Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: couvade

couvade (koo-VAHD) - n., the custom where, when a child is born, the father takes to bed as though he were bearing the child.


The example given by many dictionaries is among Basque peoples, but the practice is hardly limited to them -- ancient Egyptians practiced it as well. Can also result in purification rituals. From this is named couvade syndrome, or sympathetic pregnancy by the partner of a pregnant woman. Coined in 1865 by anthropologist E.B. Tylor from the present participle of obsolete French couver, to brood/hatch, from Latin cubāre, to lie down.

The fathers stand about the waiting room in manly attitudes, concealing all signs of couvade.

---L.
Tags: c, french, noun
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