In cvs/svn, "checking out" means getting a copy of the code/content with the intention of modifying later. (as opposed to "export"). The source is a version control repository.
In git, "checking out" means orienting a working directory (*not necessarily same as the workspace dir) to a repository branch. I believe either a branch needs to be created first or if master, a pull done 1st.
The key is which rcs best uses the correct verbiage at which point:
Imho, I choose git because it reminds me most of a physical library "checkout". Usually, there's only 1 copy of a book, & checking out means another person can't have it. [no, not private locks!]
I'm subjectively partial for the latter. :-}
- the semantic that makes the diff is that cvs/svn calls fabricating a book a "checkout" while git applies "checkout" at a later stage; binding a "book" to a workingDir: assuming u have just 1 workingDir.