Wedding countdown: etymology

So, today I begin with a countdown: 30 days until I get married. I may not blog daily, but I hope to include reflections of my process here. I’ll be exploring what marriage means to me, what it might mean for me to be a wife and spouse, etc.  I’ll also be doing daily rituals. We’re in the process of creating a handfasting wedding ceremony, and I want to hold some sacredness in the days before as well.

For awhile now, my love and I have occasionally been calling each other “husband” and “wife.” In some ways, it’s like trying the titles on, and in other ways, we’re using the terms affectionately to express how we feel about each other.

Being a lover of words, I’m beginning with etymology: What are the dictionary definitions of these terms, and where did they come from?

Wife
origin: Germanic to Old English, meaning “woman”

Wife meaning female spouse began in Old English

Husband
Old Norse, comes from the words “hus” – “house”and”bondi” – occupier and titler of the soil. Together, husbondi meant “master of the house.”

This led to the Old English term husband, which meant male head of household; in late 13th century it replaced the word wer meaning a married man.

Other wedding/marriage related terms:

wed: from old English weddian, meaning to pledge, to give oneself in marriage

wedding: ceremony of marriage, pledging, uniting. Interesting fact: the usual Old English term for wedding was bridelope or bridal run, referring to taking the bride to her new household.

I’ll share more on my personal reflections on what marriage, weddings, and being a bride and a wife mean to me soon.

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