Kindness (n.)(a.) - Hug a Nazi.
A nature of concern for others similar to the concern one has for one’s own family.
Having a concern for others similar to the concern one has for one’s own family.
History & Etymology
Kind as an adjective is cognate, or closely related to kind as a noun, both coming from the obsolete word i-cunde after the losing the initial vowel. The Old English word gecynde meant “natural, native, or innate,” and originally “with the feeling of relatives for each other.” It comes from the same Germanic base as Old English -cund, Old Saxon -Kund, Old High German -chund, or -chunt. These are suffixes forming adjectives meaning, “the same nature as.” We also derive the word kin, which means family, from this suffix.
If we go back even further to Proto-Indo-European kind ultimately derives from the word ǵenh- which means to Produce, to beget, or give birth. Which is the origin of many English words genus, genes, genesis, genetic, genre, gender (Trust me I’ll get back to gender in a later entry).
Fun little fact: The g in ǵenh- changing into a k is an example of something called Grimm’s Law. Yes, that Grimm, Jacob Grimm the oldest of the Grimm brothers. Jacob was not only an export in German fairytales and folklore but also philology. I’ve heard him called the Charles Darwin of the humanities, because before him the answer to “where did all of these languages come from?” was the tower of babel. But anyway, Grimm’s Law describes how some sounds changed from Proto-Indo-European into the sounds we use today.
Part of Grimm’s Law explains how what’s called a voiced aspirated stop like the g in the Proto-Indo-European word ǵenh- will eventually become the voiceless fricative k like in kind in modern european languages. I’ll probably end up doing a whole episode on Grimm’s law at some point in the future.