[APG Public List] Nursing homes

Jacqueline Wilson wilssearch at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 08:20:28 MDT 2010

Larry, I do not know the origin of the name or when the US version became what it is now.  Bur in the States, it is basically an old folks home where people go who have no other place to go at the end of their lives and have no one to care for them or for people who need rehab.  Now days, a place to give birth here is called a "birthing center"  and a place  for unwed mothers (usually teenagers or very young) is called a "home for girls" or wayward girls in some cases.  

It would be interesting to check the OED to see how they define it over the years.  I do not have a subscription or I would.   

On Sep 27, 2010, at 8:51 AM, LBoswell wrote:

In the UK and Ireland, the term 'nursing home' is often used to mean 'maternity home' or 'birth home'.  Not sure if that was the case in Canada or the US.   So and so 'born in nursing home'.
What I'm wondering is what is the origin of the phrase 'nursing home'?  Was it orginally used in the sense of a maternity/birth home as was commonly the case in the UK/Ireland?  Interesting, because you could take the term 'nursing' two different directions.  Nursing someone  through illness or  in the final stages of old age.  Or nursing as in caring for, nourishing an infant.
Or did the phrase 'nursing home' evolve from different roots in the UK then it did here?  Were maternity homes, homes for unwed mothers ever called 'nursing homes' in the US/CDA?    Should be noted that the UK 'nursing homes' aren't specifically for unwed mothers, probably most women going to them would have been married.
(just had a few "born in a nursing home" mentions, so got to thinking about the origin of the phrase)

Jacqueline Wilson  
Evanston, IL

Masters Student,  Dept. US Military History
American Military University

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