One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(of a person) not having received the Eucharist.
- ‘She knew nothing of their subterranean, furtive, twilight life, the limbo through which, with their obliterated humanity, they moved as so many unhouseled ghosts, or the aching hunger in those hands that reached, groping tentatively out of their emptiness to seek some hope or stay.’
- ‘And, an example of the latter is from Scott's Ivanhoe, ‘Me… they suffer to die like the houseless dog on yonder common, unshriven and unhouseled.’’
- ‘His statement (as a ghost) of having died unhouseled and unaneled shows him to have been a Catholic.’
- ‘L' esprit Ginen persisted even in Penn Station in Manhattan, where a black lady you didn't know from Adam's house cat bought you a beer for absolutely no reason, where you had a truly genial conversation with a homeless man who was selling newspapers to raise money to feed some of the unhouseled children of New York.’
- ‘I will mock the marly heavens, lamp the purple prairies, I will flaunt my deathless banners down the far, unhouseled lands.’
Mid 16th century: from un- ‘not’ + the past participle of obsolete housel ‘offer the Eucharist to’, from housel ‘Eucharist’.
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