hymeneal

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hymeneal

Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:04 pm

My son, Scott, who lives in Boston and is a Research Scientist at MIT (tut, tut), came up with the idea of us simultaneously reading a book and discussing it. He suggested for our first book a short novel by Honoré de Balzac. I was not overly thrilled with this choice, but figured I’d give it a go – it was conceivable I might like it. :shock:
<1835 “. . . and the sky is blue, when the population of Paris issues from its cells to swarm along the boulevards . . . through the Rue de la Paix towards the Tuileries, saluting the hymeneal magnificence which the country puts on; . . .”—The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honoré de Balzac, page 15 of the 2012 translation by Ellen Marriage>
Hmm! ‘Hymeneal magnificence,’ What kind of magnificence is that?

hymeneal

adjective: Of or relating to a wedding or marriage; nuptial, connubial.

noun: (Some dictionaries say archaic and some don’t) A wedding song or poem; wedding; nuptials.

First known use: 1602

Etymology: From Latin hymenaeus marriage, wedding song, from Greek hyménaios Hymen Hymen (Greek god of marriage, a fold of mucous membrane partly closing the external orifice of the vagina in a virgin) + -aios pertaining to + -al

(Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary, Dictionary.com, American Heritage Dictionary, and thefreedictionary.com)

The use of ‘hymeneal magnificence’ in the above quote seems a bit of a stretch for the use of the word, but I guess ‘wedding-like magnificence’ for a country or a city, although a bit hyperbolic, is conceivable.

Note: Not to be confused with ‘hymenal’: Of or relating to the hymen of anatomy - the fold of mucous membrane that partly covers the entrance to the vagina and is usually ruptured when sexual intercourse takes place for the first time.

In searching for quotes, I found that in recent years the use of this word has kind of petered out and thus its unfamiliarity. In searching for recent quotes in archives I found precious few. So, this may not be the most useful word to add to your vocabulary, but here you have it anyway. (>:)

The following quotes are from archived sources:
<1799 “Some idea may be formed of the magnificence of the new Duchess of Rutland's Hymeneal wardrobe, from the circumstance of one morning handkerchief costing sixty guineas.”—Aris's Birmingham Gazette, May>

<2004 “‘How hymeneal was it, this marriage of yours?’ whisper the intimately malicious voices Cytherea seems to hear, with narrative interest heavily invested in such ultimate intimacies.”—The Secret Life of Thomas Hardy: 'Retaliatory Fiction' by Edward Neill, page 5>

<2007 “Congratulations to popular R&B singer Usher, who proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Tameka Foster, this week. Tentative plans are set for a hymeneal celebration later this year.”—The Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, Florida), 7 April>

<2011“Why concentrate on hymeneal blood . . . the great tragedy of Alfonso and Ena's marriage was that she was a carrier of hemophilia and that two of their sons were afflicted by it.”—The Washington Times (Washington, DC), 8 April 8>

<2015 “She says gynecologists who work with patients old enough to marry will see some of them ask for hymeneal virginity tests. Most are from other countries or subscribe to religions that see virginity as a wedding must-have.”—Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida), 22 October, page T18>
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Ken Greenwald – February 19, 2019
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Re: hymeneal

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:58 am

I notice that the writers of the texts in the citations from 2011 and 2015 seem to be using the spelling hymeneal when they should be writing hymenal.

Neither of those should be confused with hymnal... :D
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Re: hymeneal

Post by Phil White » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:58 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:58 am
Neither of those should be confused with hymnal... :D
or, indeed, with "hernial".
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Re: hymeneal

Post by tony h » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:03 pm

Ken Greenwald wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:04 pm

<2015 “She says gynecologists who work with patients old enough to marry will see some of them ask for hymeneal virginity tests. Most are from other countries or subscribe to religions that see virginity as a wedding must-have.”—Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Florida), 22 October, page T18>

Ken Greenwald – February 19, 2019
It reminds me of a conversation on the train with a surgeon. She specialised in Hymenoplasty, which is something of a wedding gift. She was about to do the third Hymenoplasty on a girl since the girl announced she was "getting married and saving herself" for her husband.

The honesty of true love.
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Re: hymeneal

Post by Shelley » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:45 pm

tony h wrote:
Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:03 pm
It reminds me of a conversation on the train with a surgeon. She specialised in Hymenoplasty . . .
tony h, yer killin' me.
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