If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane

Anna Z Skarzynska theania at freeuk.com
Sun May 4 16:43:04 EDT 2003

> Ania wrote:
> >I wonder if the expression hearth and home replaced fire and flete at
> >point. They basically mean the same thing.
> Don't they just!  only, hearth is an OE word too....  Maybe the two went
> along together, both being used, until flet or flete fell out of the
> language at some point and only hearth and home was left to fill both
> places.
> Minnow

I presume (because it's the morning after the night before for me and I
cannot be bothered to check) that home is also an OE word, it has cognates
in other germanic languages, does it not?
*goes to check, hangover notwithstanding, unable to resist the lure of
Yes it is, and it does, meaning either 'home' or 'village'; these two share
the same word in many other languages.

Anyway, what I actually meant to say was, let's not forget the alliteration.
If flete goes out of use, then the expression fire and flete becomes
incomprehensible; fire and home does not alliterate, and replacing the whole
expression with another alliterating one makes sense.


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