Difference Between Home And House Essays

English : Home and House

What is the difference between Home and House?

When you go through the newspaper, you find many houses for sale. Sometimes at street corners, you find signs saying that there is a house available for rent. A house is a place in which people live. It offers shelter. There may be thousands of houses in the city in which you live, but there is only one, which you call your home. The house which you choose to live in becomes your home. Your builder constructed a house. When you moved in, it became your home. Home is the place where your family is. It provides emotional warmth and security. A house, on the other hand, provides shelter. Usually people buy a home and sell a house. People who are away from their home often complain about being homesick, not housesick. What they lack is not a roof over their head, but the emotional warmth and security. Nowadays, every city has a home for the aged. They are not called house for the aged because these places provide not only shelter but also emotional comfort for the old people. Other common expressions in English are: There's no place like home, Home, sweet home, and Home is where the heart is. Nobody ever substitutes the word house in any of these expressions.

In fact there was but one thing wrong with the Babbit house. It was not a home.

COURTESY : The Hindu (The National News-Paper) - India

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From Home and House to HOME PAGE

A house is not a home. It is but a pile of sticks. “‘Home is,” on the other hand, as Robert Frost famously said, “the place where, when you have to go there, / They have to take you in.’” Less well known, and more resonant, are the words that follow: “‘I should have called it / Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.’”

The English word home is an old one, dating back more than a thousand years and originating in a cluster of Germanic words whose meanings range from farm to village to the whole world, and whose semantic domain embraces the overall idea that within its bound-aries lie security and safety, things we all need and deserve.

Linguists have long remarked that the English idea of home has no true equivalents, even within cognate languages; by that argument, a German’s heim and a Swede’s hem do not completely trace the English word. In fact, in a linguistic Venn diagram there would be some overlap: In all those instances, a home is a place in which one belongs. Still, though heim or hem evoke warmth, they don’t carry all the emotional weight of the English. A man’s home may be his castle in London or Los Angeles, that is to say, but his heim is not necessarily his schloss in Lucerne or Luxembourg.

The same is true of the Spanish querencia, that small portion of a corral or bullring from which a bull can see anything that’s coming toward it, whether cow or matador, and in that safe place feels something on the order of what we mean when we say “at home.” That prime bovine real estate takes its name from the Spanish word for “to love,” querer, which in turn comes from the Latin quaerere, “to seek,” the source of our words quest and inquire. A querencia—a term that turns up in the bilingual lingo of the southwestern borderlands of the US to mean some beloved locale, and one that I wish were more broadly at home elsewhere in English—is, in short, a place that we search out.

To trust Ernest Hemingway, it is also a place that we fight to defend, “a place which develops in the course of the fight where the bull makes his home.” Just so, “home” is a place we seek out, long to return to when away, and fiercely defend, whether against invaders or from the snooty outsider who tells us that any place is better than the one in which we live: “Schenectady? Yech!”

Our hearts dwell in our homes, and, by extension, our homelands, though the latter word has taken on a vaguely totalitarian air since being put to work in the near tautological expression “homeland security,” that is, making secure the place in which we feel secure. Unless we are gifted with a talent for metempsychosis or astral projection, our bodies dwell there as well. The difference is that we can inhabit a house or its cousins—apartment, trailer, hotel room—and not be remotely at home. The root of “house,” in fact, embraces the sense of hiding, but not necessarily of belonging. Hitting the mattresses is one thing, but finding a querencia there is quite another. 

Gregory McNamee

Gregory McNamee is the author or title-page editor of forty books. He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica and to Kirkus Reviews.

Winter 2016 Volume 92# 1

December 30, 2015

December 30, 2015

house, home, language, etymology, Robert Frost, German, Spanish, Ernest Hemingway, homeland security

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