Monday, 11 April 2011


Just one more.

A honeymoon is so-called because the honey-sweet and mellifluous part of a marriage is traditionally meant to last for one month, after which it all goes to pot in a handcart. As Huloet put it in his bestselling Abecedarium Anglico Latinum:

Hony mone, a terme prouerbially applied to such as be newe maried, whiche wyll not fall out at the fyrste, but thone loueth the other at the beginnynge excedyngly, the likelyhode of theyr exceadynge loue appearing to aswage, ye which time the vulgar people cal the hony mone*.

The OED's first citation for honeymoon comes from Heywood's Proverbs (1546) and it rather charmed me because it is, I assume accidentally, a perfect acephalous iambic tetrameter or POM-dee-POM-dee-POM-dee-POM, which is my favourite verse form.

It was yet but honeymoon

Last week's post on verse form produced such fine results that I shall invite you, dear reader, to turn that into the first line of a quatrain, and slip the result gently into the comments section.

P.S. If you trying to remember where you've heard of the Abecedarium Anlglico Latinum before, it was the source of my post on the word wamblecropt.

*However, there are folk remedies involving the hide of a waterbuffalo.


  1. I really, really wanted to have a go at this. I have no idea if this is acephalous or trochaic and, as you can see, I didn't go for delicacy...

    It was yet but honeymoon...
    Sheets and blankets all awry.
    Breeches, Bloomers piston-like,
    Morning, evening and at noon.

    and so, overcoming deep shame, I post.

  2. Why shame? That's beautiful. I love the pistons.