Word Of The Issue: Brúðkaup - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Word Of The Issue: Brúðkaup

Word Of The Issue: Brúðkaup

Published June 18, 2017

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Words often give us insight on past traditions. “Brúðkaup,” for instance, the Icelandic word for “wedding,” refers to the old custom of purchasing (kaupa) a bride (brúð).

“Is she worth five cows and a goat? I’ll take her. You, father of the bride, will officially sell her to me here in the house of God.” Quaint, isn’t it? Indeed, we still keep part of that tradition alive.

Alternatively, one could also use the word “gifting,” from “gjöf” (a present), but to be honest being given to someone isn’t much better than being sold. Ask your father and he’ll agree.  Where’s that goat he was promised at the bachelor party, again?

See more words.

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