The Origin of the Word "Honeymoon": What Does it Mean

The origin of the word "Honeymoon"

The word "honeymoon" is thought to have originated in medieval times. At that time, it was common for newlywed couples to drink mead (a fermented beverage made from honey) for a moon cycle (30 days) after their wedding. This tradition was believed to bring good luck and fertility to the couple.

These days, a honeymoon is typically seen as a romantic vacation taken by newlyweds. It's a chance for the couple to spend some quality time together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're planning an exotic getaway or something closer to home, make sure your honeymoon is everything you've dreamed of!

The Modern Honeymoon

Today, the term honeymoon is used in one of two ways. If you’re newly married, it’s that blissful post-wedding vacation with your partner-in-crime. If you’re in a fresh relationship, it’s (similarly) that blissful period of time where everything is new, love is love, and perfection has a name: you and yours.

However, in medieval times, honeymoon carried a much more literal meaning.

A Marriage Ritual

Worth noting right off the bat – our medieval dwellers didn’t have the luxury of watches. Instead, many old-school European cultures measured time in months, or moon cycles.

Then there’s mead, also known as honey wine.

…See where this is going?

At wedding ceremonies, couples were bestowed with a moon’s worth (roughly one month) of mead and encouraged to drink together every day. Why?

Mead as an Aphrodisiac

That’s right – many thought mead to act as an aphrodisiac. And what better way to kick-off a marriage than with promising fertility and virility?  

Gifting a bride and groom with a month’s worth of free drinking was thought to up the chances of reproduction. Sometimes, the groom was even carried to the bedside of his bride with a stomach full of mead!

Talk about no privacy.

If a baby was born nine months post-wedding, credit was given to mead. Hence, the term honeymoon.

Mead for Valentine’s Day

While we may not think of mead in the same way today, why not honor tradition? No, that doesn’t mean you have to gather thirty days’ worth of mead for you and your better half (…or maybe it does?), but mead can certainly be your Valentine’s Day beverage of choice.

It promises to be love at first sight!

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