Monday, 25 May 2009

Origin and Meaning of Honeymoon

I thought this one would be an easy one; but not so, there are a number of interpretations as to when this word originated and what it means.
Without thinking too much about it, my interpretation was that a honeymoon was that period of time after getting married, when you went off on holiday. The purpose being to get to know your new wife intimately without unwanted people around. So, the way I looked at it, there had to be a holiday before there was a honeymoon, which cannot be true. A honeymoon in my mind has now been redefined to a promised period of harmony, happiness, delight and pleasure. (Promised, as this is not always true). The period of happiness or honeymoon cannot be a function of the ability to afford a holiday. Therefore my subjective interpretation is that a honeymoon is the short period of happiness after getting married, prior to the realities of life kicking in and causing a less happier period, whether you go away on holiday or not.
Ok, now for the origin part. I could find 3 possible sources for the origin and meaning.
Version 1.
The most popular version, and the easiest to understand, is that Parents of the married couple were to supply a month’s honey wine (mead) for consumption by the married couple (Honey and moon, a month). Some sources maintain it was as much as they could drink, others say it was a glass each per day. Why? Most popular reference states the mead was there to increase the libido and fertility of the couple.
Version 2
Another version is that the name originates from the Norse word “hjunottsmanathr” meaning to kidnap. What would happen is that the future groom would abduct a lady from a neighboring village and they would hide away for a period of time. Her safety was assured , and she was returned either when the prospective brides parents stopped looking for her, or after conception had taken place, which would be known after a month.
Version 3
This one is often quoted, a passage from Richard Huloet’s Abecedarium Anglico Latinum stating that a honeymoon “ was a sardonic reference to the inevitable waning of love like a phase of the moon”.
Good place to start digging is Wikipedia. The above needs to be refined.
Image from Wikipedia


sarah lee said...

A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. See the link below for more info.


Leslie Lim said...

Now this is the kinda of stuff i like to read about. Thanks for brightening my day