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CHAT: ghost, Geist, hostile, xeno....

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Monday, January 28, 2002, 19:30
> ENTRY: ghos-ti- > DEFINITION: Stranger, guest, host; properly "someone with whom one > has reciprocal duties of hospitality." 1. Basic form *ghos-ti-. a. > (i) guest, from Old Norse gestr, guest; (ii) Gastarbeiter, from Old > High German gast, guest. Both (i) and (ii) from Germanic *gastiz; b. > host2, hostile, from Latin hostis, enemy (< "stranger"). 2. Compound > *ghos-pot-, *ghos-po(d)-, "guest-master," one who symbolizes the > relationship of reciprocal obligation (*pot-, master; see poti-). > hospice, hospitable, hospital, hospitality, host1, hostage, hostel, > hostler, from Latin hospes (stem hospit-), host, guest, stranger. 3. > Suffixed zero-grade form *ghs-en-wo-. xenia, xeno-, xenon; axenic, > euxenite, pyroxene, from Greek xenos, guest, host, stranger. (Pokorny > ghosti-s 453.)
I was wondering if "ghost" wasn't in the mix somewhere. I checked the same dictionary (American Heritage Collegiate at and all it gave me was Middle English gost from Old English gâst "breath, spirit". Could "breath, spirit" be a drift in meaning from "guest", with links to the Latin words for "enemy/stranger"? ~Danny~ _________________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Get your free address at