The word honeymoon was first recorded in a 1546 dialect book as hony moone, and other spellings around that time included honney moone, hony-moon, and hony-moone. As expected, it all boils down to the word honey and the word moon, and the reason for this is disputed. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests that it's a pessimistic reference to how love wanes like the moon, or an even more pessimistic statement that the love in question won't last longer than a month. Over time, this evolved from a less tongue-in-cheek expression to one meant sincerely, and usage has steadily increased over time. Honey, through Proto-Germanic hunang, comes from the Proto-Indo-European root keneko, used for things with yellow or brown colors, and I've written about the word moon before.
5/30/2021 10:46:23 pm
I had always heard that a month’s supply of meade (derived from honey) was the reason for the “honey”moon. Here’s an example: http://honeygrail.com/honey/mead_history
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.