As a historical writer, I’ve used the word betrothal plenty of times, since it was more common than engagement throughout much of history. But I’ve never actually paused to look up the root of the word! It makes total sense though, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

Betrothal is taken from the Old English treowth. Which means…read that word out loud and you’ll hear it, even if you didn’t immediately see it… TRUTH! Obviously, right? So betreowth is literally a pledge or promise to be true. When we committ ourselves to another and promise to marry them, we are promising to forsake all others for them, to be true to them. Betroth and its various forms (betrothal, betrothed) date from about 1300, which is to say, from the time Old English began turning into English.

A simple examination, but oh so much fun for this historical romance writer!

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