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- there are a number of quite varied meanings, can be the area in the immediate vicinity of a cathedral, or, (Scottish) passageway giving access to a tennement stair, as distinct from a pend which is a covered passageway giving access to an area at the rear of buildings, while a vennel (Venella is Latin for lane) is a passageway between the gables of two buildings which could in effect be a minor street. These are terms for which there are endless regional variations. See alley.