jan·i·tor (jăn’ĭ-tər)
n. 1) One who attends to the maintenance or cleaning of a building. 2) A doorman.
[Latin iānitor, doorkeeper, from iānua, door, from iānus, archway; see ei-.]
jan′i·to’ri·al (-tôr’ē-əl) adj.
Word History: In Latin iānus was the word for "archway, gateway, or covered passage" and also for the god of gates, doorways, and beginnings in general, known in English as Janus. Our month January—a month of beginnings—is named for the god. Latin iānitor, the source of our word janitor and ultimately also from iānus, meant "doorkeeper or gatekeeper." Probably because iānitor was common in Latin records and documents, it was adopted into English. In an early quotation Saint Peter is called "the Janitor of heaven." The term can still mean "doorkeeper," but in Scots usage janitor also referred to a minor school official. Apparently this position at times involved maintenance duties and doorkeeping, and the maintenance duties took over the more exalted tasks, giving us the position of janitor as we know it today.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • janitorial — 1869, from JANITOR (Cf. janitor) + IAL (Cf. ial) …   Etymology dictionary

  • janitorial — |janə|tōrēəl, tȯr adjective : of or belonging to a janitor : custodial janitorial duties the janitorial staff …   Useful english dictionary

  • janitorial — janitor ► NOUN chiefly N. Amer. ▪ a caretaker of a building. DERIVATIVES janitorial adjective. ORIGIN Latin, from janua door …   English terms dictionary

  • janitorial — adjective see janitor …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • janitorial — See janitor. * * * …   Universalium

  • janitorial — adjective /ˈdʒæn.ɪ.tɔː(ɹ).ɪiəl/ of or pertaining to a janitor …   Wiktionary

  • janitorial — adj. of a maintenance worker, of a guard …   English contemporary dictionary

  • janitorial — jan·i·to·ri·al …   English syllables

  • janitor — janitorial /jan i tawr ee euhl, tohr /, adj. /jan i teuhr/, n. 1. a person employed in an apartment house, office building, school, etc., to clean the public areas, remove garbage, and do minor repairs; caretaker. 2. Archaic. a doorkeeper or… …   Universalium

  • City Wide Maintenance — City Wide Maintenance, Inc. The City Wide Maintenance headquarters in Lenexa, KS. Type Private …   Wikipedia

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