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 http://www.bartleby.com) 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"?
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