Why is a husband to be called a groom?

After few weeks of random articles and random stumblez, I decided to move back to my question and answer sort of mode. Which means I will be answering some of the most puzzling questions? Today on our list we have the ever so popular word “Groom” why is a husband to be called a groom? You have heard it, nothing new or fancy, we all use the word. But why? What are the roots and why groom and not broom?

The answer to this puzzling question is rather simple. Back in the old days in old English guma simply meant a young man or male servant. And the word bryd meant Bride. Together both words formed Brydguma (Bridegroom), which was referred to a suitor looking for a wife. As time passed the word guma changed into groom and bryd to bride.

In case you want to sound GENIUS here is something you can throw at in a marriage party, good one to impress any lady.

Etymology of the words


c.1225, grome “male child, boy, youth.” No known cognates in other Gmc. languages. Perhaps from O.E. *groma, related to growan “grow;” or from O.Fr. grommet “servant” (cf. M.E. gromet “ship’s boy,” 1229). The fact is, it appeared 13c. and nobody knows from whence. Meaning “male servant who attends to horses” is from 1667. The verb is first attested 1809; the transferred sense of “to tidy (oneself) up” is from 1843; fig. sense of “to prepare a candidate” is from 1887, originally in U.S. politics.


O.E. brydguma “suitor,” from bryd “bride” + guma “man” (cf. O.N. gumi, O.H.G. gomo, cognate with L. homo “man”). Ending altered 16c. by folk etymology after groom “groom, boy, lad” (q.v.). Common Gmc. term, except in Goth., which used bruþsfaþs, lit. “bride’s lord.

By the way aren’t we all servants after marriage? I mean we become our wives servant, serving them forever and ever. Will it will be the case for me.

5 thoughts on “Why is a husband to be called a groom?”

  1. I just forwarded this to my husband – I don’t think he knew that he was signing up to be my male servant when he became my Groom. :) I like your blog…you’ve now joined my RSS Feeds!

  2. Very cute little piece of research you did. Just sad that it doesn’t have any foundation. Bridegroom originated from brydegrome or brydegome which litterally translated means…

    man of the bride.

    If you want to take it in the other direction you could also translate it as Bride’s Lord, which through a lot of twists and turns results in “Woman Owner”. Etymology is best left to professionals.

    Ref. http://ieas.unideb.hu/admin/file_743.doc

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