Home

The word “home” comes into English through the Teutonic languages of northern Europe, carrying with it the multiple meanings of world, village, homestead, dwelling, and safe dwelling, as well as indicating a direction, as it continues to do in a phrase such as “go home.” The primary meaning in contemporary usages of the word is “the seat of domestic life and interests.” In this sense, the word is close to the Latin domus, from which the adjective “domestic” is derived. As well as referring to a building or place, however, “home” also refers to the quality of feelings associated with that place, so that home is, as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) notes, “the place of one’s dwelling or nurturing,” which can include members of a family or household, “with the conditions, circumstances, and feelings which naturally and properly attach to it.”

A nurturing and safe family …

This essay may be found on page 106 of the printed volume.

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