1530s, "standing place, station," probably from French stance "resting place, harbor" (16c.), from Vulgar Latin *stantia "place, abode" (also source of Italian stanza "stopping place, station, stanza," Spanish stancia "a dwelling"), from Latin stans (genitive stantis), present participle of stare "to stand" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Sense of "position of the feet" (in golf, etc.) is first recorded 1897; figurative sense of "point of view" is recorded from 1956. The sense of the French word has since narrowed.