The term “motel” has come to mean something we generally associate to places where illicit affairs happen or where people generally stop for an hour or two to get shady deals done. But where did the term really come from?
The word is actually a portmanteau, derived from the classification “motorist hotel,” a quick-stop hotel for motorists who have traveled for miles on the road. These hotels are designed with an easy access to an open parking space, and are usually located right by major roads. They are generally inexpensive and offer only the basic necessities for the transient stay.
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Experts hold that the term “motel” started coming into wide usage after World War II and entered dictionaries around the same time. With new freeways getting built in America, car travel boomed. There were a lot of people who liked to go on extended road trips, and as this became more and more frequent, it encouraged the demand for establishments that would cater to the needs of these so-called “road warriors.”
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