Ask the Gazette: Why Was Patio Bar Renamed?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Remember Patio Bar at Sharples? You now know Patio Bar as Paved Enclosed Area Enjoining a Residence Bar, which features the same menu. After getting a question from a reader about the reason for the change, the Gazette asked Lana McDungall, Director of Dining Services, about it.

According to McDungall, the change was inspired by a concern from a student that “this one time [they] watched a movie where someone was killed on a patio while eating watermelon,” and that they “thought that the association to the movie murder [they] vaguely recall from that one time was inherently problematic.” A thorough search of the authoritative Internet Movie Database found no such film, and The Gazette suspects that this student just had a bad dream, or something.

Etymological study also does not support this connection between patios, watermelon, and murder. According to the Oxford English Wikitionary, the English word “patio” comes from the “Spanish patio, either from Provenรงal patu or pati, from Latin pactum (‘pact, agreement’) or from Latin patere (‘to lie open’).”

Ok, sure, whatever. Just eat your goddamn hotdogs.

Baffled as to how Patios have anything to do with Super Chicken Drummies? Ask the Gazette at!

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