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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.



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.