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Marriage Knot (The)


The bond of marriage effected by the legal marriage service. The Latin phrase is nodus Herculĕus, and part of the marriage service was for the bridegroom to loosen (solvĕre) the bride’s girdle, not to tie it. In the Hindu marriage ceremony the bridegroom hangs a ribbon on the bride’s neck and ties it in a knot. Before the knot is tied the bride’s father may refuse consent unless better terms are offered, but immediately the knot is tied the marriage is indissoluble. The Parsees bind the hands of the bridegroom with a sevenfold cord, seven being a sacred number. The ancient Carthaginians tied the thumbs of the betrothed with leather lace. See Nineteenth Century, Oct., 1893, p. 610. (A. Rogers.)

“Around her neck they leave

The marriage knot alone.”

Southey: Curse of Kehama.

“When first the marriage knot was tied

Between my wife and me,

Her age did mine as much exceed

As three-times-three does three;

But when ten years and half ten years

We man and wife had been.

Her age came then as near to mine.

As eight is to sixteen.”

Ans.: 15 and 45 at marriage, 30 and 60 fifteen years afterwards.

⁂ The practice of throwing rice is also Indian.

“Hamilcar desired to unite them immediately by an indissoluble betrothal. In Salambo’s hands was a lance, which she offered to Narr Havas. Their thumbs were then tied together by a leather lace, and corn was thrown over their heads.”—Flaubert: Salambo, chap. xi.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Marmo Lunense
Maron or Marron (French)
Maroon (To)
Marphisa (in Orlando Furioso)
Marriage Knot (The)
Marriage Plates
Marriages are Made in Heaven
Marriages of Men of Genius
Married Women
Marrow (Scotch)
Marrow Controversy (The)

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Rice thrown after a Bride