Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Jul 16, 2008
This week's theme
Words related to royalty

This week's words
magna carta
royal we
morganatic
king's ransom
queen regnant

Wordsmith Talk
Got something to say? Visit our bulletin board
Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

morganatic

PRONUNCIATION:
(mor-guh-NAT-ik)

MEANING:
adjective: Of or relating to a marriage between two people of different social ranks such that the spouse of lower rank and the children do not share the titles or possessions of the higher-ranking spouse.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin matrimonium ad morganaticam (marriage with a morning gift), implying that the gift given on the morning after the wedding was the only gift received by the wife. It was also known as a left-handed marriage because the groom held his bride's hand with his left (instead of right) hand. The word is of Germanic origin (morgen: morning, e.g. guten morgen: good morning). From a word for 'morning' to a word for a kind of marriage, that's an example of the idiosyncratic ways languages evolve.

USAGE:
"Nicholas [Sheremetev] was severely punished by society and his friends for his morganatic marriage, which was regarded as class treason."
Simon Sebag; The Serf Who Married Her Owner; The Telegraph (London, UK); Jun 20, 2008.

See more usage examples of morganatic in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
One does not advance the swimming abilities of ducks by throwing the eggs in the water. -Multatuli (pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker), novelist (1820-1887)

Subscribe:

Sign up to receive A.Word.A.Day in your mailbox every day.

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith