Thursday, November 27, 2014

Something Akin to Kinship

Mike from Glen Arbor, Michigan, asked if the words kin and akin are connected. Indeed, they are. They come from a cluster of Germanic, Scandinavian, and Dutch words that meant to produce, to engender, to beget. In turn, those words are related to the Greek γένος (genos), which would show up in a word like generate, and the Latin genus.

Kin means family or blood relations. It was once used in the stock phrase kith and kin, where kith meant one’s familiar country or countrymen. Akin originally meant belonging to the same family. Then it expanded to mean connected by resemblance.

Related words include

·      kindred: related by blood, and figuratively, connected by resemblance (kindred spirits)

·      kinship: consanguinity, and figuratively, sharing similar qualities or character

·      kinsman: a male relative

·      kinswoman: a female relative

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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