From the HBD Archive
From: Ruth Mazo Karras <RKARRAS@PENNSAS.UPENN.EDU>
Subject: Homebrew Digest #846 (March 18, 1992)
Date: 1992-03-18 15:16:12 GMT

Someone suggested that "honeymoon" comes into English from Norse.
If so, the derivation probably has nothing to do with honey. Cleasby
and Vigfusson's Old Norse dictionary suggests that "honeymoon" is
derived from Old Norse "h'y n'ott," (those are acute accents), meaning
"wedding nights," the three nights after the wedding. "H'yn'ottar
m'anudr" (wedding-night month) could easily become "honeymoon" in
English, and the explanations of the word in terms of honey could be
back-formations.

Ruth Karras
RKARRAS@PENNSAS.UPENN.EDU

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