MUNDANE MYSTERIES: Why Do We Call It A “Honeymoon”?

A honeymoon is the best part of any wedding. Heck, it’s the best part of any marriage. But where did the term “honeymoon” first come from?

The word comes from the Old English “hony moone.” Honey refers to the “indefinite period of tenderness & pleasure experienced by a newly-wed couple,” and how sweet the new marriage is. Meanwhile, the “moon” part refers to the fleeting amount of time that that sweetness is likely to last. Honeymoon may have a positive connotation today, but it was actually originally used as a way of warning newlyweds about waning love.

“Honeymoon” has origins that date back to the 5th century AD, back when cultures designated calendar time by moon cycles. Back in those days, a newlywed couple would drink mead (a honey-based fermented drink thought to hold aphrodisiac qualities) during their first moon of marriage.

And while most couples today getaway on their honeymoon so they can be alone together, it wasn’t always that way. 19th century British couples actually took the opportunity of their honeymoon to go on what was called a “bridal tour”, where they would travel to visit friends & family who hadn’t been able to attend the wedding ceremony. Anybody up for reviving that tradition? No?

Got a Mundane Mystery you’d like solved? Send me a message via social media (@AndyWebbRadioVoice), or shoot me an email at andy@wfre.com.