The “F” Word

It was a casual conversation, one I’ve had many times before. But this time, I was thrown off guard.

“What are you going to do this weekend?” my supervisor asked.

“I’m going to the suburbs with my, uh, umm, uh.”

She stared at me like a Starbucks barista watching someone count their nickels and dimes to pay for an elaborate latte.

Nouns raced through my head as I searched for the right word to end my sentence. Boyfriend, partner, lover, man, paramour. None of them seemed to capture the mood.

“With my husband,” I finished. We both breathed a sigh of relief.

I just couldn’t bring myself to say fiance, even though that is technically what he is. The word just sounds so pretentious. And that accent aigu at the end, I mean, come on. It’s a word porn stars marrying rich old men use or women who wear fake fingernails. I just don’t feel comfortable saying it.

And I’m not the only one. A quick Google search took me to message board after message board where women asked one another, Is There A Better Word For Fiance? Unfortunately, there isn’t. Which is strange considering how many entries are in Webster’s Dictionary (around half a million).

And it’s not like Webster has any qualms about inserting random new words into the dictionary based on the spirit of the year. This past year they’ve included such useful idioms as egopathy and twi-heart.

Why have they not updated or reformed the word fiance to better show the spirit of the times?

Here are a couple of gems I came up with.

putmon n. a man who will always take the blame for a woman’s farts

tambalan n. one lucky son of a bitch

What do you think the word and definition should be?


About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

3 responses to “The “F” Word

  • TravelingHatter

    The wording all depends upon one’s age. For example, in some circles I am considered to be a senior citizen. So, for my next go round, I will be looking for someone to fit the the words “sugar-daddy” or “cougar cub.”

  • Kelly

    I’ve always liked the phrase, “My Intended.”

    Intended for what?

    They’ll never know.

  • Ruth

    I used the phrase, “My pre-wed” not exactly a word but I was comfortable with the abbreviated definition.

    The woman on the train with the big ring probably used
    “My Finance”

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