Host = Anfitrión, Host =/= Huesped

Discussion in 'Medical Terminology' started by popckorn, May 8, 2013.

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  1. popckorn

    popckorn Senior Member

    Borderlands - México
    Spanish - Mexican
    Hi fellow linguists professional and other.

    I come to you today, seeking for elucidation regarding a matter that has been bothering me for almost a year, and came back to my mind yesterday as I read about viral protocols in case of pandemics.

    In English, the person harboring the virus and sometimes providing stock for the virus to mutate with, is called "HOST", which makes sense, a host in general is a person or place that receives GUESTS, in Spanish a host in the latter sense is known as ANFITRIÓN. When you invite people over to have dinner you become a HOST/ANFITRIÓN for that night.

    Regardless, when we read the scientific literature regarding virus infection and vectors in SPANISH language, we will find they call the carrier or host a "HUESPED".

    Now, for those that have not lend thought to it yet or are not familiar with traveling/visiting politics, the "HUESPED" in Spanish is the person that visits, the person that stays in an Hotel, the person that stays for a night in someone´s house, the person that stays for dinner in the HOST's home.

    Do you see where I am going?

    HUESPED in English is GUEST.
    HOST in Spanish is ANFITRIÓN.

    So my questions reads:

    Why do Spanish scientific literature and terminology calls the HOST of a virus a "HUESPED"?

    It is equivalent to English literature calling the person infected a "GUEST".

    How is the person LENDING his body and resources to a MINDLESS virus a GUEST of his own BODY?.
    Do Spanish people believe the Virus becomes your Master or something?

    This sounds like a Chuck Norris joke, the virus is so tough that when it infects you YOU are the GUEST.

    Thank You for your insights guys.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  2. otrodoctor Member

    Español, Chile
    What a classic!

    You can read Ariel Martínez Gil's ( own research on the subject published in Biotecnología Aplicada 2000; Vol.17, No.4 :

    He proposes "Hospedante" y "Huésped" to set things straight,

    taking into account that "Huesped" can be BOTH the Host and the Guest, in classical Spanish:ésped

    Good luck with your huésped whenever you have to be a huésped
  3. popckorn

    popckorn Senior Member

    Borderlands - México
    Spanish - Mexican
    Brilliant illustrating post, otrodoctor, thank you!!

    Oh My!! Ha Ha Ha! My brain!.. no pun intended, right?.

    I am usually baffled by words that can mean vague things that could be perceived as opposed. But this case is one in which the word stands for both EXACT opposites.

    Any one else, is invited to jump into the conversation, regardless of the date!
  4. sergio11 Senior Member

    Los Angeles and Buenos Aires
    Spanish (lunfardo)
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