Have you ever stopped to think about how strange the word honeymoon is? Why would honey and moon combine to create a compound noun meaning a holiday after getting married?

The word was first recorded in the 16th century, and you might think it’s derived from some old Norse or Germanic word which only happens to sound like honeymoon. Instead, it’s actually quite simple, and is indeed a combination of the English words honey and moon (or hony and moone at the time).

It originally referred to the period of newlywed bliss after getting married, with honey referring to the sweetness of the period, and moon to the fact that it was expected to last the length of a lunar cycle, or a month. I’m not sure if that’s optimistic or not!

11 thoughts on “Honeymoon

  1. I have heard that during the first full moon after the summer solstice (June 21st) the hives of bees were the ripest with honey. In medieval times everyone would set to making honey mead. So somehow, the mead, the moon and the honey became associated with love and weddings (hence June weddings, still popular today.) The newlywed couples were given honey mead to be drank under the moon. Not sure how true that is, but it sounds like a nice tradition anyway!

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