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Major Metal; Monastery Question

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by AaronS, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. What do you call the small rooms that monks and nuns sleep in? I am in the middle of a Spanish Translation class and the professor is insisting that the correct English word for "celdas" is not "cells". He says that the English word "cell" (in a room context) only refers to a prison cell. Of course he doesn't tell me what he thinks the right word is. 35 years ago I was consulting at a Trappist monastery and I am almost certain that they did call them cells. All of my paper and online dictionaries verify my memory. I have a call into a friend of mine who is a nun, but she is a little difficult to contact. Two personal sources would sure go a long way to backing up my books.
  2. Umberto Eco's "The Name Of The Rose" (set in a monastery, translated from Italian) refers to them as cells. Not quite a presonal source but certainly a highly regarded work of literature:)

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    In traditional contemplative Monasterys they are reffered to as Cells. The last Monastery I was in was an active apostolic Monastery and it was built within the last 7 years so we called them rooms.
  4. Checked the meaning of cell in two dictionaries:
    Oxford Dictionary did have the meaning of a monastery room, while the American Heritage Dictionary didn't.

    i don't know if it helps but in Greek we also call them cells
  5. Kibuddy


    Apr 30, 2005
    I learned them as cells.

    Actually, that's how the term "cell" was adapted to biology. When Hooke first looked at a cork under a microscope, he thought that all of the holes looked kind of like the rooms monks stayed in. Thus, he dubbed them "cells".
  6. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I did saw an article in the newspaper recently, about the sole operating orthodox monastery in Finland. They had a special name for the monk's personal quarters, which was something derived from latin I believe.. Nothing close to 'cell', though.

    I could try to look it up.
  7. Thanks for the help. I got hold of my nun friend and she said that they are called cells in her order. That gave me two personal first hand sources, the Oxford English Dictionary, several bilingual Spanish / English dictionaries and the Real Academia EspaƱola. I think I'm on solid ground and he is mistaken. We shall see.

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member


    Would Monastic life appeal to you ?

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