a native English suffix denoting state, condition, character, nature, etc., or a body of persons of a particular character or class, formerly used in the formation of nouns: childhood; likelihood; knighthood; priesthood .
Origin: Middle English-hode, -hod,Old English-hād (cognate with German-heit), special use of hād condition, state, order, quality, rank
"state or condition of being," from O.E. -had "condition, position," cognate with Ger. -heit, Du. -heid, all from P.Gmc. *khaidus. Originally a free-standing word, cf. O.E. hed "position, dignity," O.N. heiðr "honor, dignity," Goth. haidus "manner;" it survives in Eng. only in this suffix.