English Words of (Unexpected) Greek Origin.

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Etymology of hospital, host, hostel, hotel, hospice, hostile, hostage

Posted by Johannes on 1 February 2010

Origin of hospital, host, hostel, hotel, hospice, hostile, hostage.
The word hospital comes from the Latin hospitale (guest-house, inn) from hospes (stranger, guest) from the Greek Aeolic form espios of estios from the noun estia (home, house, family, fireplace; εστία). From estia comes the verb estiao (to receive/welcome somebody in my house; to prepare a meal for somebody, to offer hospitality; εστιάω)
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Note: Some etymologize hospes from the Greek verb aesko (I lie; αέσκω), from which comes the noun asty (home, city; άστυ). Aesko -> aespo -> hospes.
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From the same root
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English: hospital, host, hostel, hotel, hospice, hostile, hostage, hosterly
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French: hopital, hospice, hote, hotel, hostile, hostie, otage, ost
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Italian: ospedale, ospizio, ospite, oste, hotel, ostile, ostia
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Spanish: hospital, hospicio, huesped, hotel, hostil, hostia
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German: Hospital, Hospiz, Hostess, Hotel, Hostie, Geisel
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In modern Greek (Romeika, the language of Romei/Romans/Ρωμηοί)
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a) estia: home, house, family, fireplace, focus, centre [εστία]
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b) estiatorio: restaurant [εστιατόριο]
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c) spiti: house, home [σπίτι]
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Η λέξη hospital (νοσοκομείο) προέρχεται από το Λατινικό hospitale (ξενοδοχείο) από το hospes (ξένος, φιλοξενούμενος) από την Αιολική μορφή έσπιος του έστιος απο το ουσιαστικό εστία. Από τη λέξη εστία προέρχεται και το ρήμα εστιάω (“δέχομαι τινα εν τω οίκω μου, φιλοξενώ τινα”, παραθέτω γεύμα, φιλεύω).
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One Response to “Etymology of hospital, host, hostel, hotel, hospice, hostile, hostage”

  1. M.G. said

    hospice and all related words mentioned here have the Hebrew etimology… and come from the Hebrew word for a guest or a hospitalized person ”Ushpiz” [ plural – ”ushpizin” ].

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