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Kith used on its own is obsolete apart from this pairing.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.
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.
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.
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.