Spa Trivia

Photo by Natasha Irvine

The word spa has different meanings for different people. For some, a spa is a place for a massage and a pedicure, a place to get pampered for an hour or even for a week. Others use spas as a way of improving or maintaining their overall health and may undergo intensive balneotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions. Originally word spa comes from the town of Spa in Belgium where people would go to heal by drinking the hot spring water as early as the 16th century. The word for the town may have come from the Walloon word espa meaning fountain. The widely circulated rumor that the word is an acronym for the Latin phrase “Salus Per Aquam” or “Sanitas Per Aquam” meaning “health through water” sounds romantic, but it is false. Acronyms were not often used until the 19th century; spa may not be an acronym but is a backronym.

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