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The newness of newlywed

I would never have guessed that "newlyweds" was vanishingly rare before the mid-19-teens. The OED claims rarity merely before the mid-nineteenth century, with instances from 1593 and 1846, but Google's ngram viewer tells a slightly different story of its explosion of use during WWI.

My favorite OED example, for a number of reasons, is this one:
1918 Cosmopolitan Feb. 90/2 A Newlywed can live on Marmalade for about three months.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting! I see that honeymoon, as one might expect, is older, but had a precipitous (if temporary) decline in the 1950s. I wonder why?

Edited at 2012-03-17 06:45 pm (UTC)
Mar. 17th, 2012 08:00 pm (UTC)
I suspect that the status of betrothal had a lot to do with its absence in earlier centuries; the wedding was a small step further on rather than a big, single one.
Mar. 18th, 2012 01:01 am (UTC)
It's interesting how "newly wedded" reaches a peak around 1900, then loses ground to the cutesy shortened versions "newly wed", then "newlywed". All the while the llne for "recently married" sails above.

Google ngram
Mar. 18th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Good thing Chaz is making lots of marmalade tomorrow.
Mar. 19th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
I'm relieved you'll likely survive the first three months of marriage.
Mar. 18th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
Is anyone else wondering why anyone would want to live on Marmalade for three months?
Mar. 19th, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
I suspect it's not want, so much as "need", if needs must.
Mar. 18th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
Wow! That's an awesome app. I just ran 'yeaning' through it, and discovered that it reached a peak in about 1810 before dribbling off to practically nothing. So I feel entirely justified in having told the Japanese students that no-one uses that word. (I was a bit worried when I came across it in a Mary Stewart novel yesterday...)
Mar. 19th, 2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
It's fantastic! Although occasionally requires taking sources with consciousness of context. The corpus is scanned primarily from library books, which meant that, for example, the frequency of the phrase "due date" maps best onto the frequency with which libraries are populated by books from given years, pre-RFID chips.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )