[Ads-l] throuple

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Mar 20 19:26:12 UTC 2021

The Rachel Moss piece also touches on “compersion”.  Wiktionary has

'Vicarious joy associated with seeing one's partner have a joyful romantic or sexual relation with another'

Coined by the Kerista Community in the 1970s. Possibly derived from French compère (“partner”), plus -sion, based on an earlier use of the French compérage to denote the practice of brothers-in-law sharing wives observed among Tupi people of the Brazilian Amazon.

“Possibly” indeed.  Does anyone have more on this intermittently useful term?  Wikipedia has a brief description of compersion in its polyamory entry, while OED goes in for neither compersion nor the throuple (although it does have thripple and thrapple, neither of them a variant on the arrangement).  I don’t see much difference between “throuple” and “ménage à trois” (no, mailer, I didn’t mean “ménage à trots", but thanks anyway) beyond the language of origin.


> On Mar 20, 2021, at 2:38 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> The WordSpy entry has examples back to 2004.
> https://wordspy.com/index.php?word=throuple
> "It’s the hottest thing in romantic commitment since monogrammed towels.
> It’s set Provincetown abuzz. And now it’s got a catchy name: 'throuple,' as
> in couple, only consisting of three (usually same-sex) members instead of
> two."
> --Edith Zimmerman, “City Journal,” Boston Magazine, October 1, 2004
> On Sat, Mar 20, 2021 at 2:17 PM Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Interesting find!
>> This redirects to ménage à trois on Wikipedia (
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nage_%C3%A0_trois <
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9nage_%C3%A0_trois>) where it is
>> noted as being a contemporary version of the arrangement.
>> Wikipedia cites the 2016 “Throuple Relationships Vs Threesomes Explained…”
>> by Rachel Moss (https://tinyurl.com/zxuu7d8 <https://tinyurl.com/zxuu7d8
>>> ).
>> Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/throuple <
>> https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/throuple>) has this and “throupling”, but
>> Webster-Merriam and the OED do not have either.
>> The earliest cites I found on Google are from 2009:
>> https://tinyurl.com/2v4n9kss <https://tinyurl.com/2v4n9kss>
>> Charlotte ‘throuple’ on MTV doc
>> 15 Sept 2009
>> https://tinyurl.com/atsms5sk <https://tinyurl.com/atsms5sk>
>> Is This Throuple Destined For Happiness? Or Is a 3-Way Relationship Doomed?
>> 16 Sept 2009
>> Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>>> On 20 Mar 2021, at 10:56, Mark Mandel <markamandel at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>> Gay Throuple Who Made History Say Being A Three-Person Unit Makes
>> Parenting
>>> Easier
>> https://www.ladbible.com/community/interesting-gay-throuple-who-made-history-say-being-a-three-makes-things-easier-20210319
>>> A gay 'throuple' who made history after putting all three of their names
>> on
>>> their child's birth certificate
>>> <
>> https://www.ladbible.com/community/interesting-men-become-first-throuple-with-three-dads-put-on-birth-certificate-20210217
>>> have
>>> said being a three-parent unit makes things easier.
>>> Ian Jenkins, Alan Mayfield, and Jeremy Allen Hodges, from San Diego in
>> the
>>> US, launched and won a legal bid to get all of their name's put on their
>>> daughter Pippa's birth certificate back in 2017.
>>> The throuple are now proud parents to Pippa, three, and Parker who is
>>> almost one.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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

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