Pronounced: MISS-iz GRUND-ee, noun
Notes: I think I’ve run across this word, but I didn’t know the meaning
The word epithalamion is “a song or poem in honor of a bride and bridegroom”
Our word came into English in the late 1500s
Background / Comments
This word always reminds me of where I first encountered it: in the novel Busman’s Honeymoon, by Dorothy Sayers – her last novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. If you don’t know about the novels, they are detective stories set between World War I and World War II. She wrote only eleven novels featuring him, and four of these have to do with his relationship with Harriet Vane; he encounters her in Strong Poison, where she is on trial for murder. He falls in love with her, but she just wants to be left alone. They investigate a murder together in Have His Carcase, and she still refuses to marry him. In Gaudy Night, Harriet is involved in her college, which is suffering from very unpleasant anonymous letters; she eventually turns to Peter Wimsey for help. Along the way, she does a lot of soul-searching and agrees to marry Peter at the end of the novel. Busman’s Honeymoon continues just after that one and covers their marriage and the start of their married life. Anyway, our word is used as a chapter title, I believe, along with the similar word prothalamion. Our word is pretty much a transliteration of the Greek word epithalámios (nuptial).