How did kiosk originate?: Information Roundup
Kiosk (pronounced keh-OSSK) is derived through French kiosque from Turkish kiushk, "pavilion," and Persian kushk, "palace," "villa" or "portico." In Turkey and Persia a kiosk is a light open pavilion or summer house supported by pillars and generally covered with vines or flowering creepers and often inclosing a fountain. Ibn-Batuta, the fourteenth-century Arabian traveler, wrote: "When he was returned from his expedition, and drawing near the capital, he ordered his son to build him a palace, or as those people call it, a kushk, by [page 18] the side of a river that runs at that place, which is called Afghanpur." Pietro della Valle, Italian traveler in Asia, wrote about 1623: "There is (in the garden) running water which issues from the entrance of a great kiosck, or covered place, where one may stay to take the air, which is built at the end of the garden over a great pond which adjoins the outside of the garden, so that, like the one at Surat, it serves also for the public use of the city." About 1860 the English began to use kiosk in the sense of a small canopy, booth, stall or light structure on the street used to shelter a band, newsboy or flower and refreshment vender. In the United States the term is frequently applied to a glass-inclosed booth that houses a thermometer, barometer and other weather-registering instruments.