Housel was, until the Reformation, the name of the Eucharist in the English language. The meaning of the word is "sacrifice," and "hunsl" appears in the Ulfilas Gothic version of Matthew : "I will have mercy and not sacrifice."

The word's etymology is uncertain. The New English Dictionary connects it with a Teutonic stem meaning "holy," from which is derived the Lithuanian "szweñtas", and Latvian "swéts". Skeat points a connection with a root meaning "to kill," which may connect it with Greek "kaínein".


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