One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In North Africa: a balcony enclosed with latticework on the outer wall of a building. Also: latticework characteristic of such a balcony.
Mid 19th century (in an earlier sense). Originally from French moucharaby window projecting outside, closed with a wooden mesh, moucharabieh; subsequently reborrowed from its etymon Arabic mašrabiyya from mašraba (colloquial pronunciation of mišraba small jug or pitcher from šariba to drink) + -iyya, suffix. The balcony was so called because porous jugs were placed there for the purpose of cooling the water by evaporation.
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