The nuptial trough

A cartoon by Sandra Boynton to celebrate June, the month of weddings:

Marriage for pigs: troth vs. trough. /θ/ vs. /f/ for many people, differing only in point of articulation.

(June is also gay pride month, but Boynton’s couple is clearly supposed to be cross-sex, not same-sex.)

On pledge/plight one’s troth. From NOAD2 under troth:

PHRASES: pledge (or plight) one’s troth   make a solemn pledge of commitment or loyalty, especially in marriage.

Used in various marriage ceremonies in English.

Ingredients: first, plight:

verb [with obj.] archaic   pledge or promise solemnly (one’s faith or loyalty).

– (be plighted to) be engaged to be married to.

ORIGIN Old English plihtan ‘endanger,’ of Germanic origin; related to Dutch plicht and German Pflicht ‘duty.’ The current sense is recorded only from Middle English, but is probably original, in view of the related Germanic words.

Then the noun troth:

1 archaic or formal   faith or loyalty when pledged in a solemn agreement or undertaking: a token of troth.

2 archaic   truth.

ORIGIN Middle English: variant of truth.

So the whole thing means ‘I give you my word’, with the added wrinkle that it’s a performative utterance (on this, see James Harbeck’s entertaining discussion on his Sesquiotica blog of 3/10/13).

An extra: more truth in the verb betroth:

[with obj.] (usu. be betrothed) dated   enter into a formal agreement to marry: soon I shall be betrothed to Isabel.

ORIGIN Middle English betreuthe: from be- (expressing transitivity) + truth. The change in the second syllable was due to association with troth.

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