[ih] Fwd: nomenclature

Dave CROCKER dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Wed Dec 23 09:47:18 PST 2009



This popped up on a list I track.

I remember that the term 'host' was one of the bits of mind-share that the 
Arpanet created..  But I don't recall hearing why that particular term was chosen.

Do any of you remember why?

Bonus points for any additional background on the who and how.



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: nomenclature
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2009 11:48:57 -0500

So, someone asked me the other day why computers were called 'hosts'. I
gave some silly, half-mumbled answer about how they "host" software
applications, but I've been reading this interesting, if somewhat dry,
book (The Horse, the Wheel, and Language) about the development of the
European and South Asian languages from Proto-Indo European, which has a
"*ghosti" precursor word (which means roughly "the guest/host
hospitality obligation relationship") and it got me wondering again.

Anyone have a better answer for me? Why are computers called "hosts"?


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

More information about the Internet-history mailing list