"bride-elect" -- an odd term

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 3 21:54:43 UTC 2007

"The Mikado" has the term "mother-in-law-elect", probably humorously but
also probably on a basis of accepted terms like "bride-elect".

To Gerald's point: "elect" at root means 'choose', or in this usage
'chosen'. (The Eng. verb is from the Latin past participle; cf. "select" as
an adjective, implying the "selected" cream of the crop.) In theology, "the
elect" are not chosen by ballot, but by One Chooser! So somewhat similarly

m a m

PS: The spell checker in my Firefox browser, or maybe my Gmail, is
underlining Wilson's "okay"! Anyone know how to turn it off?

On 11/3/07, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> They both sound okay to me, G. My WAG is that they became
> unfashionable after the passage of my lost youth, when "-elect" was
> considered quite classy, very NYTimes-y, and may (or may not) be
> becoming fashionable, again.
> -Wilson
> On 11/3/07, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at umr.edu> wrote:
> > ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> > Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> > Poster:       "Cohen, Gerald Leonard" <gcohen at UMR.EDU>
> > Subject:      "bride-elect" -- an odd  term
> >
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > I'm sometimes amazed at how a term I never heard before turns out to be
> frequent, or at least not infrequent.  I just came across "bride-elect" (=
> bride-to-be) in the wedding-announcements of a recent issue of my local
> newspaper.
> > Google shows 94,600 instances of this. "Groom-elect" has 14,800 hits, a
> term I had never  seen or heard before either.
> >
> > In any case, both terms strike me as odd.  It's as if the family and
> friends got together and cast ballots for who should be selected for the
> marriage.
> >
> > Gerald Cohen

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list