Magazine the ammunition thing and magazine the reading material are connected, but probably not how you would expect. Let’s start with the “publication” definition. The first magazine was named after a previous usage of magazine, meaning "a list of military information", specifically information about ammunition. This comes from another previous usage of magazine, the one meaning just "ammunition holder". It's weird. Anyway, it gets weirder as we go back, for the meaning of "ammunition storage" becomes something more like "supply storage" in general, a meaning which traces to Middle French magasin, or "warehouse". I know; the semantic change is incredible on this one. Through Italian magazzino, this goes back to Arabic makhzan, which had smaller connotations, more like "storage space". This is ultimately from kazana, the root which meant "store" and probably comes from Proto-Semitic, from Afro-Asiatic.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.