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'Bodega' Startup Draws Criticism, Mockery

A lesson in not reinventing the wheel (or corner store).

Bodega was among our top lookups on September 14th, 2017, following widespread media coverage and social media consternation over a start-up which appeared to have the aim of supplanting neighborhood bodegas, and which bore the same name.

Don’t mess with the beloved bodega.

That was the overriding sentiment online on Wednesday when a start-up suggested its internet-connected vending machines would upend traditional big-city corner stores, and not-so-gracefully borrowed a name for these stores.
—Maya Salam & Christina Caron, The New York Times, 14 Sept. 2017

Bodega has been in use in English since the middle of the 17th century, with an initial meaning of “a storehouse for wine especially above ground.” This meaning is very much in line with the origin of the word, which came to our language from Spanish. The Spanish word may be traced to the Latin word for “storehouse,” apotheca.

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