HOUSEL, the English name, until the time of the Reformation, for the Eucharist. The word in O. Eng. was htisel. Its proper meaning is " sacrifice," and thus the word hunsl appears in Ulfilas' Gothic version of Matt. ix. 13, " I will have mercy and not sacrifice." The ultimate origin is doubtful. The New English Dictionary connects it with a Teutonic stem meaning " holy "; from which is derived the Lithuanian szwentas, and Lettish swets. Skeat refers it to a root meaning " to kill," which may connect it with Gr. KaLveiv.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)