It doesn’t matter who we are or where we come from, we all have certain things that must be done in life. Many of those could be considered domestic duties, such as cleaning the home and washing the dishes. Invariably, there will also be times when our clothing needs washed and for some people, taking the clothing out to be washed in a public location is the only choice available.
In most parts of the United States and around the world, the building where you would take clothing for washing and drying is known as a laundromat. For the past half-century or so, there is also another word that is often used for an area where you take clothing for washing and drying, and that is a Washateria. When you take a look at the words Washateria vs laundromat and truly identify the differences, the results are quite interesting.
Sometimes, the language that you speak is directly related to the part of the world where you are standing when you’re speaking it. I’m not talking about the language, such as Spanish versus English, I’m talking about the dialect and certain, specific words that may be spoken in that area. For example, people in the southern United States often speak with a different dialect than those in the northern United States. In the Midwest, the dialect is different from both. Deciding which is correct is sometimes quite a sore spot with those who are discussing it.
In the matter of Washateria vs laundromat, you might be interested in knowing that there really isn’t a difference from one to the other. Both of them are buildings where you take your dirty laundry to wash it, dry it and fold it. There may also be other services that are available at those facilities. In most parts of the United States, they are referred to as a laundromat but in certain areas of Texas, and now in other parts of the United States, they are called a Washateria. The terms are interchangeable.
Where Did the Word Washateria Come from?
If there is one thing that is true about the English language, it’s the fact that it is constantly evolving. In fact, if you look at literature that comes from only 40 or 50 years ago, you will see that the language has changed considerably during that short amount of time. It continues to evolve, with different words being added and some going out of use regularly. Pronunciation also changes over time, which causes the language to evolve as well.
It is thought that the term, Washateria, came into existence sometime in the mid-1930s. During that time, it was primarily used in the South and was often used in the decades to follow in certain areas of Texas. The first Washateria was opened in 1934 and it was located in Fort Worth, Texas. At that time, it was the name of the establishment but the word soon took on a rather interesting twist.
It is not uncommon for most people to use brand names when they are talking about a type of product. For example, they may say “Coke” when they want a soda or perhaps they may say that they want a “Kleenex” when what they actually want is a tissue, regardless of the brand. The same is also true of a Washateria. It started out as a brand name for a laundromat but eventually, began to be used as a word of its own.
Eventually, the word, Washateria, began to be used in other parts of the United States. There are even laundromats that have that name associated with them in many other parts of the country and in some cases, it may even be used in other countries as well. It is difficult to know where the word is going to evolve from here, but it certainly seems to have made inroads into the English language. Interestingly, there are still many areas that do not use the word and may never have heard of it. That may or may not change at some point in the future.
What Does the Word Mean?
Many people have debated over the term, Washateria, and have tried to figure out where it came from in the first place. Some people have even gone so far as to call it a “Spanglish” term but in reality, it did not evolve from the combination of two languages. Rather, it was just a brand name for a laundromat in Texas, that eventually took hold and is still being used, some 80 years later.
Regardless of where the word came from, using a laundromat is a convenience that many people appreciate. Most of them are coin-operated, and it allows those people to wash clothes and care for that necessary task without having to actually own a washing machine and dryer at their home. They are so popular that there are more than 11,000 of these facilities located throughout the United States.
So in the end, the debate of Washateria vs laundromat may be an interesting one, but the solution is somewhat simplistic. There really isn’t a difference between the two terms, other than what people happen to call them or what may be on the sign on the outside of the facility. It’s good that we were able to put this to rest.