A Tudor stocking filler
Posted: 17 December 2017 11:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In 2000 the British Library published a complete transcription of their own copy of the 1526 edition of Tyndale’s New Testament, in the original spelling. I don’t know how much it cost originally, but at ABEBOOKS secondhand copies start at about £40. However, somehow the mail-order company Museum Selection are currently selling it new for the princely sum of £3.99.

I snapped up a copy and am enjoying it immensely. If you’re used to the KJV it is at once endearingly familiar and full of surprises: as when in Luke Chapter 2, after the angel speaks to the shepherds, ‘streightweye there was with the angell a multitude of hevenly sowdiers, laudynge God, and sayinge: Glory to God an hye, and peace on the erthe: and unto men reioysynge.’ Which made me realise that I had been hearing and reading the phrase ‘heavenly host’ since my infancy without ever stopping to think what the word host actually means, and what it was doing there.

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Posted: 18 December 2017 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I just had the same reaction, reading the passage you quoted.

Even being familiar with that sense in “Lord (God) of Hosts”, I don’t think I ever made that connection to the heavenly host of the Nativity story.

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Posted: 18 December 2017 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Am I understanding correctly that host and guest ultimately have the same Latin root, hostis?  If that’s the case it’s very interesting.  Anyone care to elaborate on that?

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Posted: 18 December 2017 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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donkeyhotay - 18 December 2017 12:51 PM

Am I understanding correctly that host and guest ultimately have the same Latin root, hostis?  If that’s the case it’s very interesting.  Anyone care to elaborate on that?

No, the English guest and the Latin hostis have the same PIE root, ghosti, but the English guest is from a Germanic root. American Heritage says it’s a borrowing from the Old Norse gestr, but I’m not so sure. The OE word gyst means guest, visitor, and while it could be a borrowing from the Danes, more likely it is cognate, with a common German root. The OED says it’s from a common Germanic root, but the entry is an old one.

Both the Latin and Germanic come from the idea of stranger, foreigner, which is what the PIE root represents.

The English host is from the Latin hospes, via French.

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Posted: 18 December 2017 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Dave Wilton - 18 December 2017 01:22 PM

No, the English guest and the Latin hostis have the same PIE root, ghosti, but the English guest is from a Germanic root. American Heritage says it’s a borrowing from the Old Norse gestr, but I’m not so sure. The OE word gyst means guest, visitor, and while it could be a borrowing from the Danes, more likely it is cognate, with a common German root. The OED says it’s from a common Germanic root, but the entry is an old one.

Both the Latin and Germanic come from the idea of stranger, foreigner, which is what the PIE root represents.

The English host is from the Latin hospes, via French.

Thanks Dave.  The reason I asked is because MW online says of host(3), “Middle English hoste host, guest, from Anglo-French, from Latin hospit-, hospes, probably from hostis.”

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Posted: 18 December 2017 01:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes, in Middle English hoste can either be a host or a guest (it is confusing and trips up many a student of ME literature), but that guest sense is etymologically unrelated to the modern word guest.

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Posted: 19 December 2017 01:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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"Host” is used in the nativity to mean a large number of entities.  But how do we get to the other ecclesiastical “Host”, as in the wafer/bread of the Eucharist?

Seemed a simple link to being a medium to hold/contain, but seems that the “guest” sense derives from stranger or enemy (hence the multitude sense) which is related to the latin hostia meaning “sacrifice”.

Quite a complex network of derivations!

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Posted: 19 December 2017 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The communion host comes from hostia (victim, sacrifice), again via the Normans. That’s pretty obvious once you make the connection. Hostia must be etymologically related in PIE to the other hosts, but I’m not sure exactly how.

Another one is hostage. American Heritage links it to the Middle English host/guest. But the OED (old entry) traces it back, via French, to the Latin obsidatus (pledge), with its morphology being influenced by the host/guest form.

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Posted: 19 December 2017 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Again, I would strongly suggest treating unrevised OED etymologies as purely historical artifacts.

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Posted: 19 December 2017 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dr. Techie - 18 December 2017 11:26 AM

I just had the same reaction, reading the passage you quoted.

Even being familiar with that sense in “Lord (God) of Hosts”, I don’t think I ever made that connection to the heavenly host of the Nativity story.

Same here!

Tyndale is taking στρατιά stratiá literally as an army from which we get the English “strategy, strategem” Most NT commentaries suggest that it should taken figuratively as heavenly hosts, the stars of heaven or angels. i.e God’s army? But the connection to soldiers I find homiletically interesting. The heavenly armies proclaim “Peace, goodwill or peace to all people of goodwill”.

For what it’s worth, the word “host” in Luke shows up only once in the AV in the good Samaritan story (Luke 10:35) where the Samaritan gives the “host” or innkeeper some money to care for the man who was beaten. That word is πανδοχεύς (pandocheus) lit ‘one who receives all comers’

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