Kith and Kin

Old, familiar places – Gladstone’s Library

It’s interesting how words fall into disuse and yet remain within our vocabulary. If someone said ‘I met kith today’ I would not understand. Yet if they had said ‘kith and kin’ I would understand perfectly.

Kith used on its own is obsolete apart from this pairing. The phrase was apparently already a cliche back in the 13th century. It is pleasantly alliterative. I assumed it was tautological but that isn’t so.

Roo, new family member in Surrey

Kith are friends and acquaintances.

Kin are family.

Kith is derived from the Old English noun cȳth meaning a known familiar country, and also acquaintances and friends.

Hetty, new family member in Devon

My travels over the last eighteen days have enabled me to spend time with both family and friends, even if, as yesterday, it was only a brief stop to see an old friend in Tenbury Wells.

I have also visited familiar and much loved places, including my final stop here at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden. This is a library and a hotel, yet it is more than both. It holds a special place in my affections.

Penny, new family member waiting at home for me to meet

Today I travel home. I have had a wonderful time visiting new places and meeting new people.

But I have also visited old familiar places and my kith and kin.

Thank you all for helping make my travels so much fun.

6 thoughts on “Kith and Kin

  1. Carole Anne Carr MA

    A lovely post, Bea, and never really thought about ‘kith and kin’ before. I love the new family members, very envious, for we live in a warden assisted flat and no pets. And you were just ‘down the road’ from me at Tenbury Wells, a delightful time-wrapped place 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never thought about the origins of ‘kith and kin’ before, so thanks for adding to my word knowledge. 🙂

    Safe travels home and thank you for sharing your summer travels- and pictures.x

    Like

  3. Julia Hartnett

    What a lovely hotel – I love old libraries.
    Thank you for the ‘Kith and Kin’ – I knew what it meant but not its origins. Fascinating.
    Now the unpacking I expect.
    See you next year.

    Like

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