Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Say what? - Honeymoon

A honeymoon is the traditional trip taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage, and presumably, consummate it. Today, honeymoons are often celebrated in secluded, exotic, warm, or other places that are thought to be special and romantic. There is some disagreement as to the origin of the notion of the honeymoon and the etymology of the word honeymoon.

One explanation is that, while today it has positive meaning, the word honeymoon was a sardonic reference to the inevitable waning of love like a phase of the moon. This, the first literary reference to the honeymoon was penned in 1552, in Richard Huloet's Abecedarium Anglico Latinum.

Another explanation is that there was supposed to be an old Babylonian practice that involved drinking mead, a honey-based alcoholic drink, for a lunar month after a marriage.

A third explanation is that the term is a vulgarization of the Norse word hjunottsmanathr. After kidnapping one's bride, she was kept hidden away until pregnant or her family stopped looking for her, and then was brought back to formalize the wedding.

The latter two theories are based mostly on internet rumor, and are as of yet unsubstantiated by any scholar of Babylon, or Old Norse. They should both therefore be considered extremely unlikely.