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Who made up the name shtender, and who started using the term?

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It seems to me that the title of this question and its body are asking different things. The title asks for the definition, the body for the etymology. All the answers address only the definition. –  HodofHod Dec 13 '11 at 1:44
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The word "shtender" (שטענדער) is Yiddish, and it's usually translated as "stander," although a more correct translation would be "lectern." It's an object used to prop up your books at an angle, and allow for easier reading. Some models are designed to be placed on a desk, and others, like the one pictured below, are for people who prefer to stand.

Jews don't have a monopoly on this concept, and, in fact, there are companies selling "laptop stands" to do exactly the same thing, updated for the 21st century.

Here's a picture of one of the most common types:

Shtender

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Etymology is Yiddish, probably derived from German word for "stander." –  Shmuel L Dec 13 '11 at 21:12
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from the yiddish, meaning "stander", i.e. you stand at it to learn/daven

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The English word for it is Lectern or Podium

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There is a great description, diagram, and discussion of the educational benefits on pages 48 and 49 of To Kindle a Soul, by Lawrence Kelemen.

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