Marriage - and its 'mystery'

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am just wondering about the words you use to refer to 'marriage', and their origin. The interesting thing seems to be that some words refer to one aspect, others to another...

    Dutch: 3 words
    - de echt, old but still used in combinations like echtgenoot/ -genote, eega: by the law (word related with 'oath', I think)
    - het huwelijk < huwen, verb: the standard formal word ; origin not quite clear
    - de trouw > trouwen, verb: seems to have the same basis as vertrouwen, 'trust', and might refer back to trees, and their stability...
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Marriage: «Γάμος» ['ɣamos] (masc.) < Classical masc. noun «γάμος» gámŏs --> wedding (PIE *ǵ(e)m-, to marry; no cognates outside of Greek). There's also the rustic and archaic (almost obsolete nowadays) «παντρειά» [pandri'a] (fem.) formed from the v. «παντρεύομαι» [pan'drevome] (see below).
    To marry:
    i/ «Νυμφεύομαι» [nim'fevome] for males, lit. to take a bride < Classical fem. noun «νύμφη» númpʰē --> bride, young lady, nymph (probably of pre-Greek origin).
    ii/ «Παντρεύομαι» [pan'drevome] for females, lit. to take a husband < Hellenistic adj. «ὕπανδρος, -ος, -ον» húpāndrŏs (masc. & fem.), húpāndrŏn (neut.) --> under a man, subject to him, married < compound; prefix, preposition & adverb «ὑπὸ» hupὸ --> under, below (PIE *upo-, under) + Classical masc. noun «ἀνήρ» ānḗr --> man (PIE *h₂nḗr, man cf Skt. नर (nar), man, male; Arm. այր (ayr), man; Alb. njer, man).
    Also the formalities «έρχομαι εις γάμου κοινωνίαν» ['erxome is 'ɣamu cino'] --> to go into the communion of marriage, «συνάπτω γάμο» [si'napto 'ɣamo] --> to join (into) marriage.
    In Classical Gr. the verb was «γαμέω/γαμῶ» găméō (uncontracted)/ gāmô (contracted) --> to marry used by both sexes (PIE *ǵ(e)m-, to marry).
    In Modern Greek the verb «γαμάω/γαμώ»:warn: [ɣa'ma.o] (uncontracted)/ [ɣa'mo] (contracted) is the profanity equivalent to the English to f*ck.

    Holy Matrimony: «Μυστήριον του Γάμου» [mi'stiri.on tu 'ɣamu] --> Sacrament/Mystery of Marriage.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I thought of some others:

    - Heirat, based on house/home + Rat, meaning the necessities here (not advice)
    - Hochzeit: high-time, referring to the ritual, I suppose...

    - betrothal: based on a pledge, an oath
    - matrimony:referring to motherhood, I suppose, but the etymological dictionary does not make it quite clear...
    - wedding: again to pledge, even offering money to prove one's loyalty, I believe...
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    נישואין nisu'in - the root נ-ש-א n-s-' it is also used for 'carry' meanings.
    אירוסין e(y)rusin - equivalent of engagement though its a strict status as much as married is, comes from the root א-ר-ס '-r-s which is used also for 'poison'; but the poison is from hebrew and the engagement is from aramaic
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Polish I find 4 nouns. Anyone who can explain the difference, or their origin?

    How about the Swedish 'äktenskap'? Portugese 'casamente' (house-... ?-)?

    I'd pleased if I could get some others as well. Have not seen any Slavic equivalents...
  6. porkkanaraaste Member


    -marriage: avioliitto or simply avio (liitto = union), most likely derived from the root ava-/av- (open), i.e. an open, public union between a man and a woman

    -to marry: naida, related to nainen "woman". Also a profanity "to f*"
  7. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    sňatek (from the prefixed verb s- = con- + -jíti = to take, like in to take sb captive; probably a calque from Latin coniugatio, coniunctio) = marriage;

    ženitba (< reflexive verb oženiti se = to get/obtain a woman for oneself < žena = woman, -ba suffix) = wedding (from man's point od view);

    vdavky (< reflexive verb vdávati se < dávati se = to give oneself to sb) = wedding (from woman's point of view);

    manželství = matrimony; manžel = husband, manželka = wife < Old Cz. malžena (žena = woman) < Germ. Mahlweib (Gemahlin) < OG māl/mahal = contract;


    małżeństwo = Czech manželství (note that in Modern Czech there is a transposition n <-> l: manžel- instead of old Czech malžen-, the word has no obvious ethymology for an average Czech);
    ślub (Czech slib) = promise, oath;
    ożenek < żona (= woman), similar to Czech ženitba, Russian Женитьба;
    zamążpójście < za = preposition for/behind, mąż = man, pójście = going;

    There is a play (N. V. Gogol): Женитьба = Ženitba = Ożenek = Marriage (from man's perspective);

    The card game mariáš/Mariage (a "marriage" of King and Queen of the same suit is worth 20 points, or 40 points in trumps) was the most popular card game in the area of former Austria-Hungary.
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Great, thanks !
  9. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian, nouns:

    1. брак "brak" [brak] (marriage = wedlock, state of being married).
    I had no idea about etymology, so I have looked into the Vasmer's dictionary. According to it, it's a very old (Proto-Slavic) derivative from the verb "брать" (to take).
    2. сва́дьба "svа́d'ba" ['svadᶻʲbə] (marriage = marriage ceremony, wedding)
    From "сватать" - to propose smb. to smb. as a wife or husband, to ask in marriage, - in turn, apparemntly, from the word "сват" ("a matchmaker", also "a father of the son-in-law or of the daughter-in-law"), that ultimately, as Vasmer says again, used to mean "one's own (fellow man)"; cf. Rus. pronoun свой "svoy" meaning "one's".
    3. бракосочета́ние "brakosochetа́niye" [brəkəsəʨɪ'tanʲɪ(j)ə, ˌbrakəsəʨɪ'tanʲɪ(j)ə] (marriage = marriage ceremony, wedding; much like свадьба, but a much more formal, official word).
    "Marriagecombination", or, even more literally, "Marriagewithcoupling". :)
    4. жени́тьба "zhenít'ba" [ʐᵻ'nʲidᶻʲbə] (marriage = entering a marriage, from the man's point of view)
    5. заму́жество "zamúzhestvo" [zɐ'muʐᵻstvə] (marriage = entering a marriage AND a state of being married, from the woman's point of view)
    "Behindhusbandness" (from "выходить замуж" - most literally, "to go out to behind-a-husband").
    6. венча́ние
    "venchа́niye" [vʲɪnʲ'ʨanʲɪ(j)ə] (marriage = marriage ceremony, wedding, ONLY as a Christian ritual)
    "Coronation", from "венец" - high/poetic "a crown".

    Most of these nouns have related verbs or verbal phrases, as well as related attributives.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  10. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So no links with the other Slavic languages, Awwal,except for "zhenít'ba" and the "zamúzhestvo",I suppose.
  11. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    "Brak" is apparently a loanword from Old Church Slavonic, and "venchaniye" is also expected to be one (since it's a religious term). Maybe it has survived in Bulgarian and Macedonian, or even in other South Slavic languages, I don't know.
    P.S.: Also I've added a bit more info to my initial post.
  12. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    свадьба = svadba;
    женитьба = ženitba;

    венчание = věnčení (< věnec = wreath), however it means a decoration by wreath, esp. made from laurel; (o)věnčit = to laurel;
  13. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Well, in Russian венчание also means a coronation (of Russian tsars only!), although the both cases seem not really relevant to the marriage. :)

    Also, it's a little off-topic, but Russian in fact has two related nouns:
    - вено́к "venо́k" [vʲɪ'nok] "a wreath", of Old Russian origin;
    - венéц "venéts" [vʲɪ'nʲeʦ] "a crown"; "a wreath" (high/poetic), of Church Slavonic origin.
  14. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    This is background information that I like very much. Thanks.

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