Window on the world

Posted by ESC on June 12, 2005

In Reply to: Window on the world posted by Leslie on June 12, 2005

: A Chilean friend's daughter has an English exam and asked me what the phrase "window on the world" means. Any help would be appreciated.
: Yours, Leslie

There was a Window on the World restaurant at the World Trade Center.

I'm looking for the origin or first use of the expression. No luck so far. Here's what I think: it means a panoramic or eagle's eye view of everything.

Panoramic = 2 a : an unobstructed or complete view of an area in every direction b : a comprehensive presentation of a subject (Merriam-Webster online).

Window is from an Old Norse word for "an eye of wind," suggesting a window's function of letting in both air and light. (Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).