Crèche and manger

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Crèche and manger are Christmas words that also have non-Christmas-related meanings. We will look at the definitions of crèche and manger, where the words come from and some examples of their use in sentences.

A crèche is a representation of the Nativity of Jesus, often seen in churches and homes at Christmas time. The word crèche is borrowed from the French. The Old French form of the word is cresche, which meant stall, crib or manger. During the 1800s crèche took on the meaning of a day nursery or daycare in British English, this meaning is not used in North America. More and more often, crèche is seen without the accent, as in creche.

A manger is a trough from which livestock eat, however, the word manger is most often used to mean the livestock trough in which Jesus was laid at his birth. The word manger is derived from the Old French word mangeoire, which means crib or trough for feeding livestock, in turn derived from the word mangier which means to eat.


She removes tissue paper from one of the figurines of her Christmas crèche. (The Cap Times)

Christmas wreaths will be the special feature of the 12th Annual Interfaith Christmas Crèche Exhibit, which opens Thursday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints West Stake Center, 3001 N. Fifth St. (The Elko Daily Press)

Parents are digging deep into their pockets for crèche and daycare fees – but they believe the reward of a quality education is priceless. (The Cape Times)

The manger is most often remembered as the thing Jesus was “away in,” as the Christmas hymn so famously states, because there was “no crib for a bed,” but the message of the manger is a meaningful one that merits a description that focuses more on what it is, as opposed to what it isn’t. (The Odessa American)