kith and kin


kith and kin
kith and kin (kĭth’ ən kĭn’)
pl.n. 1) One's acquaintances and relatives. 2) One's relatives.
[Middle English kith, from Old English cȳth, kinsfolk, neighbors; see gnō-.]
Word History: Kith is obsolete except in the alliterative expression kith and kin, a phrase that dates from Middle English times and seems to have already become a cliché by the 1300s. The Middle English noun kith meant basically "familiar country, place that one knows" and also "kinsfolk, relations." It comes from the Old English noun cȳth, meaning "knowledge," "known, familiar country," and "acquaintances, friends." Cȳth in turn comes from the Germanic noun *kunthithō, a derivative of *kunthaz, "known." Germanic *kunthaz was the past participle of a verb *kunnan, "to know, know how," which became cunnan in Old English. The first person singular of this verb, can, is alive and well today, as is what was originally the verbal noun and adjective of cunnan, namely cunning, which first appeared in the 1300s.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kith and kin — Kith Kith (k[i^]th), n. [OE. kith, cu[eth], AS. c[=y][eth][eth]e, c[=y][eth], native land, fr. c[=u][eth] known. [root]45. See {Uncouth}, {Can}, and cf. {Kythe}.] Acquaintance; kindred. [1913 Webster] And my near kith for that will sore me shend …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kith and kin — Your kith and kin are your family; your next of kin are close relations you nominate to deal with your affairs in the event of your death on a document, like a passport …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • kith and kin — [ˌkıθ ən ˈkın] n [plural] [Date: 1300 1400; Origin: kith people you know well from Old English cythth knowledge ] old fashioned family and friends …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • kith and kin — [ ,kıθ ən kın ] noun plural OLD FASHIONED your friends and relatives …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • kith and kin — index origin (ancestry) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • kith and kin — noun plural Etymology: Middle English 1. : friends and kindred 2. : kindred, relations * * * acquaintances and relatives. [1350 1400; ME] * * * kith and kin UK [ˌkɪθ ən ˈkɪn] US …   Useful english dictionary

  • kith and kin — This is a tiresomely overworked phrase meaning acquaintances and relatives. Kith and kin are not synonymous: kith means friends, neighbors, and the like ; kin means people actually related through family ties, persons descended from a common… …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • kith and kin —    Your kith and kin are your family; your next of kin are close relations you nominate to deal with your affairs in the event of your death on a document, like a passport.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • Kith and kin —   Your kith and kin are your family; your next of kin are close relations you nominate to deal with your affairs in the event of your death on a document, like a passport …   Dictionary of English idioms

  • kith and kin — [[t]kɪ̱θ ən kɪ̱n[/t]] N PLURAL You can refer to your friends and family as your kith and kin …   English dictionary