con.cierge (noun)

Pronunciation: kōn-'syerzh, kän-sē-'erzh


The term "concierge" first appeared in France in the Middle Ages. The concierge's responsibilities were diverse, including overseeing the administration of domestic services and performing special tasks at the request of the royal court. The definition broadened with the rise of the grand European hotels in the 16th and 17th centuries, though it was not until the mid-20th century that the concierge became a must-have feature of North American hotels, residences and office buildings. Today's definition of a concierge would be; "a doer of all things" within legal and moral limitations.

 

Webster's dictionary defines Concierge as a French word meaning "gatekeeper" or "keeper of the keys". The position has its origins going back to the time of palaces and castles in ancient France. The royal household employed a "Concierge" whose job it was to see to the needs of VIP visitors as well as to hold the keys to the many castle rooms. The "key" remains a symbol of the Concierge profession to this day.


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