HOOD, a covering for the head. The word is in O. Eng. hod, cognate with Dutch hoed and Ger. Hut, hat, both masculine; "hood" and "hat" are distantly related; they may be connected with the feminine hoed or Hut, meaning charge, care, Eng. " heed." Some form of hood as a loose covering easily drawn on or off the head has formed a natural part of outdoor costume both for men and women at all times and in all quarters of the globe where climatic conditions called for it. In the middle ages and later both men and women are found wearing it, but with men it tended to be superseded by the hat before it became merely an occasional and additional head-covering in time of bad weather or in particularly rigorous climates. For illustrations and examples of the hood as worn by men and women in medieval and later times see the article COSTUME; for the hood or cowl as part of the dress of a religious see COWL, and as forming a distinctive mark of degree in academic costume see ROBES. The word is applied to many objects resembling a hood in function or shape, such as a folding cover for a carriage to protect the occupants from rain or wind, the belled covering for the head of a hawk trained for falconry, the endmost planks in a ship's bottom at bow or stern, and, in botany and zoology, certain parts of a flower or of the neck of an animal which in arrangement of structure or of colour recall this article of dress.
In architecture a " hood-mould " is a projecting moulding carried outside the arch of a door or window; it is weathered underneath, and when continued horizontally is better known as a dripstone. The ends of the hood-mould are generally stopped on a corbel, plain or carved with heads in European churches, but in those of central Syria terminating in scrolls. Although in its origin the object of the projecting and weathered hoodmould was to protect the face of the wall below from rain, it gives more importance to, and emphasizes, the arch-moulds, so that it is often employed decoratively inside churches.
The suffix " -hood,' like the cognate " -head," was originally a substantive meaning rank, status or quality, and was constantly used in combination with other substantives; cf. in O. Eng. cild-hod, childhood ; later it ceased to be used separately and became a mere suffix denoting condition added to adjectives ; cf. " falsehood," as well as to substantives.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)