Friday, June 4, 2010

Word of the Day 6/4/2010

Gretna Green (noun): a place where many eloping couples are married

Example Sentence: "During the 1920s through the '40s, Greenwich had a world-reputation as the 'Gretna Green' of the nation, the magnet for couples in a hurry to get married." (Bernie Yudain, Connecticut Post Online, May 26, 2009)

Did you know?: In the England of the 1700s, a person could not marry without parental consent until age 21. The Scottish were more lenient, allowing young people to marry without parental permission at 16. England also had rules that made it difficult to marry quickly, but Scottish law required only that couples declare their desire to be married in front of witnesses before tying the knot. So it isn't surprising that many English couples ran to Gretna Green, a small village on the English-Scottish border, when they decided to elope. In Gretna Green, the wedding ceremony was typically performed by the blacksmith at a roadside tollhouse, but it was all perfectly legal.

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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