“Honey” and “moon?” Sure, they’re fun, but what exactly does honeymoon” mean?

The most talked-about wedding of the summer is almost here (July 31st.) But where will Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mevzinsky take their honeymoon? And why is the post-wedding holiday called by that name?

The word derives from the Old English hony moone. Hony refers to the new marriage’s sweetness, as well a reference to the European custom of giving newlyweds enough mead, “an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting honey and water,” to last a month.  That would keep many a couple happy.

Moon refers to how long that sweetness might probably last, or from the changing aspect of the moon — from full to waning. In French the equivalent word is lune de miel. The German version is flitterwhochen, from flitter, which means “tinsel.” Not exactly the type of positive thinking a couples counselor would recommend, is it?

We can only imagine the celebrity line-up that will toast the new couple. But does toast, as in cooked bread, have anything to do with clinking glasses together? It actually does. Originally, a toast was raised to the health of a beautiful or popular woman. The notion was that her name would figuratively flavor or strengthen the drink. And drinks, way back, were actually flavored with spiced toast.

As for the ceremonious clinking of glasses, the custom is said to have evolved from fears of poisoning. The idea was that the liquid would spill from glass to glass. It is also believed that the roots of the custom are related to the offering of sacrificial libations to the gods.

Rumors are also flying in regards to the bride and groom’s wedding cake,a word that dates back to 1648. Wedding cake is also used to describe a style of architecture in which buildings have distinct tiers. The bride and groom figurines on top? Wedding cake toppers.

One of the most interesting aspects of the Clinton-Mevzinsky nuptials will be whether or not the couple has an interfaith wedding. If so, expect a post on the slew of terms that describe the mix of Jewish and Christian customs.

What aspects of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding are you most curious about? And if you have any questions about the origins or meaning of wedding terms, leave a comment.

The 10 best.(Tech Forum)(Best sellers)

Strategic Finance July 1, 2004 | Castelluccio, Michael * MAYBE IT’S A MEASURE of how we’ve all been conditioned to be competitive, but, whatever the reason, Americans love top-10 lists. There are the best-seller booklists in the weekend papers; TV shows and candidates are constantly monitored by pollsters; and there’s the Forbes “swimsuit” issue that lists the richest among us. We’ve made number one a national raison d’etre, as we pin ribbons on pigs, award Oscars to actors, and insist on repeating Vince Lombardi’s mantra to any youngster who will listen: “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?” Each year Wired magazine puts together its own top 40 list of companies that the editors believe “are masters of innovation, technology, and strategic vision.” The Wired 40 isn’t just a weighted list of bottom lines. The criteria for inclusion haven’t changed since 1998 and are explained in the June 2004 issue by Kevin Kelleher: “These 40 leaders have demonstrated an uncommon mastery of technology, innovation, globalism, networked communication, and strategic vision–skills essential to thriving in the information age.” The list is dynamic–you might even call it fickle. Of the 40 that made the list this year, 25% did not appear on last year’s list. Even more surprising, 40% of the top 10, almost half, are new this year. The list is also more eclectic than you might expect. Mixed in among the pure Internet and high-tech manufacturers are drug companies, car makers, banks, entertainment companies, and an agri-tech company.

And the Winners Are …

Odds are that you can probably guess a few of those in this year’s top 10. These would be the Internet legends–companies like Amazon, Yahoo!, and eBay. And you would be right because these companies are still doing enough of the right things to keep them at the top.

#2 Amazon.com And the beat goes on, as an early pioneer morphs from specialized retailer (books) to the Internet’s General Store. go to web site google gravity download

#3 Apple Computer This is a surprise. New to the list this year, this is Steve Jobs’s musical Apple, which has the leading iPod MP3 player and the iTunes Music Store. Some of the numbers that have lifted this Apple in a gravity-free launch: Five million iPods sold gives Apple 55% of the music player market; 60 million+ songs have been downloaded at iTunes, giving them a 70% lead in commercial downloads. Add in the rest of the Apple enterprise, and it makes for a nice-size pie.

#4 Genentech Genentech is a biotech company that works at a cellular level, manipulating cells and genes to produce medicines. Avastin, a treatment for colon cancer, was approved by the FDA this year, and the company is working on a number of other cancer treatments as well as other therapies based on genetic manipulation. Other biotech/medical companies that made the Wired 40 are Pfizer (28) and Gen-Probe (33), both new this year.

#5 eBay Of course. The editors point out that the $30 billion of goods that were sold on eBay last year “make the auctioneer the 81st-largest economy in the world.” Besides loving a winner, Americans, apparently, will never pass up a good garage sale.

#6 Samsung Electronics With new consumer electronics like MP3 players and digital cameras creating a strong market for flash cards, this South Korean manufacturer positioned itself to become “a leading innovator in consumer electronics worldwide.” Samsung is new to the Wired list this year.

#7 Yahoo! Dropping back four places from its number three position last year, Yahoo! is still America’s portal of choice. The editors’ count of Yahoo! users is 263 million.

#8 Electronic Arts When you think of a game maker finishing above other computer giants like IBM (13) and Intel (24), you have to remember Wired’s criteria and its forward-looking bent. After crediting Electronic Arts with leadership in interactive entertainment (read gaming, for now), the magazine proposes that the next interactive media might well include movies, music, and painting.

#9 Pixar Steve Jobs again, and this time with a movie company that earned $2.5 billion and 17 Academy Awards for its five feature films and several shorts. You probably remember Finding Nemo, and so does Disney, which recalls with regret its Pixar contract that Jobs refuses to renew. here google gravity download

#10 Cisco Systems Hubs and routers–what more do you need to say? Cisco owns most of the game, and it has climbed up one more place–up from 11 last year. Not bad for pretty boring hardware.

Precipitous Falls The ascending are interesting, but so are those that have, perhaps temporarily, fallen from grace. Two very big names that have lost their footing are FedEx and Microsoft. FedEx fell from 12 last year to 26 this year. The purple and orange is still delivering 5.3 million packages every day in 215 countries, but apparently for the editors some of the bloom is off the rose–or maybe more brown is back on the roads. An even bigger surprise is the Microsoft slide from eight last year to 27 this year. Wired offers three reasons for Redmond’s rung-burns: regulators and lawsuits here and abroad; the emerging success of Linux on servers and perhaps next, desktops; the large target still flapping on the corporation’s back, attracting virus writers worldwide. Some stinging advice is offered by the editors in a “To Do” item: “Given Microsoft’s long string of scrapes with antitrust cops, it’s time for the company to start competing on the merits of its products.” And so this year’s 40 should enjoy their moment in the sun, but they shouldn’t forget another reality expressed elsewhere on pages of the magazine–what’s wired will eventually get tired.

You can get the entire list at www. wired.com/wired/archive/12.06/ wired40.html, or check out the June 2004 issue of Wired at your library.

Castelluccio, Michael


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  6. Laine -  July 27, 2010 - 12:45 pm

    Marriage…..it raises all kinds of feelings in whoever you might want to speak to. I prefer to look at it’s beauty; its unity,spoken and unspoken words, sweet and sour moments, the beginning and the end, kindness and too often, unkindness–not that unkindness is beautiful but making up can be–and I am not talking about angry, hate-filled moments that can become violent and last way too long.
    Oh, but we are talking about the beauty of marriage and the honeymoon which can last from the full moon the waxing or, in some cases, can still be going on after 50 years. But, like gardening, it will only become a “dying institution” if we quit pulling the weeds out.
    Since we have no king or queen, Chelsea is the closest thing to royalty we have (it will be awhile before the Obama girls are ready for marriage) and deserves to be in all the papers before and after the big day. John probably isn’t married or has been three to five times. Sounds QUITE angry, yes!
    In closing, has any one else noticed how beautiful Chelsea has become? I will leave it there.

  7. gettingtanned -  July 27, 2010 - 3:07 am

    A marriage relatiohship varies in every single couples. The interesting one I remember is the one called white marriage Andre Gide had practiced. I do not know whether it is quite true or not. Note that his outlet had gone to.
    Another is Alfred Hitchcock’s. He said it is quite obscene to have more than one child in marriage when he heard that one of the actresses he had his fixation on had a second baby. Attitude, attitude, touche!

  8. Okunna Oge -  July 27, 2010 - 2:45 am

    all good and well,Honeymoon has bin sins n will b 4 lyk 4eva.Anyways,good meaning

  9. Ms. Howl -  July 27, 2010 - 1:20 am

    Look no further than to dictionary.com to find borderline rude comments from pretentious “know-it-alls”. I honestly don’t care about Chelsea Clinton’s marriage either but it is interesting to see how couples incorporate traditions from two different religious backgrounds. I love the esoteric meanings behind modern English and customs, I find it so intriguing. Especially how the honey aspect was derived from drinking the Nectar of the Gods.
    In my mind I always thought that honeymoon could have meant that it was the first time one would see their lover’s “full moon”!

  10. MARICRIS -  July 26, 2010 - 11:46 pm


  11. Emily -  July 26, 2010 - 9:51 pm

    John Do, get a life. This article is well-written and informative.

  12. Charles Transue -  July 26, 2010 - 9:47 pm

    My my, John Do, such vehement judgment! Perhaps it’s a blessing that there wasn’t yet ANOTHER tale of tragedy, greed or mayhem to cover that ALLOWED the media to cover the wedding. Had you thought of THAT?

  13. bob -  July 26, 2010 - 9:22 pm


  14. Peyton -  July 26, 2010 - 9:15 pm

    John Do cares so little for this article that he left a 152 word explanation to prove it, wherein he hypocritically claims that this article is a waste of space.

  15. Jeevendra -  July 26, 2010 - 9:03 pm

    Interesting article indeed… Hats off to the Hotword blog team…

    I have a request for a hotword blog, though it is nowhere related to honeymoons or weddings.

    Recently there has been lots of articles flying around about the Windwos “Zero-day” bugs. What really does this “zero-day” mean? And why? A tech related article is very appreciated. Thanks in advance…

  16. Geebee -  July 26, 2010 - 6:40 pm

    The suggestion that Terri makes, that marriage is a dying institution, is truely a fact to be lamented!

    It is obvious that the first month of marriage has a peculiar sweetness, especially for those who refrain from dabbling in its pleasures beforehand. But the initial sweetness does not mean that the remainder of the relationship is not sweet. Look around at some older couples who have been together for their entire adult lives, witness their contentment, consider their unfailing loyalty for one another, then try to tell yourself that marriage doesn’t work.

    The biggest problem is that we have come to regard love as a FEELING when in truth it is a COMMITMENT or an ATTITUDE that one chooses to adopt.

  17. Brandoline -  July 26, 2010 - 5:57 pm

    This is a cute article, and I always like learning interesting word origins.

    John Do, why you hatin’? I take issue with so many things you said, and I think it’s ridiculous to put the author down that way. First, this wedding is being talked about a lot on major media outlets. When the wedding does happen, I guarantee it makes newspapers. Second, what kind of argument is, “you’re not even a blogger”? Guess what? Anyone with a blog on a website becomes a blogger. Being termed a “blogger” doesn’t make anyone’s opinion more or less valid, and this isn’t even an opinion piece! Third, to claim that Chelsea Clinton is not famous is to claim that you don’t know who she is. Clearly you do… or did you have to google it? Finally, you weren’t forced to read this article, which causes me to believe you are one of those idiots that just flame people for your own jollies. The simple fact is, a current event gave the author a topic to introduce some information to those of us who are interested. A piece of advice, John Do: if you are ever disinterested in an article’s subject matter… STOP READING!

  18. Ben -  July 26, 2010 - 5:35 pm

    I was also confused at first by the wording of that paragraph. But I think what they mean is that the custom assumes that the sweetness of the new marriage will only last for one phase of the moon. Not very positive thinking. But for some reason the connection is not made to the first paragraph. Is it unreasonable to assume that it is simply meant that the newly married couple will enjoy the daily sweetness of free mead given by loved ones for approximately one phase of the moon?

  19. Babs Bini -  July 26, 2010 - 5:28 pm

    The clinking of glasses has another mythical significance. The drink should be enjoyed by all senses of human body. It can be tasted, smelt, seen and touched. It should also be “heard”, hence before starting on the first sip of the drink, glasses are clinked to get an audible pleasure from the drink.

  20. Mutti von 5 -  July 26, 2010 - 4:23 pm

    I was a little disappointed by the website explanation. Please be more sensitive to foreign translations, before you give an opinion….first of all, the German word for Honeymoon is spelled incorrectly…Flitterwochen…not flitterwhochen…where Wochen means weeks and Flitter…can mean yes tinsel….but even more than that…also to adorn and to gild…like with gold….so imagine weeks spent …so adorned..as if they were gilded with gold…figuratively speaking of course…Now what is so negative about the first golden weeks of a marriage!

  21. Janine -  July 26, 2010 - 3:48 pm

    I was wondering what it being done about the wedding of the other couple being married at the same place the same day Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. That couple arranged everything 2 years ahead and now the Clinton’s wedding will ruin her whole party. Can somebody elaborate?

  22. tiana -  July 26, 2010 - 3:31 pm

    I think honeymoon mean…when two loved couples celebrate theyre love or theyre wedding.

  23. Terri -  July 26, 2010 - 3:22 pm

    Classic!..Starts strong and only to slowly diminish….Marriage is dying institution..

  24. blogger -  July 26, 2010 - 3:02 pm

    That is a very good reason for clinking glasses. I will do it more forcefully in the future to achieve its benefits.

  25. David -  July 26, 2010 - 2:43 pm

    How about spelling the names correctly? It’s MEZVINSKY, not MEZINSKY.

  26. Manuela -  July 26, 2010 - 2:38 pm

    Honeymoon in German = Flitterwochen. Weeks of tinsel? Weeks of glitter?

  27. John Do -  July 26, 2010 - 2:36 pm

    I only have two words for this “non-celebrity wedding”: WHO CARES?

    Seriously? This is the “most talked-about wedding”? WHY?!?!? So she’s the daughter of a former president – big freakin’ deal! Since when did that make them “celebrities”? What, so news day? Month? YEAR?

    Seriously, interesting terms, but claiming these two people are famous, celebrities, or anything other than AVERAGE PEOPLE, is a joke, and literally sickens me. “The most talked-about wedding”? REALLY? I haven’t seen ONE SINGLE NEWS REPORT about it in ANY of the major newspapers. Not ONE! So who’s doing all the talking, other than you, and probably the non-news rags like People, Star, and the other grocery market checkout rags that are useless? That’s right – NO ONE. :disgusted:

    You’re not a journalist – you’re not even a blogger. You’re just wasting space with this frivolous an petty claims on a perfectly good website. They should fire you for this gaffe.

  28. Robyn -  July 26, 2010 - 11:43 am

    Any relation to moonshine?


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