GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 1999-03 > 0920786413
From: Dcrdcr4< >
Subject: Re: The terms "friend," "loving friend," and "next friend"
Date: 7 Mar 1999 06:00:13 GMT
The word "amicus" (or friend) in the Latin meant more than just "protector."
The word also meant "kinsman" which fact is indicated by two large Latin
dictionaries, available in university libraries here in the United States. In
fact, in one of these dictionaries, the rendering "kinsman" is listed first
ahead of all other meanings. Due to the double meaning of the word "amicus"
in Latin, most historians have tripped over how to translate the word
correctly. Only that brilliant genealogist, J. H. Round, seems to have got it
straight. Where it was appropriate, he translated the word "amicus" as
"kinsman" not as "friend." The word appears to have retained a double meaning
in the English language until around 1650.
Someone told me that in Scotland that they don't have a word for "kinsman."
Rather, the Scottish call their relatives "friends." Could someone please
confirm this for me? I know we find it queer that people would call their
relatives "friends" but I can assure you that prior to 1650, the English did so
All for now. Best always, Douglas Richardson