Mar 2, 2007

Rapid Rhetoric: HOGHENHINE

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

hoghenhine (HAH-gehn-hine) n. In a legal sense, a member of one's own family; in a technical sense, a guest who remains past the third night in someone else's home. The visit itself can also be referenced as a hoghenhine.

The word is derived from the Middle English oen hine , meaning "own hind" or "own servant." The laws regarding hoghenhines evolved in response to civil and criminal complaints regarding guests, and were designed to hold accountable hosts for the actions of their guests.

From The Country Justice (1655), by Michael Dalton, a collection of common law precepts:
Note (by an old Law) a stranger, or he which cometh guest-wise to an house, and there lieth the third night, is called an Hoghenhine (or Agenhine) and after the third night he is accounted one of his family in whose house he so lyeth: and if he offend the Kings peace, his Oast must be answerable for him. Termes de Ley.

And Minsh: verb. Hoghenhyne, third and Uncuth saith that Uncuth signifieth incognitus, and is used in ancient Saxon Laws for him that cometh to an Inne guest-wise, and lieth there for two nights at the most: and that by the Laws of Edward and of the Conqueror, Hospes trium noctium, if he did any harm, his Oast was answerable for the harm, as for one of his own family: and that if he tarried any longer, then he was called Hogenhyne, or Agenhyne, that is familiaris. So it seemeth in those times, that to lodge in one place three or four nights together was counted a setling.

1 comment:

Chris said...

This reminds me of one of the deepest and fullest boughts of laughter I have ever experienced.

We used to play a game in which we would get a dictionary and pick out a strange word. We would ask the gathering of six to ten adults if anyone was familiar with the word. If no one expressed familiarity we would each craft a definition for the word and the one who chose the word would read the real definition along with the definitions crafted by the rest of the bunch.

The word this particular time was HOGAMANY.

It really means New Year's Eve party.

The definition crafted by my brother-in-law lives in infamy in our house.

It read "the mating of a sow with more than one hog bitch."

Now, mind you, it seems totally silly but we laughed our asses off such that we have not matched the depth of that laughter to this very day.

Thanks for the memories.