What Does “Wedlock” Mean, Where Did the Word Come From, and Why is Marriage Called “Wedlock”?

Wedd is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “to gamble,” and there is no greater gamble than marriage.

In the days when brides were bartered by their fathers, a deal was reached with a prospective groom through an exchange of either property or cash.

A young woman would have been bought and sold for breeding purposes to be finalized in a wedlock ritual called a wedding.

This marriage led to matrimony, which in Latin means “the state of motherhood.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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