A satirical examination of the word origins of bride and groom.
The word bride originated before 1000 from Middle English; Old English brȳd; cognate with Dutch bruid, German Braut, Old Norse brūthr, Gothic brūths.
The origin is related to the Old German word for bridle, having the following definition.
- Part of the tack or harness of a horse, consisting usually of a headstall, bit, and reins.
- Anything that restrains or curbs.
- a link, flange, or other attachment for limiting the movement of any part of a machine.
- A rope or chain secured at both ends to an object to be held, lifted, or towed, and itself held or lifted by a rope or chain secured at its center.
- A raising up of the head.
verb (used with object), bri·dled, bri·dling.
- To put a bridle on.
- To control or hold back; restrain; curb.
verb (used without object), bri·dled, bri·dling.
- to draw up the head and draw in the chin.
Bride is also connected to the French word for breed, having the following definition.
verb (used with object), bred, breed·ing.
- To produce (offspring); procreate; engender.
- To produce by mating; propagate sexually; reproduce:
- To improve by controlled selection.
- To raise (cattle, sheep, etc.)
- To cause or be the source of; engender; give rise to.
- To develop by training or education; bring up; rear.
- To produce more fissile nuclear fuel than is consumed in a reactor.
- To impregnate; mate.
verb (used without object), bred, breed·ing.
- To produce offspring.
- To be engendered or produced; grow; develop.
- To cause the birth of young, as in raising stock.
- To be pregnant.
- A relatively homogenous group of animals within a species, developed and maintained by humans.
- Lineage; stock; strain.
- Sort; kind; group.
Now were getting down to business. The comprehensive meaning of bride might be summed up as “the bridled breeder”.
- A bridegroom.
- A man or boy in charge of horses or the stable.
- Any of several officers of the English royal household.
- Archaic. A manservant.
verb (used with object)
- To tend carefully as to person and dress; make neat or tidy.
- To clean, brush, and otherwise tend (a horse, dog, etc.).
- To prepare for a position, election, etc.
- (of an animal) to tend (itself or another) by removing dirt, parasites, or specks of other matter from the fur, skin, feathers, etc.: often performed as a social act.
Groom is thought to be related to the Old English word, grōwan, which means to grow.
The word bridegroom originated before 1000 from late Middle English (Scots) brydgrome, an alteration of the Middle English bridegome, which came from the Old English brȳdguma.
In modern English, the –er suffix is added to the end of a word to indicate “one who does the action”. For example, baker, painter, writer, etc.
I’ve taken the liberty to add the –er suffix to groom to produce the noun groomer, meaning “one who grooms” (the bride). Likewise, -er can be added to bridle to produce bridler, “one who bridles”.
If we combine breed (the old literal meaning of bride) with the augmented word groomer, we have breedergroomer. Alternately, we might choose the word bridler as an equivalent substitute for groom, thereby producing breederbridler.
In summary, instead of the common phrase the bride and groom, we might substitute any of the following.
- The Bridled and the Bridler
- The Bridled and the Breedergroomer
- The Breeder and the Bridler
- The Breeder and the Breedergroomer
- The Bridled Breeder and the Bridler
- The Bridled Breeder and the Breedergroomer
Any of these synonymous phrases are more accurate in meaning, and more appropriate for signifying the respective roles in the hierarchy. These modifications do offer a strong suggestion of mid-20th century German socialist animal husbandry, but given the feral nature of women, I suppose that’s exactly what it is!
Der Breedergroomer’s Fahrvergnugen!!!