Is there an etymological connection between the Yiddish word "shtiebel" and the English word "steeple"? They seem to overlap a lot in usage and pronunciation. A cursory search reveals that "shtiebel" may be a diminutive of the Yiddish word for "house", but perhaps the two derivations converged at some point?
Now guess this: room in German is Stube. Diminutive: Stübchen or: in dialect: Stüble (little room). The diminutive in Yiddish ususally ends in -lach. -ü- not existing in Yiddish, it is transformed into -i-. So simply Stüblein becomes stiblach (pronoucenced shtiblakh) in Yiddish.
The only meaning of "shtibl" that I know of is "a little house". There is a song performed by the Barry sisters that begins: "In main shteitl shteit a shtibl mit a grinem dach..." - "In my village stands a little house with a green roof..."
The word for "house" in both the Galician and the southern (Ukrainian) dialects of Yiddish is "shtib". It would be "shtub" in the Lithuanian dialect. "Shtibl" is a diminutive of "shtib".
There's no reason to believe that the two are related. Though I recall hearing (in my youth) that the name of Country Yossi's "Shteeble Hoppers" album was a take-off on a Steeple-related band name.
[Update: I emailed CY, and he said the name "just sounded cute" and had nothing to do with steeples. So much for that myth!]
I'm guessing Yiddish shtibl is actually related to English stove, which may be from Vulgar Latin, whereas steeple is apparently from a Germanic root and completely unrelated.
Shtiebel is usually a Hassidic type synagogue, which was/is often in a house, as opposed to being a larger, free standing building, as is more common among non-Hassidic Shuls.
Perhaps it is that often the (Hassidic) Rebbe of the shtiebel lives in the same building, which he often owns, which is not usually the case in a standard Shul, where the Rav usually lives elsewhere and does not own the premises.