This word seems to have more shades of meaning than most. So what do you regard as a kiosk?  For the British, it is a small open-sided shop selling newspapers, sweets or cigarettes.

In the park there is a kiosk selling ice-creams and refreshments.

kiosk 3

In Turkey and the Middle East it was the name of an open summer house or outdoor structure like a pavilion, again for serving refreshments. Some became bandstands.

kiosk 2

Now, it is being used to describe the booth or cabin in a bank where you can do transactions on a computer. Apparently, the interactive computer screens in malls where you can hunt for types of shops, etc are also known as kiosks.  This usage presumably derives from that of an information kiosk or booth.

In Argentina, the word has been extended to describe something like the sweet kiosk but probably offering a wider range of food and drink and also anything you might need urgently like condoms, lighters and batteries. Not quite a drug store, a corner store or a dairy (in NZ English) but going that way. In some, you can reload your travel card and even pay bills. Some describe themselves as maxikiosks and open 24 hours a day.

The word is of Turkish origin.



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