It is very astounding to think about the origins of words like wife, man, female, house, and other monosyllabic terms which remind us how a simple utterance can have such a profound history and etymology. These words are obviously ancient, and remarkably, they have undergone little changes, sometimes not at all, and this why uncovering where they came from and what process and the changes they have undergone are a bit easier when compared to other English words which have a difficult trace of evolution.
But before we begin our task of retracing the term’s etymology, we will answer first the question, why house out of all English words?
It was when I stumble on a website discussing the symbolisms that house has as a literary device. As what the writer said, the house is more than just a physical structure; it is a home – a preserver of memories, of which can either provide rest, familiarity and warmth or isolate you from the world and its changes. Regardless of the geography, culture, real estate, or neighborhood you have – East or West, Asian or Caucasian, Palisade CO real estate or any local real estate – we know how our house plays a major role in the shaping of our childhood memories.
The Etymology of the Word House
The Russian call it dom, the French call it Maison, and the Italian call it casa. And even if they sound a bit far from “house” in English, all of those referred to covering and hiding something, or putting and fitting altogether. Even the Latin word “Domus” has a similar meaning.
The oldest form of the word that has been ever recorded is “hus” with a long vowel sound that is closely related to the English terms hut and hide. The term hut came in the English lexicon from French, which the French also got from the Old German. What makes this complicated is the final sound “s” in the present English “house.’ There are no known links between this final sound and the final sounds of Hut and Hide, but the Old Germanic word Hus.
However, the Old Germanic family hardly lived in a place called hus, so we concluded that it must be the function and appearance of the Germanic hus that differentiate from its other counterparts like the dom of Old Slavic. And since we cannot go back to the past, all we can do is to make an assumption that the exchanges of ideas and communications between the two culture, most especially the words hus in Old Germanic and Dom in old Slavic have paved the way of what we now call House or Home, as some sort of phonetic reflexes.
Some etymologists are seeking for other congeners oh House, and languages lie Armenian and Hittite have been proposed. However, from my perspective, the word obviously has a strong Germanic root and coinage, but should we ask if we already unravel its origin, that is a hard question to answer.