The word neighbor comes from the Old High German “nahgibur” from the 8th century and referred to the peasant who lived next to him.
In the early modern times, the neighbor was not the person living next door, but every property owner who was accepted as a full member of the village community with all rights and obligations.
Scope of terms
Today, the broad definition not only includes people living in adjacent or nearby buildings or apartments , but also short-term neighborhoods such as office neighbors , table neighbors or counter neighbors . In the case of neighbors, not only residents are recorded next door, but also residents above or below. Today, the neighbor refers - especially in sociological terms - to a " social system based on spatial proximity ". In rural areas, the term is usually much broader and includes at least the people living opposite and next door or those in a radius of up to about 100 meters. Outside the localities, the radius can be up to one kilometer.
In a broader sense, one speaks of neighbors also in the case of neighboring communities ("neighboring community"), federal states or states , even with the planets Venus , Mars or the neighboring galaxy of the Andromeda Nebula .
- Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 277
- Friedrich Ludwig Karl Weigand, German dictionary , second volume: MR, 1876, p. 176
- Metz, Rudolf / Schömburg, Karl / Schumm, Fritz / Wenzel, Rudolf: 800 Years of Gentlemen 1194-1994. Schonungen 1993. p. 39.
- Hans Nokielski, Organized Neighborhood Help as a “New” Form of Social Help , in: Socioligia Internationalis 19, 1981, p. 139
- Ferdinand Tönnies, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft , 1887/1991, p. 13