Interesting Marriage Terminologies, Definitions and Facts
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Interesting Marriage Terminologies, Definitions and Facts

Marriage is an important part of every culture from all around the world. It is the union of a man and a woman and the ceremony by which a man and a woman become husband and wife. Here are some of the most common marriage terms and their meaning. Interesting facts and examples are also included.

Here are some of the most common marriage terms and their meaning. Interesting facts and examples are also included.

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1. Morganatic – is the term for the marriage of a member of a royal or noble family and a person of inferior rank.

2. Betrothal – is the public announcement of a couple’s mutual pledge to marry. It is also called engagement.

3. Fiancé – the engaged man

4. Fiancée – the engaged woman

5. Pre-nuptial agreement – a contract entered into by future husband and wife that address how assets are to be divided should the marriage failed.


6. Matrimony – is the other term for marriage or marital relationship. It is also called wedlock. In the Catholic doctrine, it is one of the blessed sacraments

7. Wedding and nuptial – refers to the marriage ceremony.

8. Spouse and mate – these are common terms for a husband or a wife.

9. Dowry – a marriage custom where a property or sum of money is given to the husband or to the wife.

10. Bride price – is the required amount of money or goods given to the family of the woman by the man who want to marry.

11. Honeymoon – a trip or vacation for few days or weeks for newly wed couples.

12. Divorce – a legal judicial system to dissolve marriage. It is common among Protestants.

13. Annulment – is a judicial process to invalidate a marriage.

14. Monogamous marriage – is the marriage of one man to one woman. It is the only recognized marriage in European, American and other Christian countries.  

15. Bigamy – is committed when a person with a living spouse contracts a second marriage.

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16. Common-law marriage – is a union entered into without license or ceremony. The man is referred to as common-law husband and the wife is common-law wife.

17. Endogamous – a marriage that requires a person to marry within a certain group.

18. Exogamous – a marriage that requires a person to marry outside the group.

19. Polygamy – is a marriage that involves more than two spouses.

20. Polygyny – a man has two or more wives at the same time. It is common among Muslims and some African tribes.

21. Polyandry – a woman has two or more husbands at the same time. It is less common and is known to exist in Tibet and India. 

22. Group marriage – a number of men and women have more or less equal rights over each other.

23. Cross-cousin marriage – the father of one partner is the brother of the other’s mother.

24. Levirate marriage – a man is required to marry the wife of his deceased brother.

25. Sororate marriage – a man marries his deceased wife’s sister.

26. Patrilocal – a newlywed couple lives with the husband’s family.

27. Matrilocal – a newlywed couple lives with the wife’s family.

28. Adultery – is the sexual intercourse of two persons, either of whom is married to a third person.

29. Concubinage – is the habitual cohabitation without marriage

30. Grounds – the legal reasons for which a divorce a divorce may be granted. Among the most common grounds include adultery, cruelty, addiction and others.

31. Alimony – the allowance made to a woman by order of court from her husband’s estate or income for her maintenance after her divorce.

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*Facts about Marriages

1. The famous and legendary Elizabeth Taylor, a Hollywood superstar, married 8 times in her lifetime.

2. Nora Aunor and Christopher De Leon, both popular Filipino movie celebrities, were married under the sea.

3. In societies where polyandry is allowed, the co-husbands are commonly brothers.

4. The Incas and Ancient Egyptians required brother-sister marriages among royalty.

5. Flowers, fruits and grains used in the wedding ceremony are symbols of fertility and good fortune.

6. The white gown worn by the bride denotes purity. The veil is a protection from evil and also symbolizes modesty. 

7. The most expensive divorce in the world is Rupert Murdoch’s divorce from Anna Murdoch. It is reputedly "the most expensive divorce in history" at US$1.7 billion.  

8. Great figures and personalities in history who married during their teenage include Mohamdas Karamchand Gandhi or more popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, the great Chinese philosopher Confucius, Siddharta Gautama or more popularly known as Buddha.

9. James Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States, is the only US president to remain unmarried.

10. Divorce is allowed in Ancient Greece and Rome and was frequent in the later years. Ancient Jews were also allowed to divorce their wife at their pleasure.

11. Divorce is not allowed by the Catholic Church but approve separation in some instances. Annulment is also granted by Church courts under certain conditions.

12. .Do you know that a law in the Theodosian Code which was issued in 342 CE imposed severe penalties or death on same-sex marriage in ancient Rome?

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Comments (3)

Very interesting gathering of information.

Ranked #10 in Popular Culture

I think we ae the only country who has no-divorce law, cause I forgot the other one, great informative artilce.

@Ron Siojo. Yes and I don't see the logic why.

@Norbert: I always like reading your articles. They are not only informative. There's always that Filipino touch to it.