Why Is a Gazebo Called a Gazebo?

Gazebos have been a popular feature of gardens since as far back as Ancient Egypt and Rome, but while we may have a detailed understanding of their history, the origin of the word 'gazebo' itself is more mysterious.

Defining gazebos

Many people get confused about what exactly a gazebo is, especially in relation to other popular outdoor structures such as patiospergolas and verandahs.

While gazebos can be as varied in size, shape and style as their owner's tastes allow, they are usually easy to spot in gardens as freestanding structures with a shaded roof that offer attractive views over their surroundings. Indeed, it may be this association with views that earned the gazebo its name.

First recorded use

The word 'gazebo' can be traced back no earlier than 1752, when it seems to have been coined by architects William and John Halfpenny in their book New Designs for Chinese Temples.

Seeking an appropriate name for these small outbuildings often used as for looking out over the garden, they may have combined the English 'gaze' with the Latin ending '-ebo' to mean 'I will look.' Alternatively, it could just be the authors' misunderstanding of a word heard on their travels of the Orient.

Gazebos around the world

They might not always have been called gazebos, but these structures have been popular around the world for as long as history has been recorded – though for a long time they were exclusively for the wealthy.

The oldest archaeological discoveries of gazebos date back 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt, and this style of building seems to have developed independently all over the world – from Japanese tea houses to Roman summerhouses and ornate Persian gardens. The traditional Chinese gazebo gained popularity in Europe in the 18th century, and today gazebos are available in a wide variety of styles to suit every property.

Get a free consultation

If you're thinking about installing a gazebo to add elegance to your outdoor area, contact Install a Veranda on 1800 000 504 to get your free quote and consultation.