kith and kin


Also found in: Legal, Idioms.

kith and kin

 (kĭth′ ən kĭn′)
pl.n.
1. One's acquaintances and relatives.
2. One's relatives.

[Middle English kith, from Old English cȳth, kinsfolk, neighbors; see gnō- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: Kith is obsolete except in the alliterative expression kith and kin, a phrase that dates from Middle English times and seems to have already become a cliché by the 1300s. The Middle English noun kith meant basically "familiar country, place that one knows" and also "kinsfolk, relations." It comes from the Old English noun cȳth, meaning "knowledge," "known, familiar country," and "acquaintances, friends." Cȳth in turn comes from the Germanic noun *kunthithō, a derivative of *kunthaz, "known." Germanic *kunthaz was the past participle of a verb *kunnan, "to know, know how," which became cunnan in Old English. The first person singular of this verb, can, is alive and well today, as is what was originally the verbal noun and adjective of cunnan, namely cunning, which first appeared in the 1300s.
Translations
References in classic literature ?
The kith and kin were there, and the whole respectability of the town besides.
The grandmother of Benjamin Franklin was Mary Morrel" afterwards, by marriage, Mary Folger, one of the old settlers of Nantucket, and the ancestress to a long line of Folgers and harpooneers --all kith and kin to noble Benjamin --this day darting the barbed iron from one side of the world to the other.
There are some upon this earth of yours,' returned the Spirit,' who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all out kith and kin, as if they had never lived.
Flesh Isn’t iron, that a man can live forever, and see his kith and kin driven to a far country, and he left to mourn, with none to keep him company.
Hale summoned me to him, and before God did pledge me most solemnly to stand by him and not to compromise, even if all kith and kin were destroyed.
The universal aspiration with all its profound and melancholy meaning assailed heavily Razumov, who, amongst eighty millions of his kith and kin, had no heart to which he could open himself.
After completing medico legal formalities it was handed over to their kith and kin in Kohistan.
And, soon the critically endangered monkey started snapping himself along with his kith and kin erratically, taking ill-focussed photographs.
However, the nabbed kith and kin staged sit-in in front of Governor House and blocked the roads and demanded that the children be releases.
The hunger strike that will start at 3 pm will be attended by the kith and kin of martyrs, prisoners, lifers, the victims of fake encounters and enforced disappearance in custody, said a statement released by the JKLF.
Set in Swansea in the swinging '60s, Kith And Kin is a family tale of two cousins who come of age in the sexual revolution of the decade.
In a statement here, he said that the kith and kin of the former Prime ministers and ministers who had been inducted on senior posts in LESCO were selling electricity to different factories and markets on several time higher prices.