The word canopy conjures up a picture of an outdoor area covered with a roof but with no side walls. Sometimes a large tent or marquee can be referred to as such but the word goes back a long way and has over the centuries taken on slightly different meanings.
In ancient Egyptian times during the period when all aristocratic people were mummified the embalming would involve placing various parts of the anatomy into a jar with a very similar name.
These jars were placed next to the mummified remains ready for their journey into the afterlife.
Canopies have been used architecturally for thousands of years and one original definition can still be seen today on holidays in hot climates where mosquitoes thrive.
Above beds in these climates it is possible a mosquito net will hang from the ceiling covering the whole of the bed beneath. This was indeed the original meaning of the word in ancient Greek times when that part of the Mediterranean was crawling with malaria carrying mosquitoes.
In some parts of the Eastern Mediterranean the malaria carrying mosquito wiped out whole cities such as several along the Turkish coastline which today are deserted tourist sites.
For most of us in the United Kingdom canopies are those lean-to structures that exist in school playgrounds and outside offices and factories. Rules against smoking in enclosed spaces have resulted in these structures appearing in greater numbers in recent years.
Some bus shelters and railway shelters along with bike shelters are also best described as being a canopy if there are no solid sides to them.
An umbrella is a mobile one and even a hat made from an old newspaper at a hot day at Lord’s is also described as such.