Boston.
You'd have to be seriously out of touch to imagine that a name obviously copied from NY would last long in Boston.
#21
Old 03-01-2011, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by thelabdude View Post
As I think about it, the official; name of many zoos is ____Zoological Garden
In other languages the name for a zoo is 'animal garden' as in Dierentuin in dutch and Tiergarten in german, altough I believe they use Zoo as well.
#22
Old 03-01-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeve View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayuga View Post
I lived three blocks from Madison Square for several years. There is a very nice park there—Madison Square Park. There is not, and I don't think there ever was, a garden (as in flowers and such) associated with the square or the park.
Wikipedia is your friend... (emphasis mine)
Quote:
Wikipedia: Madison Square Garden (1879)

In 1876 the open-air arena was leased to band leader Patrick Gilmore, who renamed it "Gilmore's Garden" and presented flower shows, beauty contests, temperance and revivial meetings, and the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show... After the death of Commodore Vanderbilt, who owned the site, his son William Kissam Vanderbilt took back control and announced the renaming of the arena to "Madison Square Garden" on May 31, 1879.


I stand by my statement. The boldfaced flower shows were in the arena, not the park or the square itself.

It seems that the "garden" in "Madison Square Garden" comes from its original name, "Gilmore's Garden." Are you suggesting that Gilmore's Garden was named "Gilmore's Garden" because it occasionally housed flower shows, in addition to beauty contests, temperance and revival meetings, and dog shows? Or am I missing something (HINT: Very likely)?
#23
Old 03-01-2011, 08:22 PM
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Not sure how much this helps you, but my older relatives referred to establishments that served alcoholic beverages as "beer gardens". It is possible there are other meanings besides "a plot of land which is used to grow flowers".

Last edited by Apocalypso; 03-01-2011 at 08:23 PM.
#24
Old 03-01-2011, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypso View Post
Not sure how much this helps you, but my older relatives referred to establishments that served alcoholic beverages as "beer gardens". It is possible there are other meanings besides "a plot of land which is used to grow flowers".
In southern England (and for all I know, in the rest of the UK), a "beer garden" is an outside area of a pub, usually out the back (at least it is in towns), and typically with some seating, parasols/umbrellas, flowers in pots, and possibly a lawn. Obviously how "garden-y" it is depends a lot on what sort of area the pub itself is in, and what effort the landlord puts into keeping it looking nice. The beer garden serves as a nice place to be in good weather, out in the fresh air and sunshine, and away from the gloom and fruit machines of the pub's interior. A beer garden is also where you would tend to eat pub meals (during the summer, anyway). On the other hand, it could just be a patio with a couple of bench tables and no niceties.

Nowadays the beer garden also functions as an all-year smokers' area, since it's now illegal to smoke inside a pub itself.
#25
Old 03-01-2011, 09:10 PM
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Also, biergartens are areas in German/Austrian parks and public areas that serve huge mugs of excellent brew, along with inexpensive food during the summertime. These are indeed actually gardens, with landscaping and green space to enjoy the fresh air.

Can't visit Germany without stopping in a biergarten for a stein or 3......

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 03-01-2011 at 09:12 PM.
#26
Old 03-01-2011, 09:22 PM
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Let's not forget Marvin Gardens.
#27
Old 03-01-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayuga View Post
I stand by my statement. The boldfaced flower shows were in the arena, not the park or the square itself.

It seems that the "garden" in "Madison Square Garden" comes from its original name, "Gilmore's Garden." Are you suggesting that Gilmore's Garden was named "Gilmore's Garden" because it occasionally housed flower shows, in addition to beauty contests, temperance and revival meetings, and dog shows? Or am I missing something (HINT: Very likely)?
Yeah, I was suggesting it, but that's all, just suggesting. I don't know for sure what Gilmore was thinking, but it does seem that "garden" can mean (or used to mean) a lot more than just a home for flowers.
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