Added: Tariq Winningham - Date: 06.05.2022 18:42 - Views: 10667 - Clicks: 4514
in Register. News Guardian. Recent queries. Send a query. Lucky dip. Any answers? Nooks and crannies. Semantic enigmas. The body beautiful. Red tape, white lies.
Speculative science. This sceptred isle. Root of all evil. Ethical conundrums. This sporting life. Stage and screen. Birds and the bees. What does a married woman, under the same damaging circumstances have? Phil Cohen, Sydney, Australia A paramour. Wyld, Athens, Greece The hump? The word has the added advantage of not being sex-specific.
Hari Menon, Mumbai, India The word "mistress" is regarded as very outdated now - I have not heard it used outside a historical or royal context for some years. There never was an exact equivalent word for the single male sexual partner of a married woman, reflecting perhaps the cultural norm that women were expected to be faithful in marriage while men were expected to stray a little.
In so far as there was a word it was "lover", but this was a word with a much vaguer meaning. To the Victorians and their predecessors a man was referred to as a woman's lover if he was courting her with a view to marriage, or simply loved her emotionally, with no connotations that there was a sexual relationship between them, and no sense that he was anything to be worried or ashamed of. The word is used in this sense by Jane Austen for example.
A married woman's lover was indeed her equivalent of the mistress. The phrase "fancy man" was also heard. In the Mediterranean there was a word "cisisbeo", who was a man who was a married woman's good friend and accompanied her to social events in the absence of her husband, and might or might not have a sexual relationship with her.
Catriona Bryson, Glasgow, Scotland A mister? John Bennett, Glasgow, Scotland The word you want is 'cicisbeo', though you'll find that the dictionary definitions tend to be rather coy about it.
Not quite right, in that it usually means a 'male mistress' who is generally known to be hers. A peculiarity of Venetian society, that all things were permissible so long as no-one oficially knew about them, came to demand that a married woman have such a hired man for her lover, to the threat of scandal if she did not.
John Bennett, Glasgow, Scotland Add your answer.Mistress or lover
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