The Origins of the Words “Janitor” and “Custodian”

When someone says the words “janitor” and “custodian,” many people have an immediate image that comes to mind. After all, they are people that play an important role in our lives, even if we may not see them during usual business hours.

Both words have stunning origins that highlight their importance. Each can be traced back thousands of years.

“Janitor” finds origins all the way back to the ancient Romans. “Janus” was their guardian god of portals, doors, and gates. From “doorkeeper,” the word evolved to mean taking care of the insides of buildings as well.


“Custodian” also has Latin roots from the ancient Romans. This word refers to having custody and care over something. It is still used in the legal world today to refer to someone having the legal responsibility to care for another.


Both of these words have origins that focus not just on cleaning a space but caring for one. At Janitronics, our care is for cleaning for health. We know that cleaning just for the sake of appearance is not enough; proper cleaning can have lasting effects on the people who enter the space.


Make sure you have a cleaning staff who care. Reach out to Janitronics today.

Janitronics janitor/custodial team