born out of wedlock


to be born of parents who are not legally married

TRANSLATION

out of wedlock = außerehelich ------------- GOOGLE INDEX out of wedlock: approximately 7,000,000 Google hits

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

OUT OF WEDLOCK Birthrates are Soaring

(New York Times - News Headline)

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In the 1970s, having a child OUT OF WEDLOCK ceased to be a cause of unbearable shame.

(BBC News)

Did you
know?

out of wedlock
idiom

- of parents not legally married to each other

(The American Heritage Dictionary)

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Wedlock is an odd construction that traces back to the Old English "wedlac." Wed stems from the verb "wedden," meaning to engage or pledge to do something, as in marriage. "Lac" was then added to form the noun "wedlac," which basically meant a marriage vow. The suffix eventually changed to lock through the association of its meaning to fasten or secure something.

Out of wedlock is an old-fashion term these days, perhaps because the revolution of the 60s and 70s changed attitudes toward love and marriage. Where women with illegitimate children were once banished from their communities, these days unmarried couples don't make headlines when they have children (unless their name is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie).

Frederick Augustus, a 17th century elector of Saxony and later King of Poland, produced one child together with his wife. It was a male heir named Maurice. It seems he then neglected his marital duties from time to time. If the records uncovered after his death in 1699 are to be believed, he also had 345 children out of wedlock!

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SMUGGLE OWAD INTO TODAY'S CONVERSATION:

"They had two children out of wedlock before deciding to get married."

More Word Quizzes:

whinge

6 years ago

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7 years ago

to be unwilling to obey orders or follow discipline

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pander

7 years ago

to punish

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to promote

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to please

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old boy network

7 years ago

a social media chat group of people over 60

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the surviving veterans of World War II

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a powerful network of people in high places

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on tenterhooks

7 years ago

a feeling of anxiety (Besorgnis)

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a feeling of love (Liebe)

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a feeling of guilt (Schuld)

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