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Jul 23, 2014
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bohemian
damson
Gretna Green

An English couple eloping to Gretna Green with her father in hot pursuit
An English couple eloping to Gretna Green with her father in hot pursuit
From The English Dance of Death, 1815
Illustration: Thomas Rowlandson
Photo: Arallyn

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Gretna Green

PRONUNCIATION:
(GRET-nuh green)

MEANING:
noun:
1. A place where couples elope to to get married.
2. Such a wedding.

ETYMOLOGY:
After Gretna Green, a village in Scotland on the English border. English couples who had not reached the age of majority eloped to Gretna Green where such a wedding was permitted. A wedding was typically performed by a blacksmith in his shop. Earliest documented use: 1813.

USAGE:
"They finished up with a Gretna Green elopement of a couple in a terrible old Model T Ford, with Father chasing after them all over the aerodrome."
Nevil Shute; Round the Bend; William Morrow; 1951.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable. -Raymond Chandler, writer (1888-1959)

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